We are all just walking each other home
- Ram Dass
End of Life Guide and Doula | Death Educator & Advocate | Funeral and Memorial Celebrant | Grief and Loss Navigator
I consider myself practically a Gold Coast local, originally from Wellington, New Zealand, but having lived here now for the past 22 years.
In my heart centered work, I deeply value the privilege of being of service in my local community.
What I bring to this role is over a decade of applied experience in providing love guided support, service, care and advocacy for families and individuals at end of life stages and thereafter. I have also committed 25+ years to both personal and professional development, ongoing research and industry relevant formal study.
I first discovered my desire to demystify and normalise dying and death at a fairly young age, after experiencing several impactful deaths in my immediate family. Undoubtedly my greatest knowledge was experiential, as a result of my hands on role as caregiver to my younger sister, after journeying alongside her through a terminal illness. Throughout this extended period of living with cancer, navigating treatment options and making decisions on end of life options, I experienced first hand the empowerment of seeking and having access to information, education and personalised choices.
After the death of my sister, when I was only in my mid 20's, I came to see that I had ‘midwifed’ her through all of the possible stages - through a sudden terminal illness diagnosis, navigating treatment options, anticipatory grief, holistic care options, bedside vigils, palliative care at home, hospice care, funeral options and preparation and a home wake. My sister had taught me much and in time, there was such clarity for me in the absolute value and connection that arose from being present, from creating meaning throughout the ever changing stages, the potency of a transition from life to death. The need to find quality of life, even in the midst of dying. The experience of this caregivers journey has been documented in my book, Many Rivers to Cross.
In my current role, I serve to educate and support my community in dealing with end of life processes. This includes providing services as an end of life doula, a death educator, mentor and advocate, to assist with pre-planning end of life options, running workshops, creating tender farewells and providing space for grief journeying and expression of emotions through grief circles.
My formal qualifications include a diploma of counselling, a post graduate qualification in palliative care, and a degree in applied theatre (performance) and I am a current member of the Australian Funeral Celebrants Association. I have worked previously as a Funeral Director, volunteered with hospice, as a volunteer with a not for profit supporting people living with chronic illness, have hosted Death Cafes, facilitated educational workshops and information sessions, led dramatherapy workshops, supported palliative disability clients, alongside consistently upskilling with diverse reading, industry relevant training, workshops and professional development.
From as early as I can remember, holding space for others at end of life has been a calling, I just didn't know how to define what it was I was drawn to. As a child, the mysterious, the taboo, the unspoken intrigued me. I loved horror movies, I dreamt vividly and often. I loved visiting cemeteries and exploring them. I asked myself questions of the 'why'and of our place and purpose in this world.
Some 30 years later, I know, with great certainty, that my place is to be available to anyone, irrespective of age, race, faith, gender or status.
I know, with great certainty, that dying, death and grief work is sacred, potent and transformative. That serving community and creating a true sense of belonging is honourable.
I know and have lived, countless times over, the sacredness of providing personalised care for our loved ones in transition and after death.
I truly see supporting others as they journey from this life, as the most fulfilling and life affirming role I could ever be entrusted with.
Lisa is unique and has the intuitive ability to deliver her service for you just as you had imagined, with love, compassion and a deep understanding of this time in the journey of life and death.Lisa's presence in the room was refreshing and genuine, she connected with my whanau and friends instantly, giving them peace of mind, trust and a feeling of peace as she enlightened us all with her beautiful delivery of words about death and the journey of life that affects us all. Her gentle and clear voice, authentic delivery and presentation, her holistic intuition, ability to listen, fill in the gaps and deliver such a heartfelt ceremony for my Dad was my dream send off.