Marley. Los Angeles, USA

I’m a practising death doula. I help people to feel peaceful when they die.

 

The main thing for me is to not let myself get overflowed by emotionally supporting other people. It happens to a lot of women. It’s happened to me. 

 

This kind of stems from my mother, a Thai and Chinese woman who moved to America in her thirties and didn’t speak English at all. She was thrown into just being a nanny and has actually been a nanny my whole life. So, my mother is the kind of person who just serves everybody all the time …What can I do? How can I help? 

 

I noticed that wasn’t really working for me, like my equilibrium was really kind of knocked off. 

 

I like to nurture myself.  All my rituals - floral design and yoga - really keep me restored. 

 

Growing up in America as a mixed race person, was really really challenging for me. I don’t just think it. I know it.

I always just felt a little bit uglier and it just was like this thing that I couldn’t really put my finger on then. I just knew that, in school, if there was a guy who had a crush on like four girls I would be the last of the four. 

 

I’ve felt deep depression and grief and despair and despondency and stagnation and I’ve learned to just allow for periods of deep dwelling in it. It is undigested grief. I’m not afraid of the deep dark murky stuff anymore, because it’s almost like a gift to get to go there, because it’s just building up my compassion and capability. For me it’s a great thing to cultivate.

 

I didn’t start feeling it was okay to be proud of what I am until literally like four years ago. And not even talking proud in the sense of pride but just to truly love what I came from.