Diary of a Soul Midwife, with Mandy Preece

Caring for her mum during her final days inspired Mandy Preece to become a soul midwife. We speak to Mandy about what it means to be a soul midwife and how we all benefit from soul midwifery...

By: The College of Psychic Studies.   Posted

There are two experiences that unite us humans, no matter who we are: birth and death. And while there are plenty of midwifes, or doulas, to assist the birthing process when we enter the world, there is less assistance for the dying process to leave it. One of the most compassionate gifts we can offer a friend or loved one in their final days is to guide and support them through their death. This is what the soul midwife helps those of us at the end of their life achieve. 

Many of us in the full flush of health don't often think of our own death - of course, we are busy with the important work of living! However, we can all agree that we'd opt for a gentle, sweet and graceful death when our time comes. The soul midwife guides the dying through and beyond the veil, while also supporting those loved ones that remain behind in this world. Assisting someone in their final moments, and knowing how to guide them through the process of death, is an essential life skill. It's something that soul midwives know how to do very well, and that we can all learn to be better equipped in supporting our fellow human beings. 

What is a soul midwife?

A soul midwife is a trained holistic carer and guide for someone in the last moments of their life. They offer compassionate support to the dying and those with progressive or life-limiting illness. Mandy Preece is one such soul midwife. She trained with the award-winning Soul Midwives' School and has dedicated her life to assisting those at the end of their life through a peaceful, tender and gentle death.

When asked what inspired her to become a soul midwife, Mandy Preece says: 'When we look through the lens of our lives, sometimes the darkest moments actually instigated the most light. Such was the experience of caring for my mum at home in her final months with cancer. Little did I know then, that her death would be the catalyst for an incredible journey which took me from deep grief to training as a soul midwife. A soul midwife is a holistic end of life practitioner, and we support countless people and their families during their last days. The people I supported became my teachers, each one adding to my knowledge of what it means to be alongside someone. Grief was transformed into compassion.'

Who can become a soul midwife?

Anyone can train to become a soul midwife. Soul midwifery is a calling. If you feel called to serve in this way, if you feel it is in your heart to do this important work, then you can become a soul midwife. 

Mandy says: 'I believe that all of us, equipped with some simple holistic skills, listening insights and understanding of the dying process, can transform care and support at the bedside. We all have the potential to serve as a soul midwife.'

How to become a soul midwife

A first step to becoming a soul midwife is a TLC (Tender Loving Care) workshop. The TLC workshop is created by the Soul Midwives' School to enable anyone to support someone at the end of life with Tender Loving Care. These are valuable skills that enable us to support our loved ones in their final days. The TLC workshop covers topics such as: 

  • Holding a bedside vigil
  • Deep listening skills
  • Supportive gentle touch
  • The sacred wisdom of the four-stages of dying model

Mandy teaches TLC workshops at the College. She says: 'I have years of experience, both personally and professionally, sat at the bedside and as a tutor in hospices and at the Soul Midwives' School. I promise to guide you with honesty through the workshop with support, lightness and even laughter. Whatever your motivation, whether caring for a loved one or from work in healthcare, I would love to spend this day with you at The College of Psychic Studies.'

Mandy shares about the soul midwife TLC workshop:

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As psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, who famously outlined the five stages of grief, so beautifully says: "For me, death is a graduation. All events are blessings given to us to learn from. Watching a peaceful death of a human being reminds us of a falling star; one of a million lights in a vast sky that flares up for a brief moment only to disappear into the endless night forever."

Mandy Preece is a soul midwife, communications trainer and health and environment advisor. Her listening training was awarded the Princess Royal Training Award in 2017 and Mandy is an Alumni member. She was NHS Unsung Hero Volunteer of the Year 2019 and sat on the NHS- Helpforce Steering Committee expanding volunteering within the NHS.She now delivers inspiring talks and training to a huge variety of organisations: from the business sector to the NHS and national charities. Her pro bono work supports many smaller charities. Her book on 'alongside' listening, Being Rock, was published in 2020.

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