Dragonfly Collective
Death Midwifery



We skillfully assist people to talk about what matters and clarify needs at the end of life .

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The Dragonfly Collective is dedicated to offering tailor-made, person and family-directed support to people at end of life.

As a Death Midwife, I assist people to talk about what matters and clarify what they want and need at the end of life and help them to figure out how they can achieve their goals.

The pace and direction of any of the steps taken at the end of life are defined by the person and their family and/or loved ones. As a Death Midwife I am there to offer practical assistance and guidance to the person and their family and/or loved ones in making plans and carrying them out.

My practice is committed to fostering the resilience of people’s family and/or loved ones throughout the journey. I support them to not only find ways to address the needs of the dying person but also to take loving care of themselves throughout the dying process and beyond.

Dragonfly Collective

Online Support for
End of Life

Key Decision Making and Navigating the System

  • To assist the person to the extent possible, and for as long as possible, to be in charge of key decision-making related to his/her care and treatment while in the process of dying.

  • To assist the person to meaningfully engage others in the process of supportive decision-making at end-of-life so that his/her family and/or loved ones feel connected to the process to the extent possible and are strengthened and made more resilient by the process.

  • To assist the person to keep everyone abreast of the his/her wishes, vision and treatment preferences as well as the implications and expected consequences of particular decisions. This happens in a number of ways including more formal Family meetings.

  • To help the person to understand what decisions are within or outside of his/her purview and to cope with and accept those things that as part of the “system” are outside his/her power to change.

  • To help the person to clarify care options and navigate the system. To help by working as part of the overall interdisciplinary “care team” however that appears throughout the process. i.e Palliative team, Longterm Care team, Hospice Team.

  • To assist the person to speak about what matters to them so that they can be heard by loved ones and so that they can clarify and resolve that which is getting in the way of relationships and making good decisions.

  • To assist family and/or loved ones consider what is required of them as caregivers in each phase of the death process and how to take care of themselves. 

  • Helping to mediate difficult conversations between the person, their family, friends and/or loved ones when invited to do so.

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Support to family and/or loved ones when a loved one dies

Grief and Bereavement Support

After losing a loved one, I can offer support to help you further explore your experience of loss and grief and assist you as you move through your re-imagining of what this means in the here and now.

These sessions can also involve other family members if you believe it would be beneficial.

Funeral Ceremony or Celebration of Life Ceremony
  • Assisting people in advance of death and/or assisting their family and or loved ones to consider upon death what they want to create in terms of some kind of ceremony or ritual that they would find meaningful and satisfying as survivors.
  • Helping people to research and negotiate services. Including helping them meet in advance of death to negotiate with funeral homes, crematoriums, shroud makers, cemeteries where necessary or assist the family and/or loved ones to do so in advance or upon death.
  • Assisting as Celebrant to design and lead the ceremony and help to carry the various rituals alongside family and/or loved ones.
  • Helping people find ways in advance to offer something to the ceremony through writing or videos or readings…
Death Midwife: Home 3

About Judith

I have been practising as a Death Midwife and Educator in Toronto and the GTA since 2007. I am the founder of Dragonfly Collective for Death Midwifery I am the proud mother of two adult daughters.

I have taken training at the Institute of Traditional Medicine-in Contemplative End of Life Care in Toronto, courses with Jerri-Grace Lyons as a Home Funeral Guide. I have also taken the International End of Life Doula Association (INELDA) course. As an Adult Educator, I have taught courses on Planning in Advance of Death and offered several retreats on contemplating your own death and the death of loved ones. I have been engaged meaningfully with Community Deathcare Ontario and Community Deathcare Canada.

My background includes extensive work with families and learned how to help people talk about what truly matters to them during life transitions, through her work, over thirty years, within the disability movement.

I am currently the Executive Director and co-founder of Families for a Secure Future, that has been in existence for 20 years.  This is a multi-region, Independent Facilitation and Planning organization, serving persons who have a developmental disability and their families, to facilitate change and re-imagine their lives. I have offered coaching conversations with a biographical and narrative focus to parents and people working in the field for many years.

My background includes extensive work over the past thirty years with families who have a loved one with a disability. Working with these families I have learned how to help them talk about what truly matters to them during complex life transitions, so that they can take concerted action and create a richer, more meaningful life together.

I have a Masters degree in Social Policy and Environmental Studies from York University and a Certificate in Mindfulness from University of Toronto.

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