“Today, we’re going to talk about death and it might be uncomfortable and it might be hard, but I promise we are also going to have a lot of fun,” Aula Arthur tries to calm her class of elderly people, who seemed nervous that they would be having a discussion about their death.
It is rare to see people gather and talk about their death, let alone how they would want to be buried but Aula is De-mystifying that subject.
Aula is a Death Doula- somebody who helps a person who is dying plan for their death and supports their family through the death. She talks to people about their death and their options of being buried.
“I love life and that’s why I’m drawn to working in death. From working in death, I’ve learnt that life is so precious, and even the pain is as pleasant as the joy. ” she said, talking about her love for her job.
Aula tells Refinery29 that the biggest misconception about her job is that it is sad and heavy.
Aula’s job goes beyond helping a person who is dying to plan their death and burial, she helps them to go through their life, look back on the past and count their blessings of being alive at the moment, while giving support to them at any point they need it.
She also helps those who are scared of dying to confront their fears by seeing what the discomfort is, so that they can talk and process it.
“I’m not comfortable with other human suffering, if there’s something I can do about it. We suffer alone a lot and I don’t think that we have to suffer alone,” Aula tells a client who wanted to know why she went in the direction of what she’s doing.
Aula wants people to know that death is as human as being born and giving birth.
“We’re born, we die. Let’s do both in ways that honour us, and honour mankind, and honour each other.”
When Aula’s brother in-law was diagnosed with Burkitt lymphoma and was terminal, she was with his family for two months, providing support and his medication and that experience gave her an insight into how we can do better with people that are dying.
To her, death can bring joy rather than the usual sadness associated with it.