Helen Callanan on End of Life Doulas, Preparing the Way and Transitional Awakening on the Reconnected.me Podcast #36

Welcome to episode #36 of the Reconnected.me podcast!

You can listen in on The Wellness Couch here. Feel free to leave a comment at the bottom of the episode to let me know what you think and if there’s anyone you’d like me to bring on the show.

It is also available to listen to and download on iTunes here. Make sure to subscribe so you never miss and episode. I would absolutely love it if you were able to leave a rating and review on iTunes as it helps spread these important messages further and brings awareness to more people.

The podcast is also available through any of the apps in this link.


Guest info: 

Helen Callanan is both a practicing Reiki Teacher and Practitioner, End of Life Doula and the founder and educator of Preparing the Way which presents the End of Life Doula and Reiki Training.

Initially training and practicing in Traditional Chinese Medicine & body work along with almost 30 years direct experience working and being with people who are healing, the very ill and the dying in both public and private palliative/hospice situations provides Helen with a wealth of practical experience.

This includes over 30 years as a professional Reiki II practitioner and 20 years teaching Reiki ~ all providing Helen with insight into health and healing, including end-of-life, mental/emotional and spiritual development.

Helen is an advocate for ongoing personal and professional development in her own practice as an End of Life Doula and of those she teaches.  To that end, Helen has pursued ongoing professional training in Medical Terminology, Grief and Loss Counselling, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Death Midwifery with Michael & Anne Barbato, Digging Deeper (6 day live in intensive training with Natural Grace holistic Funeral Directors), various online study in end of life work and support.

Helen has recently joined the Executive Committee of the Natural Death Advocacy Network here in Australia and is a champion and advocate for family led end of life care and choices for all people at end of life.  Death Literacy is also close to her heart and in 2017 Helen partnered with The GroundSwell Project in hosting the largest ever single Dying2KnowDay@FedSquare in Melbourne.

In addition, for several years during that time Helen was working with a global personal development organisation as a leader, coach and manager which has fueled Helen’s passion for education and making a difference in the world.

Helen has also been studying with a Meditation Master teacher for many years and regularly goes to America to deepen her studies and volunteer at a private not-for-profit Animal Rescue Sanctuary inside her passionate commitment to animal welfare and conservation.


Show description: 

This week’s guest is the wonderful Helen Callanan from Preparing the Way.

You may have heard of birth doulas, especially if you have listened to a recent episode of the show… But what about an end of life doula??

Death and the end of life are not commonly prepared for in our society, and seem to be associated with fear and uncertainty. These life transitions are a very sacred and significant time, and thankfully, end of life doulas offer an incredible support system for families and those transitioning through the end of life.

This was such a wonderful, insightful and interesting conversation that I enjoyed so much!

Here’s what we discussed:

  • End of life doulas – What are they? What are the benefits?
  • What it looks like to have a doula working with families to prepare the way for an end of life transition
  • The perception of death in our society
  • End of life transitions and spiritual awakening
  • Reiki Healing
  • So much more!


Noteworthy Quotes from Helen:

On the perception of death in society and what’s necessary to prepare for the large number of baby boomers and the next wave of death:

“My grandparents, and their parents, took care of their dying and their dead at home. That’s what they did. That’s how death was done. In our communities, death has to go back into our homes. It has to go back into our communities. And we have to be up-skilled, we have to learn this art again of taking care of our own, and those in our community, and those in our street and our neighbourhoods.”

On death and spiritual awakening:

“I’ve seen so many things, so many times, that show me that there is way more to this life than what happens between that first breath and that last breath. I’ve seen things and experienced things after death that are almost inexplicable. To me it’s the body that gets born, and it’s the body that dies. Not the being, the consciousness that dwells within. That consciousness changes its shift, rather than ends.”


Find Helen at:

Mentioned in the Show:

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