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Episode 42: Life and Death -Expansion with Cami Miskin

Updated: 4 days ago

Cami Miskin wearing a black shirt smiling at the camera
Cami Miskin


Welcome to the "Wellness in Every Season" podcast, where we embark on a transformative journey towards achieving total wellness, even in the midst of overwhelming moments. I'm your host, Autumn Carter, and I'm thrilled to have you here.

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Autumn Carter: Hello, welcome Wellness Wanderers. This is episode 42. And today I have Cami Miskin

Autumn Carter: with me and I am going to let her introduce herself.

Cami Miskin: So happy to be on here. I work, I guess as my day job as a clinical psychotherapist colloquially, I'm just a therapist and I got my degree in social work. And so I'm working towards an LCSW, which is a licensed clinical social worker.

Cami Miskin: But on the side, I work as a death doula. And as a quick definition, a death doula is someone who supports those who are dying and their families in a non medical, holistic way. Now that feels very vague, but mostly what I try to focus on is that it's non medical. I don't touch the client or the patient. But I can do anything else. And that's the beautiful part of having a sort of side gig that I am not bound per se by regulations. That prohibit me from using, let's say if I got trained in sound baths, I would be able to come to a home and do a sound bath just to help a person relax or things like that.

Cami Miskin: So it opens the door for me to explore lots of cool ways to support the dying and their family. And A doula is a word that you often hear associated with birth. And so a lot of people are like like that's weird. It isn't just birth doula, like a thing. And I'm like, yeah, totally. And isn't it so cool that we had nine months.

Cami Miskin: To prepare mentally and with our healthcare team and the doula team, if you choose we have nine months to prepare, but we don't often give even close to that amount of time to prepare for our own death and confront our mortality, especially if you have children that your mortality will affect others.

Cami Miskin: Obviously you will, even if you don't have children, but that's where it gets interesting with family systems. And so I draw from my obviously professional ability as a social worker to understand very big systems.

Autumn Carter: Can you explain what a sound bath is for those that don't know?

Cami Miskin: It's especially helpful for those who are very sensitive to stimuli. That could be neurodivergent individuals or people that are able to ground themselves using their senses. We would say that Oh what calms you down? And it is one, the absence of sound that helps people, but also there's a particular.

Cami Miskin: Sound that you love and people have just found abilities to recreate sound that us as a species for some reason our ears really love them. So that could be like a singing bowl that could be very soft bells that could be small gongs that make like a deep reverberation. Also, Sound is vibration. Our body really likes vibration in the same way that if you pick up a baby and pat him on the back and send vibrations through the body, same as if a baby gets to feel your laughter in your belly.

Cami Miskin: We love vibrations. So sand bath mixes. The more powerful vibrations we can find with just, it sounds pretty and it's literally like you're being covered with it. It's a little more on the holistic end. The reason why I bring it up is because I deal with people who are nonverbal, they can't move their bed ridden.

Cami Miskin: So what do they have? They have their five senses. They have to depend on taste, touch, hearing to experience the world through other people who know what they love. And so I'll get into this later, but I talk about envisioning your perfect deathbed and people don't give themselves the chance to do that.

Cami Miskin: Like for me, if I was in a hospital setting, I hope I don't, I hope I die in home, but I hope that someone would know me well enough that if I have to listen to a sports game, the last hours of my life. That would be torture. I don't like sports. But for other people, maybe having a football game on would be like the coolest thing to hear in the world.

Cami Miskin: And so mostly a deaf doula is present. For those who do want a more Like holistic approach to death, but death duelists come into the hospital. And even then they advocate for, Hey, do you think that we can only have that on for a certain time? Or do you think that we can add more of the sounds that this person does love?

Cami Miskin: Hopefully I've been working with them to the point where I do know what they would have wanted. And then I support the actual power of attorney, the medical power of attorney who would make. Decisions for that person oh man it would be best. And I know that they would want to be transferred home.

Cami Miskin: And so things like that are important to know that when you reach the end of your life, I hope that people know what you would want. And so myself I'm only 27 and I am working on finalizing my end of life hopes and dreams. And I'll get into this again later, but that has made me live more presently in my current role. My role has existed throughout time. And anyway, I think that although I call myself a death doula, I think had I been born hundreds of years ago, I would have just been one of those, old ladies that would have taken care of.

Cami Miskin: One more thing, you are part of the death industry, whether you know it or not meaning that when you attend a funeral, you are a part of someone's process. If you choose to see it, it's pretty beautiful, but we don't live in a culture that allows us to.

Autumn Carter: Can you help us visualize, start to finish, what it would look like? When's your ideal time to begin with a client.

Cami Miskin: So if you go on my website, I actually broke it down into categories. Not because you really need to have this explicit answer of when do you need one?

Cami Miskin: You can have one now. My dream is for people my age and younger in their twenties, you would just have to be above 18 to wonder who is going to be your power of attorney, who's going to speak for you. If something happens and you can't speak for yourself, if you're above 18, that is that is a problem that you need to figure out.

Cami Miskin: And I don't know why they're not talking about this as a senior in high school. Hey, you're going to have to pay rent, pay taxes, and you're going to have to document. If you need medical care and you're above 18. They'll go to next of kin. What if you're not close to that person?

Cami Miskin: What if they wouldn't be able to honor your values? The kind of technical answer is if you're above 18, you could use a deaf doula to figure out what exactly you need to stay value aligned if anything medical were to happen to you. And I hope nothing does. But that's where as, soon as you could start.

Cami Miskin: If you want to take it on in your own hands, but if we look at kind of the categories that I made, and so the first category is anticipate. So this is where you need to get your affairs in order and make your wishes known to possibly yourself. Like you don't know what you don't know. So have someone come and answer or ask the really hard questions, but also this is you talking to your family that They are touched by your legacy, and we want to make sure that your death honors your legacy.

Cami Miskin: So this includes creating living will, selecting a power of attorney or a medical proxy. This means that you collect and organize your belongings. We are pretty materialistic, and what in the world is going to be done with all that stuff? And it, you don't want to keep that as a burden for your family, and I want people to start thinking about that.

Cami Miskin: Ooh, boy in like their fifties. If we're thinking of a normal life. Span. I really want that to be a thought as we age of, I'm going to be constantly accumulating more and more stuff. Whose problem is that? It's not going to be mine when I die. I can't take any of that with me. It'll be my family's.

Cami Miskin: And so that's actually a bigger part. There's something called Swedish death cleaning. I don't know what streaming service it's on, but there's actually a show about it where people come in and help people prepare for end of life through cleaning through their items. Very cathartic, very cool. Makes me want to do it even now.

Cami Miskin: There is just. documents that need to get in order especially if you have a lot of assets. You don't want those assets to be well repossessed technically, if you don't do the right documentation with cars, houses properties, rental properties, people really invest their money in cool ways, but if you don't protect it in the event of your death, It's not going to help your family and not be a financial legacy if you're even interested in making those investments.

Cami Miskin: And then my favorite part, actually, this is where I really shine is we discuss end of life plans. I believe that people are allowed to make wishes for their death, because if you think about it, it's the only thing that's completely yours. When you were born, it was half about your mom. When you had a baby, it was half about your baby.

Cami Miskin: When you were married, it's Also about your spouse when you are approaching death. Could you imagine that people have already made peace with it, and they've had a lot of fun making it their biggest party ever? And I'm not saying that it's like a party, but I'm saying, ask for it like you'll get it.

Cami Miskin: If I want to have purple flowers all over me during my last days, I better get it. But I have to wish for it first. I have to know that it's a possibility that I can wish for so many beautiful things to honor my life. And I don't think that our medical system gives people that breath.

Cami Miskin: So that's anticipate. That's all the things that you could do in just the first little category of need. So this is people that are in a state of active dying and maybe they don't have a prognosis that limits their time. Maybe they're just an older couple that wants to make sure they're doing the best for their family.

Cami Miskin: That could also be I don't know very cheeky people, young people like me who want to talk about death and, get their fairs in order even as a young couple. Cause I have a family even between just my husband and me. And so if I have a family that Is enough of a reason for me, but also even if you don't have too many close people, you deserve to think about your death.

Cami Miskin: It's a part of our life. So that's anticipate that's a, and I go through an ABCD model. So the next one is behold kind of cheesy, but just. Bear with me. This is where you have to accept a certain prognosis that signals the decline has begun or that you simply just have a limited time frame. You were supposed to live until you were 94 and now they don't know if you're going to live until you're 65.

Cami Miskin: Even that can be a huge shock. So you need to solidify end of life plans. That means your family knows... exactly what you want. You have family meetings. This is where I come and facilitate an older couple talking to their younger adult children. And you'd be so shocked at who disagrees with the person who's dying.

Cami Miskin: They say no, you can't want that. We want you to live, let's use the example of me talking about the very important document of a DNR. That's a do not resuscitate. That means that if a person's heart stops, you have to have a document that says, do not perform CPR. and put me on a ventilator to keep me living.

Cami Miskin: If my heart stops, just let it stop. Unfortunately, we need a document to make sure that paramedics are legally protected if they stand back and let the death process happen. If their heart has stopped, usually you don't prolong a life.

Cami Miskin: You just prolong a death and We don't usually prolong a life worth living, even if they can live longer, meaning they had to break ribs. They had to do lots of really invasive things to get this person back breathing. And so I don't love DNR people that choose Hey, bring me back only because I don't see them very healthy afterwards.

Cami Miskin: They're suffering more. So that's also kind of part of my purpose is to make sure that people are aware of what they're choosing for their loved ones.

Cami Miskin: So that's an example of what you have to solidify with your adult children. If you're an older couple this is cool. This is where if you're beholding that your time is limited, let's crank the rituals and the memory building up to 10, 10 out of 10 rituals. We don't think about them, but you have rituals all over the place.

Cami Miskin: Yes. They're more easily seen in holidays, but they're everywhere. And they're unique to your culture and your religion and your socioeconomic status . It's just so unique for every family. Let's figure out what those are and crank them up because time is limited. Ritual and legacy building.

Cami Miskin: You have a legacy, whether you like it or not. So you don't have to worry about, do I have a legacy? You do. But do you want to do it purposefully? Do you want to build one yourself? What do you, at the end of your life, when you're laying there, what do you want to be able to review? Regrets are widespread. My experience comes from being a hospice social worker. Even though I'm in private practice now, that's where I found my passion for end of life. And the regrets that people talk about are very sad, are very hard to hear. And so what would limit your regrets? Just live that way. And I know that I'm talking to couples or a dying person that doesn't have much time with their loved one, but it's never too late to live a little bit more aligned with your legacy and your values and what you want people to know you by.

Cami Miskin: And so caregiver support is huge because the person that loves them is also facing a prognosis of limited time with their loved one. And so caregiver support, I usually break off and have a session just with the caregiver to make sure that they're aware, not just that they're going to have to be very compassionate towards themselves more than they have ever been, which is paradoxical because they're now more of a caregiver than they have ever been.

Cami Miskin: And so it's a lot. And people don't get enough help in the caregiver community. So that's a big one. The last one is attending to things unsaid, undone. If I'm dealing with a couple who has an estranged son or daughter and they haven't talked to them in 10 years, now's the time. Let's figure out words unsaid.

Cami Miskin: Let's get that done. Things like that. And I'm cheeky. I ask big questions. I ask, why haven't you done that? Now's the time. Let's do it. Just because not that they haven't wanted to usually people want to live a full and authentic life, but sometimes it takes a person like me to say Hey, I'm never going to sugarcoat this.

Cami Miskin: You're dying. Let's figure out what to do so that your death can align with your life and what you want to see. And, people get jarred, but I'm just like, it's. Life is too short to keep it hidden and I'm halfway done with my ABCD thing, but the next is C. So it's current. And that's the only C word I can find.

Cami Miskin: Current is you're actively dying. And I could talk more about what that looks like because we're not used to seeing it, but death is imminent. You have stopped all disease fighting medical protocol. So meaning if the chemo is making you sicker and your quality of life is almost worse than death, and yes, that's possible if the chemo is no longer healing you and it's only killing you.

Cami Miskin: That is for example, where just palliative care. Meaning like managing pain symptoms while still fighting a disease. That's when it would turn to hospice. Now, hospice has a big misconception. People think that when you go on hospice, that's a death wish. It's almost like you're inviting death to your door.

Cami Miskin: People graduate from hospice all the time. Hospice just means that the focus is purely on no longer disease fighting, but managing the highest quality of life. during this phase. So when you're no longer fighting, we want to still manage symptoms. We want to make sure you're pain free.

Cami Miskin: You also get a hospice social worker, you get possibly a chaplain if you're interested in that where you can address some religious fears or a spiritual distress. You get volunteers who come and sing for you, they bring animals, hospice communities are amazing.

Cami Miskin: Please don't be afraid if your loved one goes on hospice, celebrate. Hospice is beautiful and it's the shining beacon in our healthcare society. Because it's the only thing that's fully funded is totally free. It doesn't matter what your health insurance is, whatever Medicaid, no Medicaid doesn't matter.

Cami Miskin: Hospice is paid for mostly because the government doesn't need you crowding emergency rooms. So they have an incentive there. But I'll take it. I'll take it. I want people to, if they want to, die at home anyway. And so hospice delivers the bed that you might need to die at home.

Cami Miskin: They'll deliver all of the materials, so the family doesn't have to buy them. I understand when people get that huge sense of fear when hospice talk happens. But it truly just means that you'll get a lot of community support and they're gonna die anyway. That's where I get really cheeky.

Cami Miskin: Hospice is either used or not. No one's going to force you to use it and statistics show that people are usually on hospice less than a week, but that they've been sick very sick and near death longer than that. People are just afraid to actually go with it and embrace the death, the dying process.

Cami Miskin: And I'll also point out that only about 20 percent of deaths. are sudden 80 percent have a disease process that takes a long time. It's very slow. It's a lot of doctor's appointments. So why are we going through life thinking that we'll just suddenly die and everyone will take care of whatever we leave?

Cami Miskin: 80 percent of us are going to have a dying process that requires us to acknowledge it and be comfortable with it. It's not realistic for us to think that we'll just suddenly die in our sleep. That's not what happens. And let me just be clear that the difference between palliative care and hospice care is that palliative care. Make sure that your pain symptoms are managed while fighting a disease. hospice, you are no longer fighting the disease.

Cami Miskin: You're just trying to get back to the best quality of life you can so that you can die comfortably. And then also everything is still managed your pain, everything people are most afraid of pain when they're dying. And if you do it right, if you have the right support, you'll never really have to struggle with that.

Cami Miskin: More so it's the emotional distress and that's where I come in. so The next part, the last one is D. You can guess it death. This is post death care. This is it's a scary word, but it's disposition. How do you want your body to be? And I know that we have this negative connotation of the word disposed of.

Cami Miskin: But how do you want your body taken care of? Now, this is very juicy, man. There is green burial, there's eco friendly things that are coming more and more into the death space, and it's becoming legal. If you want to be turned into a fertilizer, you can do that now, in a couple states, and it's very natural, and you decompose, and and they accelerate the process, but imagine being handed back to your loved one.

Cami Miskin: in a bag and your fertilizer that they're going to go put on their rose garden. It's cool. It's really cool. So things are becoming more and more available. It used to be, do you want to be cremated or do you want an open casket and you'll be embalmed? But a death doula also really cares about options.

Cami Miskin: So this is bereavement support, but before that people don't realize that the funeral industry is a business, it's an industry. And so we need them. They are very important in our society. So they're not the enemy, meaning I'm pretty sure they don't try to crook people out of money, but ask for an itemized list of what exactly you're paying for are the things on that list that you don't even want. And you don't actually have to be embalmed in order to have an open casket. People don't know that embalming was invented during the civil war time. So that on the front lines, if someone were to die, they were able to put that body on a train and that train would deliver the body through days and weeks and however long it took to get there back to their family.

Cami Miskin: Very special, very good. That was an incredible invention. The only problem is people saw a way to make money out of that. And so we lost touch in the natural way that a body dies. We really don't need to be pumped full of chemicals if you don't want that.

Cami Miskin: A dead body is not dirty. A dead body doesn't hold any diseases or illnesses or sicknesses. That is the body of your loved one and they deserve to be treated with so much respect. Death dula's also fight to bring back the home funeral where a person is able to not necessarily leave quickly after they die with Literally just ice and a lot of good methods to keep the body cold. It doesn't smell nothing happens to the body that is dangerous.

Cami Miskin: And you can keep the body in your home for several days. Now you have to report that someone has died and the body has to either be kept cold or frozen, cremated or embalmed within 24 hours. That's legal. So you have to notify the city. Some people want to be observed in their natural state before they're buried, and so that would necessitate maybe a home funeral. Your disposition is very important.

Cami Miskin: My job as a death doula is to simply lay out all the options. And tell you, what is available and what aligns with your values? What feels most comfy? Do you want to be buried in a particular place?

Cami Miskin: That has to be written down, that has to be on paper, otherwise your family will just make the best decision they can. And it's an underrated form of love to have these plans written out for your family.

Cami Miskin: The other thing that I want to talk about is the probate process. You are trying to avoid probate. Probate is where legal entities have to become involved. If you did not do the necessary planning to figure out what you want to do with your assets.

Cami Miskin: Now they do that in order to avoid people taking advantage of your Identity, meaning people can steal your social security number and it's actually very sick, but they use dead names, dead identities to commit fraud and it's not a victimless crime. So we have to make sure that legal entities get involved so that no one hurts your assets, but then it even keeps a lock and key on things for family.

Cami Miskin: And so we're trying to avoid probate. And the probate process, obviously it's not like a bad thing. If it happens, sometimes it is needed no matter how much you plan, but that could take up to two years. Could you imagine being in legal back and forth over your loved one for two years? That's on average, how long it takes.

Cami Miskin: So you're trying to grieve. You're trying to mourn. And you have to keep on paying a lawyer to do what.

Autumn Carter: I'm thinking mortgage, you're paying mortgage on a house that maybe nobody's living in. So you can finally then sell the house.

Cami Miskin: Yeah. The bank closes it up so that no one can reach that asset.

Cami Miskin: And it's just sitting there and you don't technically have asset. If you're a loved one that didn't legally get permission to use it or to benefit from it. And Ooh it's big. And I am not a lawyer. So there's things that I just have to promote people reaching out to their professionals, go to your bank, who do you need as a upon death recipient of your money, they won't know who that is until you tell them and no one thinks about that until it's too late until you need to go through a probate process to even get that 500 left in a savings account.

Cami Miskin: It'll be frozen until something happens with it. And then a lawyer. So this is something that I saw rip families apart in the hospice setting, and it was so sad. I didn't, and I couldn't do anything. So that's why I'm preemptive. I'm like, let's get this done. And so the last thing under the D is legacy projects and morning in action.

Cami Miskin: So that means if the family wants to continue using me to help almost be like a project manager to make sure that if there is a request from the dying person for the family to do something special in their honor, I would help with that.

Cami Miskin: For example, and anyone listening to this can start thinking of their own, I'm going to ask the people. To observe me and honor me through a legacy project, and it's very simple. All I ask is that to remember me, they travel to a new place they've never been. They have to infuse themselves into the local culture, whether that be attend a museum, go to a live performance of some sort, they have to give back to the community, meaning that they either give their funds to that cultural thing, or they donate when they're there.

Cami Miskin: And then I want them to give themselves. the area something, and it has to be purple. So I know that sounds weird, but they have to either leave biodegradable flowers somewhere, and it has to be their favorite spot, maybe like a beautiful sunset, or they have to take it with them. The purple represents me, meaning I'm jealous that I can't travel with them.

Cami Miskin: That's what I'm asking my loved ones. And yeah, it sounds like demanding, but I think it's the coolest. And it's a gift that I give. My loved ones because they'll have something to, they'll have a way to channel their grief. I've given them a channel. I say, do this, please to remember me. And if they're in robot mode, meaning that's just what happens when you grieve your own, grief brain.

Cami Miskin: I have heard people say, if only I could just find a way to. Like tangibly remember them and do something in their honor. And they want that grievers want that. So , I don't feel demanding asking that people go on a trip for me. That's an example of a legacy project. And that is my ABCD model.

Autumn Carter: I looked while you're talking and it's peacock for the Swedish death cleaning. And they also have at least one episode on YouTube.

Autumn Carter: I disagree a little bit with the waiting until you're 50 years old because I have four kids. We declutter as the kids are growing out of things and changing things and we don't need to hold on to a lot of stuff. And my grandparents are hoarders. You don't need to hold on to all this stuff.

Cami Miskin: You're so right.

Autumn Carter: It is actually so painful and it extends the grieving process by a lot as they're having to go through your things. And the longer it takes for them to go through your things, the longer the grief process is for them. There's only that 1 percent or less of what they will actually feel good about in remembering you.

Cami Miskin: And then the things that you really want to find? Letters, pictures. It seems that is not something that's even well organized anyway either. Pictures are improperly stored.

Cami Miskin: They're, just it's... Hard, the things that really matter. They never get a space and they're never easily found. So you're so right. Start now.

Autumn Carter: My husband's work paid for us to go and talk to a lawyer and get our stuff in order.

Autumn Carter: And then from there I found forest where you can actually be buried. He wants to be cremated and I want to do the burial shroud. Natural is amazing.

Autumn Carter: And then a friend of ours, we talked about it and she wants to have him turned into a diamond.

Cami Miskin: Yes. Totally

Autumn Carter: You don't have to choose the same as your spouse.

Cami Miskin: No. And think about one lady that I was working with said, I have all this money put aside for this big, general funeral.

Cami Miskin: It usually costs about 6, 000 and that's a deal. If you find a real budget funeral home, I even saying that, but it's just like 6, 000. So could you imagine still putting that money aside, you having a natural burial shroud, which by the way, a really nice shroud, maybe a hundred dollars.

Autumn Carter: It decomposes. You don't need to do all the embalming stuff because it's not good for the environment. There's just, we could go on for days over this.

Cami Miskin: Even cremation takes so much energy and it gives all of that, what, back into the ozone? It doesn't go into the ground. And I found this cool Instagram that they sell cardboard caskets, which doesn't sound very fancy, but The cardboard has printed on the surface like a collage of photos from your life.

Cami Miskin: And there's also wooden caskets that , they're so beautiful. They dedicate their lives to the craft of making beautiful caskets and no, they're not like the things that go in that cement vault that don't allow your body to access the things that break down it naturally. So it's just, it's crazy, but that's amazing.

Autumn Carter: It's like the mummy scene. He's still juicy.

Cami Miskin: Yes. When I attended a week long death doula training and we got to practice shrouding and I didn't even know this person that I was shrouding, but I felt so much love for her. It was so sacred. I got to touch the body. If my loved one was dead, I would want to care for them in their last moments being present around us. And so shrouding is very intimate. It's very beautiful, very biologically aligned with our ancestors and all the things that we used to do with the dying people. And so what I meant to say with this lady is she put this money away and she said, okay I think I want a home funeral.

Cami Miskin: I want to be shrouded. I want to be put in just a very she chose to use a wicker casket, very beautiful hand woven wicker casket. And even that was only about 400. Okay. 5, 600. 5, 600. She worked with a an estate planner that money had stipulations. They could only use it to go on a family cruise. And yeah, she sent all of her kids and her grandkids on a cruise. And this was back in my hospice days, and I wasn't even working as a death doula. But I was like, hey, you don't have to do this.

Cami Miskin: And you can tell that part of my job is to push and usher them, beg them, please be part of this process.

Cami Miskin: I promise it will be uncomfortable, but you will never in a million years regret being at the very most, if you'd like more hands on with the dying process at the very least a witness. And people are not given the support, no one is persuaded to be present for this very hard time. And that is the core of what I'm doing.

Cami Miskin: So that is, that's a big part of my job is to say, you people have been dying forever and believe it or not, mourning is what mammals do. Like we, we know how to do this. We know how to be around death. We just have to remind ourselves that we do.

Cami Miskin: I worked as a chaplain for about eight months for the same hospice company.

Cami Miskin: So I was a hospice worker by day, and I was an on call chaplain by night. I would get up at three again after working a full day as a social worker to go to the same family that I'd just seen and say, I'm the chaplain. It was really funny, but I love spirituality and how it intertwines with death.

Cami Miskin: And so I really loved it. And as a chaplain, that's where I witnessed my deaths. I witnessed 12 and I'll remember each one. And I'll tell you, I could run a marathon with how much energy spiritual fulfillment and just sacred energy that I felt. It was also a very convincing thing when I called my supervisor and I was like, guess what?

Cami Miskin: They died. And she was like, why are you so excited? I'm like, because they died in peace. And it was incredible. And I love this job. And she was like, Oh boy, you found. You found your corner.

Cami Miskin: So please don't be afraid to be a part of it.

Autumn Carter: What came for me each time you were talking is if they know ahead, what to do, it takes out a lot of the emotion and the second guessing, the guilt, the negative emotions that are associated.

Autumn Carter: And you can be at peace knowing this is the next step in the plan. Yeah. And knowing that people are there on every side, like I have chosen this for myself and I chose this when I was in good health. No one forced me to do this. That. They should be coming together. There's a lot less fighting that happens.

Autumn Carter: And I know with your husband and my husband's grandma, that there were some we don't agree with this. Then when she's finally Nope, this is what I want. They came into alignment.

Cami Miskin: Yeah. And aren't we so happy that she had a voice, but some people don't, they feel that their role is to make the rest of their family happy.

Cami Miskin: But that's not the true kindness. That might also be part of the family's suffering if you can never be sure of what you want. And it's okay if you aren't sure, but do what you need to do, have the hard conversations to find it. Do you need a death doula to have a good death? No, but it makes it a whole lot easier because I come and address the full spectrum.

Cami Miskin: It's same as mental health. You can look on YouTube and find all these videos about how to improve your mental health. But having someone say, Hey, I know about the situation. I've thought about your pain. Here's what I suggest. And here's what we're going to do together. Ooh, that feels nice.

Cami Miskin: I don't know. The person on a YouTube video, and even if they tell me the perfect thing to do, connection is what makes me want to change, not information.

Autumn Carter: Tell me your ideal clients and then how people can find you.

Cami Miskin: My ideal clients is usually in the anticipate or behold sections where you either just see yourself needing to get these affairs in order.

Cami Miskin: You can see that there are consequences for when you don't, and you want someone to explain it to you easily and gently and give you a list of boxes to check because it feels very daunting. How do you organize a whole life, and then the behold is you have a prognosis. And even doctors are afraid to give big prognosis time frames.

Cami Miskin: If they're even dancing around oh, you might improve, but maybe not just do it anyway. I get really cheeky here, but I am never not needed meaning like, Oh, you're suddenly healed. Oh man, we shouldn't have done that death doula work. You'll never say that. You will always be grateful that you did death work.

Cami Miskin: Meaning even if you're unsure of whether the prognosis is serious or not, if you know that you have a life limiting illness, contact a death doula. Death doulas are everywhere, so I recommend going on to the National End of Life Doula Association, and they have a database where you can find your doula that's in your state.

Cami Miskin: The cool part about National End of Life Doula Association is they essentially give you a label of proficiency. They say they have had to study and take an hour long test to say that they are people who respect the profession and we're not just hippy dippy people who like to call ourselves death doulas. We have actually gone to trainings. We've done the studying. I invested a lot of money on my death doula education. We know what we're doing and we want to help..

Autumn Carter: Tell us your website and tell us your social media.

Cami Miskin: Channeling I liked that term because I am a certified grief therapist.

Cami Miskin: I work a lot with grief. I am proficient in death doula work, but I didn't want to lean too much into either. So I had to find this kind of beautiful marriage between the two. So essentially think of it as it's going to happen to you anyway, do it on your terms, say, I'm going to choose to channel this expansion in a way that meets my values. That's why I chose the name. Social media is channeling_expansion with a little underscore in the middle.

Cami Miskin: I give a free consultation about what you need, what I can offer you. That will be about 20, 30 minutes and I'll see where you're at. And then in terms of my price, I do things on a sliding scale. And also I have a donation Venmo. It is specifically for funds that I can use to give back to a family in the community that couldn't afford a death doula.

Autumn Carter: Thank you so much for being on here.

Next week, we will embark on a profoundly personal and reflective journey with our upcoming topic: "Caregiving for My Parents – Navigating the Path with Introspection and Support." This thoughtful exploration is tailored to those who find themselves in the role of a caregiver, offering a space for introspection and inner growth. We'll delve into thought-provoking coaching questions designed to guide you through the complexities of this experience, coupled with calming meditation practices that promise to provide a much-needed respite for your mind and soul. This episode is more than just a discussion; it's an invitation to a deeper understanding of your emotions and a journey towards self-awareness in the midst of caregiving. Remember to subscribe, so you're notified as soon as this impactful episode goes live. It's an opportunity to pause, reflect, and embrace the journey with a renewed sense of purpose and support.



Thank you for joining us on this week's refreshing wellness discussion. I'm Autumn Carter, your guide through the seasons of motherhood, and I hope you found inspiration and valuable insights during our time together.

If you resonate with the topics we explored today and want to continue your wellness journey, I invite you to follow me on Instagram at Moms Wellness in Every Season. There, you'll discover a wealth of ongoing wellness tips specifically curated for moms like you.

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If you have a specific topic you'd like us to cover in more detail or if you're interested in a free coaching consultation, don't hesitate to reach out. You can send me a direct message on Instagram or visit my website,, to send an email. I'm here to support you on your wellness journey.

Thank you again for being a part of our vibrant community. I'm genuinely excited to connect with you, hear your stories, and continue this important discussion in the weeks to come.

Until next time, remember to prioritize your well-being, embrace every season with grace, and always strive for wellness in every aspect of your motherhood journey. Take care, and I can't wait to catch up with you soon.




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