It’s a Period of Life, Not Death

Check out my Q&A with an “end-of-life” doula on my “Death as a Living” blog for my Advanced Reporting course.

Death as a living

While some doulas usher in the beginning of life, others choose to embrace the end. Greek for “woman who serves,” a 21st century doula assists with life’s most remarkable transitions: birth and death. For an end-of-life doula like Juliet Sternberg, facing death is her job. Sternberg, 54, has worked as a social worker for more than two decades, and three years ago became program manager at New York’s Doula Program to Accompany & Comfort. In both her own relationships and those of her volunteer staffers, she has discovered the joy in the bonds that can develop between the living and the dying.

You started off in mental health, and then transitioned into geriatric social work. It seems you’ve always had a passion for comforting people. How did you get involved in working with dying people?

My first client at the mental hospital was schizophrenic. He pulled out all of…

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