For World Doula Week (March 22 to March 28), we’re highlighting doulas doing the work. For our second interview, we’re chatting with Emily Cross, a death doula and artist. As a death doula and musician, Emily shares some of her thought on the field and what she’s trying to do within the birth world.
Meet Emily Cross of Steady Waves End of Life Services (she/her).
Emily Cross is an end-of-life doula, musician and artist living in Austin, Texas. After graduating from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where her visual artwork centered around mortality and loss, she moved to Austin and quickly became integrated within the arts and music scene. In 2015 she decided to pursue a career serving the dying, and earned professional certifications from the University of Vermont and from Quality of Life Care. She established Steady Waves End of Life Services in 2017 and brings her unique set of skills to her work with the dying and their families.
1.) How would you define the term doula?
A person who serves and holds space for those in need.
2.) How would you describe the kind of doula work you do?
I serve the dying and their families by offering practical and emotional support.
3.) What stigmas do you think need to be shattered within the doula/birth world (or outside of it)?
That it’s only women’s work!
4.) What are you currently working on within your practice as a doula?
I am working on educating my community as well as hosting living funeral ceremonies. The living funeral is an experiential ‘workshop’ all about the visualization of one’s own mortality. It is intended to spur reflection and appreciation of life.
5.) Do you have any words of encouragement or advice for fellow doulas?
Follow your heart and educate whenever given the chance. You are leading the way!
Curious about becoming a doula?
We’re currently celebrating World Doula Week at DTI and you can tune into our Instagram stories at @doulatrainingsint to get daily takeovers and interviews from doulas doing the work (we’re also running a giveaway!). You can also learn more about the programs we offer and how to begin training with DTI here.
Keep up with Emily’s work at @steady_waves_eol.