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Learn @ Lakewood

What is a Death Doula? Panel and Discussion

September 9 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Lakewood Cemetery
Free | Please register in advance
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About this event

The end-of-life journey, and how we view and prepare for it, is shifting. With this shift comes a need for support in the transition from life to death. In this event, we will explore the role of a death doula from professionals in the field, with a variety of backgrounds and experience.

Our hope is that you’ll walk away from this event with a better understanding of what a death doula is, and how they can provide support while navigating the uncharted waters of dying and death. There will be an information panel discussion, followed by an opportunity to ask questions.

Get to know our panelists

Anne Murphy is a Celebrant, Home Vigil Guide and Death Educator. Bringing ceremonies to life with a hands-on approach to death. Acknowledging the thresholds of life requires deep listening, gentle support, and practical information. With almost a decade of working as a celebrant, death educator and home vigil guide,  Anne offers her presence, guidance, and expertise to discover how to make meaning through thoughtful conversations, sincerity, and creativity. Anne is the Co-Founder of Minnesota Death Collaborative,  served as a board member on the National Home Funeral Alliance and continues to volunteer for the National End of Life Doula Association, Crescent Cove and the Land Conservation Natural Burial group .  Learn more at

Michelle Kolling is a trained end of life doula and founder of HELD– While serving as a caregiver to her husband during the end of his life, she came to understand the transformational possibilities that exist when being deeply present in the experience. The subsequent years became a study of grief, death and dying and eventual formal training as a death doula. In her work, Michelle seeks to empower the dying person to create the life they want until the last breath, ease the burden of caregivers finding space for them to simply love their person, and to help create a safe and sacred space for all to enter. Michelle is a member of INELDA, NEDA, a board member at Rein in Sarcoma and is newly appointed to the Minnesota Death Collaborative Steering Committee. She is also pursuing certification

Nina Guertin is a trained End of Life / Death Doula, a Certified Interfaith Spiritual Director, a Grief Support Specialist, Death Educator, Ritualist / Celebrant, and a Ceramics Artist. Nina has more than twenty years’ experience in clay work and facilitates Healing HeART Experiences with clay in her studio in NE Minneapolis. She also offers one-on-one Spiritual Direction, Group Spiritual Direction, Retreats, and End of Life Webinars.

Susan Lawrence is a trained end-of-life doula with Adeste LLC, an Advance Care Planning Facilitator with Honoring Choices Minnesota, hospice volunteer with Grace Hospice, and a founding member of the Minnesota Death Collaborative.  After decades in the medical field, she took a position with a large hospice – it was then that her passion for end-of-life work  took hold. Susan views her doula role as one of service and support to the dying person, family, and caregivers.

Wendy Longacre Brown is a trained and certified End of Life Doula and Life Legacy Creator. Through providing emotional, education, and spiritual support, as well as creating Life Legacy projects, she works with individuals to honor their paths, today or at the end of life. Wendy has gained insightful perspective through her work directly with families and loved ones in the Twin Cities, as well as through the Fairview Hospice, Our Lady of Peace and N.C. Little Hospice. Wendy currently serves as the Membership Coordinator and one of the founding members of the Minnesota Death Collaborative. She also spent many years as a blog writer for Brown Ink, creating awareness to the importance of the written word—a foundation for her passion towards Legacy Projects. You can find more information regarding her services at as well as other resources.

The Lakewood Garden Mausoleum

This event will take place in the upper level reception space of our beautiful Garden Mausoleum. Signs will be posted directing you to the event location or click here for GPS navigation through Google Maps.

Lakewood Heritage Foundation

This event is free however we invite you to make a donation to the Lakewood Heritage Foundation. Donations to the Lakewood Heritage Foundation support educational programming and the preservation and restoration of Lakewood’s landscape, art, architecture and public spaces—for the benefit of all.

Questions? Call the Lakewood events line at 612-540-5165 or email to

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