BONNIE COMPTON’s journey to becoming an end-of-life doula unknowingly began when she was 15. Within nine months, Bonnie suddenly lost her 19-year-old brother in a tragic accident and then nine months later, her 44-year-old father died of a heart attack.
Bonnie started her career as a pediatric Nurse Practitioner, then a Child and Adolescent Therapist and Parent Coach. She is the author of Mothering with Courage: The Mindful Approach to Becoming a Mom Who Listens More, Worries Less, and Loves Deeply.
As an end-of-life doula, Bonnie helps individuals and families prepare for the end of life in a way that honors the dying individual and allows the family to grieve the process in a healthy way. Bonnie shared that only 30% of people create end-of-life documents and share them with their loved ones. And although 80% of people say they don’t want to die in the hospital, approximately 80 % do.
As part of dying, it’s natural to reflect on one’s life. Some of the regrets people have are that they wished they’d loved more and worked less. Bonnie recommended a book called The Top Five Regrets of the Dying by Bronnie Ware.
As a natural progression in the conversation, Bonnie and I also talked about grieving and how most people feel uncomfortable acknowledging and holding space for someone who has lost a loved one. Bonnie shared some useful phrases to open the conversation with someone you care about who is suffering:
- Tell me about your loved one
- I’m so sorry
- Please know I’m here for you
Two books about grief that Bonnie recommends are:
- On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss by David Kessler and Elisabeth Kubler-Ross
- Bearing the Unbearable: Love, Loss, and the Heartbreaking Path of Grief by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore
You can watch Bonnie’s Tedx Charleston Talk here:
You can find Bonnie here:
Visit Bonnie’s website where you can schedule a complimentary session to understand how she can support you and your loved ones.