Life has to end, love doesn't.
- Mitch Albom
We knew of end-of-life doulas and when our mother's care became palliative, looked online for a doula on the south coast and southern highlands of NSW. We were lucky enough to find Patsy who is based in Bowral.
From the outset, we could sense this role to be a calling, not only a profession. Patsy has a generous nature and this came through with the time she gave us in our preliminary discussions and throughout mum's care, her flexibility, and the genuine compassion she had for us all.
Patsy provides the ideal combination of practical skills with the emotional and spiritual support that is needed in end-of-life situations. Her event-planning background enabled her to handle all the logistics for us, from sourcing and hiring equipment to finding a holistic funeral director who aligned with our wishes and even travelling to Sydney to collect our mother's ashes. Patsy was there for us to talk with wherever we needed to, adjusted seamlessly to the different personalities and needs within our family, and along with personal care, provided love and compassion to our mother and each of us. She gave us hope and reassurance at the worst of times and she allowed us to give the best possible end-of-life experience to our beautiful mum. The value of the peace this provided mum, and thus us is inestimable.
I believe wholeheartedly in the work of end-of-life doulas and in Patsy. We would like to see an increase in awareness of doulas so others have the opportunity to make their own or their loved one's end-of-life experience less fearful and stressful. Doulas give families more agency in the dying process, returning the focus to where it should be at the time: on your loved one and family.
When the doctors told me my wife was dying, I felt totally out of my depth. But Patsy Bingham made sure my wife could remain at home and was comfortable to the end; also that the government Palliative Care doctors were accurately briefed; and, that family and close friends could visit appropriately. Bottom line: Patsy was superb administratively, operationally and emotionally. God bless her!