Your Death Professional
I’m a native Angelean who’s parlayed a career in fashion and commercial casting, my passion for political activism, and my degree in sociology into working as a death doula.
Death work ties together all the parts of my life beautifully. And it’s something I’ve known how to do intuitively since I can remember.
Bringing out the best in people. Being their advocate. Showing compassion. Talking about the hard things.
My approach to end-of-life care
I think people are beautiful. That’s why I do what I do.
It probably helps that I’m ok with death and I always have been. I’m not afraid of it.
I always joke that I’m terrified when my friends have babies. I have no idea what to do. Am I going to break the baby? Wake up the parents?
But death, that I can do.
I know how to sit there with you and figure out what needs to be done. Got a sink full of dishes, I’m on it. Mostly, I’m good at figuring out what it is you need.
Like I can tell if you need to be the one doing your dishes because, hey, that’s your quiet time for processing your grief. I get it. I’m paying attention.
So, what’s my approach? To do the work. And to do it with love and compassion and all my heart.
Here’s what you can expect from me:
– Hard work
– High Standards
I believe in the safety of routine and I’m not afraid of taking risks.
I work well with others (hospice, family, friends, caregivers) and find great joy in being part of another’s path.
I’m a plain speaker, a great listener, and most of all…
I’m here for you!
I’ve trained with the best
My Doula Training
There is no actual certification or accreditation for becoming a death doula. But, of course, people have been caring for each other during the dying process for thousands of years. And, as is the case with most ancient roles, death doulas teach each other. These are my teachers:
- Nine Keys Death Midwife Apprenticeship with Narinder Elizabeth Bazen (March 2022)
- Death Wives Death School with Erin Merelli and Lauren Carroll (December 2021)
- Grief Work for Death Workers with Joanne Zerdy and Will Daddario (February 2022)
- Diaspora Death Doulas with Old School Bruja taught by Awo Faleyewa Harris (February 2022)
- Evolve Apprenticeship by Going with Grace with Tracey Walker and Alua Arthur (June 2022)
- Aid in Dying Training for End-of-Life Doulas and Bedside Attendants by the American Clinicians Academy on Medical Aid in Dying (May 2022)
My training took me on my own spiritual journey through death and death care. We covered what it takes to be able to hold that much pain and what it takes to be calm and centered inside of so much grief. It was intense and I’m immensely grateful.
When my mother passed I was facing an unexpected storm head-on. I didn’t know what kind of support or help was needed. Who does at that moment?!
We have wedding planners but what about someone to navigate the delicate nature of the passing of our loved ones?
Tolley was respectful and made herself available when it mattered. She offered services and capabilities that one’s grieving mind simply cannot comprehend.
She was compassionate and understanding of the complexities of this difficult life transition due in large part to her innate intuition with people.
I appreciate Tolley being the rock I could lean up against and weather that storm. I would highly recommend her for anyone in need of help to navigate the loss of a loved one.