End of Life Support

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Tonya Reed provides conscious, compassionate end-of-life support every step of the way

End-of-Life Midwife Support

Preparing To Die: It Is Never Too Soon

Preparing to die can be daunting, particularly, in Western culture where we are taught to fear death. In reality, death is a part of life. None of us gets out of here alive. For these reasons, every person—particularly persons over the age of 50, and/or persons with a life-threatening illness— but anyone, of any age can make such plans, even if you change your desires and plans at a later point in life. In essence, everyone should prepare to die since dying is an inevitable part of life.

Tonya Reed can offer spiritual support, and suggestions for organizing your affairs related to the final hours of your life, whenever this might occur.

What does it mean to “prepare to die?” This process involves making sure your desires are written down, documented in some way. It also involves creating and maintaining Advanced Directives so that persons who are left behind to care for your remains and affairs are clear about what to do.

At the time of your death, your loved ones will be burdened with grief. Making decisions related to your remains and affairs is an extra-added burden that can be alleviated if you will prepare to die.

If you have loved ones—parents, grandparents, or others—well into their senior years of age? Talking to them about their transitional plans, and possibly helping them write down their desires, via wills, trusts, and advanced directives can alleviate major stresses during those hours after your loved ones have made their transition, when you might also feel overwhelmed by grief. If you have not been made aware of the transitional plans of your senior or ailing loved ones? Talk to them. Find out what their desires are, and encourage them to make key people aware of where and how to locate the plans they have decided upon.

Again, these plans can consist of merely writing down desires and maintaining preferences by way of either formal wills and trusts, or other written down desires and directives that are maintained in a safe, and easily assessable place.

It is very important for you to talk to your loved ones about your desires, and their desires, after death, and to notify key people as to the location of the paperwork related to your transitional desires. Death is a part of life that we all know is inevitable, and yet, because of our cultural socialization to fear, or “put off” matters related to death, numerous people die every day without having their affairs in order. This places an extra burden on the family, or other loved ones who are left behind to care for your remains.

Preparing to die is end-of-life process that can alleviate extra burdens from your loved ones at the time of your death, regardless of when it transpires. Talk about death. If your affairs are not in order, consult with others who can support you in taking the necessary steps to do so. Tonya Reed can provide spiritual, mental, emotional support while you are in the process of placing your end-of-life affairs in order.

Preparing to die enables you to live more freely. Knowing that your intentions will be carried out with grace and ease, and that the stresses of caring for your affairs and remains will be minimized for your loved ones is a natural process of life. This process enables you to live more freely and possibly, for your soul or consciousness to rest more peacefully after your last breath.


The Neuroscience of Death

Robba (2019) indicates that the neurological criteria for death is “an irreversible sequence of events culminating in permanent cessation of cerebral functions.” This means that there are no responses arising from the brain, no cranial nerve reflexes nor motor responses to pain stimuli, and no respiratory drive.

Still, scientific research, including various schools of neuroscience, supports notions that consciousness lives on, even after the brain has died.

Tonya offers prayer vigils and ceremonies for the deceased that serve to assist the soul—which is the seat of consciousness —to rest in peace after the spirit of the deceased has left the body.



Kandel, E., Schwartz J., Jessell, T., Siegelbaum, S., and Hudspeth, A. (2012). Principles of Neural Science. McGraw Hill.

Robba, C., Iaquaniello, C., & Citerio, G. (2019). Death by neurologic criteria: pathophysiology, definition, diagnostic criteria and tests. Minerva anestesiologica, 85(7), 774–781. https://doi.org/10.23736/S0375-9393.19.13338-X


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