What is a death doula and how can they be vital partners in helping people come to terms with their imminent deaths? How do we grapple with collective traumas and grief in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic? In this episode of The Distillery, we talk with the Rev. Jamie Eaddy Chism, the director of program development for the International End of Life Doula Association and 2015 fellow of the Black Theology and Leadership Institute at Princeton Theological Seminary, about her work as a certified trauma professional and death counselor as she shares how she journeys with those dealing with death, grief, and learning to live with loss.
The Rev. Jamie Eaddy Chism, DMin, CT, CTP, the CEO of Thoughtful Transitions, is an ordained minister, death doula, and educator, and serves as the director of program development at the International End of Life Doula Association. Deeply committed to challenging the societal norms that make death a forbidden topic for so many people, Eaddy Chism helps cultivate sacred spaces for exploring our mortality. Her work with loss does not center solely on the end of life. Instead, she helps people navigate all kinds of loss, including losing a relationship, identity, normalcy, dreams, hope, etc. Providing trauma-informed care and dismantling a system that disregards Black life, silences Black grief, and ignores Black death and shames the Black griever is her life's passion.
Eaddy Chism earned a Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis in Transformative Leadership and Prophetic Preaching from the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School and a Master of Divinity degree from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. She is a clinically trained chaplain, a certified trauma professional, and holds certification in Thanatology (death, dying, and bereavement), from the Association of Death Education and Counseling (ADEC). She believes in therapy, that ALL Black Lives Matter, and that a conversation with a good friend can save your life. She enjoys art, reading, traveling, 90's hip-hop and R&B, poetry, and pink lipstick.