“It is possible to take people to a place where they feel they can safely let go of life.”
Fel cwmni theatr cenedlaethol, rydym yn trafod sut y gallwn weithredu fel drych a microsgop ar gyfer ein cyd-ddealltwriaeth. Er mwyn tanio trafodaethau neu esgor ar newid mewn rhyw ffordd. Mae treiddio i’r themâu a’r syniadau sydd wrth galon a chraidd Circle of Fifths wedi agor byd hollol newydd lle gwneir gwaith anhygoel, blaengar a thrawsnewidiol, ac rydym wedi cael ein cymell i archwilio mwy arno.
Mae yna fudiad pwerus, tosturiol ond tawel sy’n anelu at gael gwared â’r stigma sydd ynghlwm wrth alar a marwolaeth. Mae hyn yn sylfaenol i bob un ohonom. A ninnau wedi cael ein cymell gan yr agwedd hon ar newid cymdeithasol, aethom ati i estyn llaw i’r bobl sy’n mynd i’r afael â’r gwaith ymarferol hwn. A dyna pryd y cawsom gyfarfod efo Yen Robinson…
Dechreuodd Yen ar ei siwrnai tuag fynd yn ‘doula’ diwedd oes – neu’n ‘gyfaill mewn marwolaeth’, ys dywed Yen – pan fu farw ei thad. Llwyddodd ei phrofiad i danio awydd ynddi i’w haddysgu ei hun ac eraill er mwyn gallu deall yn well beth yw marwolaeth a pharatoi’n well ar ei gyfer. Felly dechreuodd ddilyn hyfforddiant gyda Living Well Dying Well.
Cred Yen na ddylai neb wynebu marwolaeth a marw ar ei ben ei hun – yn gorfforol nac yn emosiynol. Dilynodd hyfforddiant er mwyn iddi allu arwain pobl i wynebu pethau’n well, a chynnig cefnogaeth i oresgyn yr ofn sy’n cydio mewn pobl pan fo marwolaeth a cholled yn eu hwynebu.
Dyma sgwrs gyfoethog ac ysbrydoledig. Dim ond crafu’r wyneb mae hi, mewn gwirionedd, ond rhaid i bob un ohonom ddechrau yn rhywle…
Beth yw ‘doula’ diwedd oes?
To understand what an end-of-life doula is, it helps to look back in history. We all die but how we die has changed dramatically over the last 60 years. Years ago, it was a family and community affair with occasional medical support, now it is too often medicalised, hidden away from us, old age and dying for the majority taking place in hospitals and residential homes.
When something is hidden away, we develop a fear of it, we have become unfamiliar with what happens as people approach the end of their days. We have lost the language and confidence to be comfortable around death. End-of-life doulas have evolved a non-medical role to bring the skills and knowledge that our forefathers had around death and dying back into our communities. They support and empower people with a terminal diagnosis by walking alongside them and those they love, offering emotional, practical and if wanted, spiritual support.
Sut y mae eich rôl wedi newid eich safbwynt ynglŷn â bywyd a marwolaeth?
Before I undertook my doula training, I was cut and dried around life and death – you lived, died. End of. Too frightening and big to contemplate. How could it be possible that we cease to exist after death?
I feel quite differently now. Of course, the fear hasn’t completely disappeared. Still, being open to talking about death and dying, spending the time to reflect, listen and read widely around the subject, I understand now that we exist as energy. Energy doesn’t disappear but changes from one state to another when something dies.
Sut y mae cerddoriaeth a chreadigrwydd yn helpu eich gwaith?
Hearing is apparently our last sense to go before we die. There is comfort in listening to music and hearing familiar voices. Rites of passage since time began have been accompanied by music, the spoken word, and singing. We can use music to take people back to memories and feelings that emote and bring about relaxation.
When people become unable to move from their surroundings, we realise the importance of their immediate environment, we may bring in colours and textures that soothe to soften the harsh white of the hospital ward perhaps.
As doulas, we work with imagery, guided meditation and visualisation, powerful tools that can bring deep relaxation, and inner peace, and where in experienced hands it is possible to take people to a place where they feel they can safely let go of life.
A ydych yn credu bod agweddau tuag at farwolaeth yn newid?
Yes definitely, although there is still a lot of fear and reluctance to engage in talking and thinking about death. However, there is a growing movement, both in the general population and in some areas of the medical community looking to change the ways we think about death and dying. There has been an upsurge in Death cafés, they can now be found in many towns and cities showing people want to talk about death and dying. The success of the Good Grief Festival and Dying Matters reflect that.
Yn eich tyb chi, beth allwn ni ei wneud fel cymdeithas i deimlo’n fwy cyfforddus wrth siarad am farwolaeth?
Education, and exposure. Bringing the subject into the school curriculum from the early years. Allowing children to attend funerals, to see ‘grannie’ after she died.
Change the scary language we use around death; alter the way it is so often portrayed in the media. The media in all its many guises is so present in our lives, it can give us exposure to things that we would never otherwise experience, let’s use it to get the word out that thinking and talking about death doesn’t make it happen!