“How can dying become a conscious act? When the person facing terminal or life-threatening illness chooses to use the dying process as a way toward a more present and loving opportunity for spiritual awakening, that person has entered the path of conscious dying. This choice offers a chance for profound healing not only to the person facing death, but also to the family, loved ones, and caregivers involved.” -Dr. Martha Watson
My name is Bethany Ward and I am an Integrative Spiritual Director and Death Midwife. As a Death Midwife, supporting the process of a conscious death is the most profound and fulfilling part of the work that I do.
The breadth of my work is rooted in guiding you toward an all-embracing response to a life filled with spiritual vibrancy. Blending mysticism, spiritual discernment, contemplation, and Jungian psychology in spiritual direction, I guide spiritual seekers to discover their place within all of existence. I support the Death Journeyer and their loved ones as they navigate personal choices and meaningful alternatives within the dying process. My emphasis on conscious dying is viewed as just one part of living a whole, spiritually vibrant, and all-embracing life.
“Death is not the opposite of life but a part of it.”
“Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon, and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight.” -Rossiter Worthington Raymond
As a Death Midwife, I help to hold the energy within the dying process. It is an honor and privilege to sit in vigil with someone at the threshold of death. I aid the dying and their families to create sacredness within this space and provide spiritual support for all those held within this experience. I am also privileged to be able to co-steward a unique conservational burial cemetery in Ohio. The combined efforts of this work feed and sustain me.
In 2011, my mother suffered a massive stroke that would later prove fatal. I was devastated by the loss of my mom. I grieved her faithful expression in my life and, though I was still serving as a religious professional, I grew increasingly angry and resentful toward God. However, through the Transforming Power of Grace, gentle reminders of my mother’s last week of life would occasionally bubble into my conscious awareness. I began to recall how thin the veil felt while my mother lay in hospice. I occasionally allowed myself to remember the miraculous moment when, though she had previously been completely unresponsive and stricken with paralysis, my mother wrapped her arm around my head as I wept upon her chest.
It is in service to that gift that I began my training and work in end-of-life care.
My work within this space may include Reiki for comfort and ease, meditations and prayers for forgiveness, life reviews, letting go, and finding peace. I provide rituals around the dying process to elevate the experience to that of Sacred Passing. Gratitude is given a voice and relaxation and breath work facilitate the dying process.
“The fear of death follows from the fear of life.
A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.” -Mark Twain
As a Death Midwife, my primary roles are to provide information on various options throughout the death process (especially those which are alternatives to the cultural norms or less institutionalized), discuss advance planning issues, and file the necessary documents (death certificates, permits, etc.). Additionally, I support the exploration of options that are most meaningful to the dying and their family and examine how to make the experience as fulfilling as possible.
Serving the needs of Northeast Ohio Residents only
I work as a non-medical holistic companion who guides and supports a dying person in order to facilitate a gentle and tranquil death
I am called to support and recognize the individual needs of the dying person and ensure that they feel loved and supported
Support and guidance is given to the family and loved ones in home funeral preparations and implementation. Children and youth are welcomed into the threshold space and families are offered resources for talking to children and young people about death.
A person has learned much who has learned how to die – German Proverb
If you wish to further discuss conscious dying, a free call is available to you to find out more