"Dignity is not negotiable. Dignity is the honor of the family."
Death is a topic that most people prefer to avoid in everyday conversation. But for death doula Michele Bell, it’s a daily centerpiece in her life journey, one whose stigma she’s working hard to remove by Illuminating the topic that is so often hushed.
For Michele, tucking death into a closet that’s not meant to be opened isn’t an option. She believes that life is precious right up to the very last breath, and those whose lives are ending require compassion, emotional support, and spiritual guidance at a time when it’s most difficult for their loved ones to provide. Drifting into
“As a society, we’re uncomfortable witnessing other people’s emotional pain, particularly as it relates to death,” she explains. “We tend to shy away from conversations about death and with those who are grieving the loss or inevitable loss of someone special to them. We think we do this as a way to give them space and honor their feelings, but in reality, this can feel like abandonment and a lack of compassion.”
Michele first acknowledged her path as a death doula in 1996 when she would volunteer as a hair and makeup artist at the local funeral homes. In 1998, on the eve of her grandmother’s transition she pierced the veil leading her back home. Michele had no words just an a'ha moment during the ascension.
"The most glorious feeling of Unconditional Love. It was not a vision. I transitioned my grandmother to the other side as we drifted into the light"
“All of a sudden, my body felt like melted butter,” Michele recalls. “I was in the most beautiful, serene place I had ever been, and I became aware of many spirits. They surrounded, embraced, and supported my grandmother’s journey with the gentleness, knowledge, and guidance.” It was a moment that brought Michele such peace that she knew it was a gift worth sharing with others who were suffering, but in 1998, she only told one person what happened, Slyvia Brown, world renown medium. Michele knew no one would believe her story so she embarked on this journey internally until recently.
This phrase or label Death Doula didn't exist in the 90's, and now selling courses. It’s not for me to say now ‘I appoint you a doula. but I can assure you, there are no written materials, we are connected by a common thread—serving the dying. And whatever the moniker, I've joined them openly.
"Death is a fearful gaze for many. I feel so grateful to release that fear of the unknown to all I've transitioned through the years. Sometimes I even get to see my loved ones which is such a breathtaking moment."
As a highly intuitive empath, Michele is using this gift to help guide people in their last moments on earth to a point of peace and comfort in crossing over. She also works with their family to help them navigate healthy grieving, something she feels helps their loved one’s memory live on.
“I work with individuals in a very personal, unique, and spiritual manner,” she notes. “I not only want to bring them comfort in their final moments, but also help them to embrace life right up until they're last breath.”
"To the well-organized mind, death is but the next great adventure."
Certified Mindfulness Practitioner Level I, II, III
APA-American Psychological Association
HFA-Hospice Foundation of America
IMPA-International Metaphysical Practitioners Association
EMPA-Energy Medicine Professional Association
'I'm down to earth, I'm easy going. I care deeply. No judgement. My clients range from privileged to survivors of suicide. Relating to young adults, I understand life can be a secret struggle."
New York, New York, United States