Death and grieving was something I was introduced to at a very young age. I saw my first dead body when I was almost 5 years old. On February 17, 2000, My father passed away from a short battle with cancer. Of course I felt the effects of his death when he died and at the funeral, which I remember very vividly. Almost 20 years later his absence still has a major ripple effect in my life. I don’t think I’ll ever stop grieving. I’ve learned to accept that and be okay with that.
With all of that being said, I’ve always felt a connection with death. It’s something I’ve never been afraid of or afraid to talk about. I’ve always had so many questions and curiosities about death, the afterlife, and our legacies. The paranormal also intrigues me because my own overwhelming spiritual experiences. Growing up, I was kind of the “weird” kids, because of my interests with things of a darker and grotesque nature, which I now embrace.
When I started college back in 2013, I was going to school to be a teacher. After securing a teacher’s assistant job and working a little over a year, I realized that it wasn’t for me. At that point, I decided to drop out of college completely and began tapping more into my musical creativity. I started taking my music more seriously, and ended up getting signed with an indie label (Biblioteka Records) in Toronto, CA. Still something was missing. Music was my life and my baby but I wanted to dig deeper into what I felt my purpose on this earth is. This lead me to the death care industry.
During lunch with a good friend of mine, I shared that I wanted to go back to school to become a mortician because I felt like it aligned with many of my experiences. She recommended that I also look into becoming a death doula. I had never heard of such a thing or job but once she explained it to me it just instantly CLICKED. My soul knew instantly that this is what I’m supposed to do.
I still plan on attending school to become a mortician, however I want to be a spiritual and holistic companion/support to individuals that are dying and their families whom are dealing with grief. My mission is to help those that are transitioning from this life to the next one to have the most comfortable and peaceful experience possible. To be completely honest, I wish I had someone like this to help me and be there for me during my darkest times. I’ve looked into some online death doula certification programs, and have decided to go with Quality of Life- School of Accompanying the Dying.
I can’t wait to get my certification. I also look forward to enrolling in school to obtain my mortuary science degrees. With my certification, I plan on opening a private practice for death doulas. I’m so excited about starting this chapter of my life and walking further into my purpose.
Taja Nicholle is a singer/songwriter/producer and spiritualist from Buffalo, NY now residing in Atlanta, GA. Taja is currently taking online introductory death doula training with the EOL School of Accompanying the Dying, and plans on going back to school for Mortuary Science at Gupton-Jones School Mortuary College in Decatur, GA.
Joél Simone Anthony, also known as ‘The Grave Woman,’ is a licensed funeral director and embalmer. She is dedicated to eliminating misconceptions about post-life preparation while stimulating an open, honest and straight forward discussion about death. You can submit your comments, questions and requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or by using our contact page.