The Death Doula

From time to time we’ll be profiling women with unique, odd, fun or otherwise interesting jobs.  First up is Heather Leigh, who shares how she makes a living as a cemeterian, death doula, celebrant, grief recovery specialist and educator.

Briefly describe your job:

I help families understand the end-of-life process and provide a safe space for them to grieve while demystifying funeral and cemetery products and services.

Why did you choose this profession?

The profession chose me. As a child, I accompanied my mom on her genealogy adventures through cemeteries in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia and Maryland. Cemeteries are rich with history. They add value to our communities as sacred places to pay homage to and remember the lives of our ancestors and others who helped shape our world.

What tool do you keep with you at all times?  

My tools are listening without judgement and guiding the brokenhearted.

Who benefits most from what you do?

Anyone who is experiencing a life event that has left them emotionally raw. It may be someone recently diagnosed with a terminal disease, a caregiver frustrated by the impact of Alzheimer’s, a couple following the tragic death of a child, or a spouse grieving the loss of a lifelong partner.

To learn more about Heather and her business, visit and

4 thoughts on “The Death Doula

  1. Thank you for what you do for grieving families. It takes a special person to do what you do. Do you feel the pain of the people you are working with? How do you manage your wellbeing?

    1. Hi Michele,
      Anyone who is a caregiver or a helper must have a self-care plan and take it seriously. Many individuals jeopardize their own health because of circumstances and I help them create a plan of action.
      Yes, I have challenging times. I make sure to acknowledge my emotions and pick a self-care activity to engage in.
      Email me for more information and resources.

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