"Janie and Jeri would check in and hold space for us. It was remarkable — like a beautiful ballet. We all remained mindful, and they were instrumental in allowing us to talk about our raw feelings and what was happening for us emotionally. As time unfolded, they educated us about what to look for at the end and what was happening with our mother physically. The last day or two, Janie and Jeri came and sat with us. It made things less scary. It was both horrifying and beautiful at the same time. Doulas can be a touchstone for family members. I remember schmoozing with Janie and Jeri about our personal lives. We connected in a real way. I kept thinking that my mom — who was very social — would have loved to be part of that conversation. I felt like I was feeding my mom’s soul."
Geri Topfer
“I had never heard of this before and wasn’t sure about it. But Janie built a relationship with my mom, who was not a sharer, and it gave her the opportunity to open up to an impartial person if she wanted to. Janie helped my mom express what she really wanted: a book of letters from family members who shared stories of their relationships to her, which could be read to her when she wasn’t fully conscious. Recently, my father passed away, also from cancer, and he welcomed Janie with open arms when the time came for her services. He loved having Janie there, and it’s comforting, as a family member, knowing that if he wanted to express something he would feel comfortable doing that with her.”
Lisa Silvershein
“Jeri said, 'There are two rails on a railroad track. One is what you’re hoping for and one is the reality and the probability. They can coexist, let's move forward with both of them.' I appreciated that Jeri could calmly and objectively listen to my mother when other family members objected to her suggestions. She made her emotions okay. With Jeri's help, my mother was able to come to a place of acceptance that it was time to say goodbye to her husband. She was grounding for my mother. Sometimes you need immediate family, and sometimes you need another voice. It can’t always be your son or daughter. Dying is a part of life, making it a good death is important. For us that came from the work Jeri did to make sure my father understood his legacy. She spoke with him about what a beautiful family he has, that he made this family, and he loved and nurtured this family, and to be really proud of it. He just listened, and it all went in. Jeri also encouraged us to share our gratitude and other emotions with him. Jeri made it as peaceful and loving as possible, we were there telling him the important things—how much we loved him. He told us he loved us and told me to find fulfillment in my life. Just by being there and inviting these kinds of conversations, Jeri helped us have the closure that we wanted. It made it so we can exhale and not regret the way it went.”
Dorothy Henick

"I see death as an opportunity for change and growth. You see awakenings, forgiveness; you see new bonds made and old wounds healed, which I believe send the dying on their final transition peacefully and bring new opportunities for the people who remain."

Jeri Glatter — Huffington Post

"Death is often a taboo topic and having a death doula can help the patient and their grieving loved ones better get through the process."

Janie Rakow — USA Today

"As people feel increasingly disconnected from death, doulas help provide a feeling of personalization, humanization, and completion in the dying process. People oftentimes don’t know what they can and can’t do with someone who's dying - whether they can touch their loved one, cuddle or climb in bed with them, or how to plan a personalized memorial, oftentimes breaking with tradition."

Jeri Glatter — GatheringUs.com

"We don't see death in our everyday lives anymore, and it has created real uncertainty and fear. The doulas bring so much education and comfort to the process. Helping people plan a meaningful death and providing emotional comfort and support to them and their families during the dying process was unexpectedly beautiful and moving. Our goal is to honor each person's life and help them and their family memorialize it."

Janie Rakow — Treehugger.com