Finally, Moryoussef impresses the importance of checking in on your grieving loved ones, especially as time goes on. She says that after someone dies there's a flood of support, but eventually it gets very quiet.
"You check in on the holidays. You check in on the birthdays. You check in on those times of year where grief resurfaces and is harder than usual. Because what happens after somebody dies and everyone's showing up and then slowly they taper off.
"You've lost the person you love and you've lost all the hubbub that came after they die and it's extra silent. That's when you really need people to check in. It's not the weeks after the person died. It's the months after the person died. It's when people stop checking in."
Despite her own health condition, she is committed to helping people reach the goal of experiencing a good death. She is a Death Educator who speaks on topics related to dying, as well as a Death Doula who serves those preparing to die.
Those six words are something of a mantra for Kayla Moryoussef, a Toronto “death worker” who has spent the last six years immersed in death and dying. As the program manager of the Toronto Home Hospice Association’s “Death Café” initiative, she holds sessions for people to talk about death (more about that later) and, in addition, works to help people experience a “good death.”
And she’s not alone. While it’s still a relatively niche corner of the death care industry in Canada, there are an increasing number of people with “death doula” or “end-of-life-worker” practices and, like Moryoussef, most are participants in the “death-positivity” movement. “It’s not that we should celebrate the fact that people died,” says Moryoussef, who works with Toronto’s Home Hospice Association and has a practice called Good Death (www.gooddeath.ca) through which she runs “Death Café” sessions.... READ MORE HERE
In this episode we talk about getting becoming a death doula, the coming death boom in our culture, the death of her grandmother and dogs, her memorial tattoos, Death Cafés, and grief dreams of grandmother.
Kayla Moryoussef is a Community Worker/Registered Social Service Worker from Toronto who has been volunteering and working in end-of-life/palliative care for over seven years. She is a Death Educator, Death Doula candidate with Home Hospice Association, and project manager for all of their Death Cafés across southern Ontario. Kayla truly believes in the profound power of a ‘good death’ and its lasting effects on healthy individuals, families, and communities at-large. At the age of fifteen, Kayla’s life was profoundly changed by baring witness to the death of her grandmother, a primary parent and the one of the most formative figures in her life to this day. LISTEN HERE
Kayla Moryoussef is a Toronto-based community worker & registered social service worker who has been volunteering and working in end-of-life care for over seven years. She is a death educator, death doula candidate with Home Hospice Association, and project manager for all of their Death Cafés across southern Ontario.
We were curious about why she was drawn to death work, and what she’s learned about life from those who are on their deathbeds.
SDTC: Tell us about how you got started in death work.
KM: I was working in the music industry, but I knew I wanted to be in the care-giving profession. I was looking for opportunities, and I found a hospice in Toronto who would give me forty hours of training and then put me in the field with dying people. I was like, “Sign me up!” I did the training with Hospice Toronto, then I became an in-home palliative care team volunteer member...... READ MORE HERE