Sussex County’s first death doula service now available

New provider helps the dying tell the story of their lives
April 18, 2021

Every life has a story to tell.

When you’re gone, what will yours say? Now, there’s help with that.

In late 2020, I established Story | End of Life Doula, lower Delaware’s first end-of-life doula business to address the needs of those actively dying.

I want to help you write the story of your life.

What exactly is a so-called death doula? I’m not crazy about the term. I prefer end-of-life doula as a descriptor for someone who works with a dying person, family, friends and caregivers in the last months or days of life. The goal is to support the emotional, spiritual and physical needs of those involved, and to provide information to help understand the nature of the dying process.

Unlike hospice care, end-of-life doula service does not provide medical advice nor administer medicine. As well, end-of-life doulas do not have institutional restrictions and are more readily available for bedside assistance.

A death doula’s work is mostly to be present and be of service to the dying. This is often called holding space for someone.

Story | End of Life Doula will offer to hold the space, and more. I work with the dying to determine how they want the last days of life to look, sound and feel. This could mean determining how friends and family will celebrate their life through vigil, legacy projects and even short memoirs.

A doula is nonjudgmental. I support the dying without prejudice. I’m not there to convert people or push a specific spiritual agenda. My job is to honor their beliefs about death, the afterlife and that sort of thing.

Doulas can help the elderly, the terminally ill, those grieving, those facing the loss of a pet or other beloved animal, and especially those looking to practically plan for how they want their story told.

I am the owner, operator and sole proprietor of Story | End of Life Doula. I live in Millsboro with my wife Dyan, a human resources executive, and our two poodle-mix dogs, Hemingway Short Story and Professor Leo Tolstoy.

Anthony Connolly holds a doctorate in English. He is the author of six books including a poetry collection, “Psalms & Stones,” which came out in 2019, and a novella, “The Smallest Universe,” to be published this spring. He writes full time and conducts doula services when requested. For more information, go to or email


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