This Angel of Death is surprisingly upbeat.
“I know death is sad, but what’s wrong with dying?” Shelby Kirillin says, green eyes alight. “It’s OK. We’re all going to do it.”
Kirillin is a death doula — someone who guides the dying, and their families, through the end of life.
“You have written so many amazing chapters,” she tells her clients. “Write your last chapter. Put an exclamation point at the end! Make it end in a crescendo. So many people, I feel like, choose death because it’s just better than the hell that they’re living.”
In 18 years as an ICU nurse specializing in neuroscience, Kirillin witnessed too many bad deaths. She heard frantic families ask for every procedure possible in order to prolong life, instead of easing their loved one’s passing. She saw doctors who advocated continuing medical intervention, even when it was obvious that nothing more could be done.
So she got involved... (From The Richmond Magazine article)