Practitioners

Our individual care providers weave a wide web of expertise as death doulas, educators, counselors, home funeral guides, ceremonialists, grief specialists, infant and pregnancy loss doulas, massage therapists, and more.

Death Doula Ottawa provides support from diagnosis to death through knowledge of the dying process, by offering loving care, a listening ear, heartfelt dialogue and counsel with a human touch. Their doulas are trained to support you by sharing their knowledge on the process and experience of dying, based on current and traditional practices.


As a Death Doula, Debbie combines her abilities, knowledge, and experience to guide those who wish to explore and engage with the cycle of life, dying and death. A graduate of the Contemplative End of Life Care Program of the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Toronto, as well as the Algonquin College Palliative Care Certificate program in Ottawa, Debbie weaves formal education with hands-on experience garnered over three years of volunteering in hospice. She also has extensive studies in global shamanic and wisdom practices, including certification as an Archetypal Consultant through the Sacred Contract Program at CMED Institute. Her services include practical as well as heart-centered end of life conversations, meditative work, and other wisdom and energetic processes. Just as each person’s journey is unique, so is the environment that is co-created to meet the needs of the individuals involved.


Carole L. Trepanier of “The Death of Me” is an animist ritualist and global transition consultant who specializes in endings and awakenings. A small-town Franco-Ontarienne trained in Indigenous community care and counselling, Carole worked for over 20 years in community/international development engaged in holistic community care and transition/loss work (colonization, food security, climate change, globalization, natural disasters, pandemics, poverty, human rights) around the world. Profound life initiations sparked a return to direct Spirit engagement, deep explorations of transition through traditional ceremony/practice, Ancestral lineage healing, focused ritual training, and a renewed service to all Life. Carole’s ritual offerings include energy healing, light trance journeys, trauma/grief work, unburdening ritual, spiritual death planning, death rites, psychopomp, home funerals, Ancestral Lineage Healing, Spirit engagement, and Earth transition/Earth-honouring ceremony.


As a death doula, community deathcare advocate, and hospice volunteer, Erin Bidlake’s work is grounded in the belief that greater intimacy with death awakens greater intimacy with life. She graduated from the Beyond Yonder Virtual School for Community Deathcaring in 2018 and went on to complete a graduate diploma in Supportive Care and Spirituality in Palliation from Saint Paul University in 2021. Erin is currently training to become a registered psychotherapist through Saint Paul University’s MA in Counselling and Spirituality program, with specializations in grief and end-of-life concerns.



Kelly Butler (BScN, MHScC) has been accompanying the dying and advocating for change for three decades. A graduate of Orphan Wisdom School, certified in MIEOL, Kelly has supported patients and their families as both a death doula and home funeral guide. She understands dying as a sacred part of life.

Through Reclaiming Death, she helps people meet grief and dying with curiosity. Her focus is education, training both practitioners and family members. Topics range from the healing potential of caring for loved ones, bringing ease to hard conversations, or our rights and obligations in dying and death. 


Heather’s support work is informed by a background in event coordination and student academic counselling, as well as experience in hospice, funeral, and mental healthcare settings, and growing wisdom nurtured by death/grief practices. Since completing Donna Belk’s Beyond Hospice End-of-Life & Home Funeral Guide curriculum in 2016 and Humber College’s Personal Support Worker Diploma (hospice) in 2017, Heather has continued her education in transpersonal medicine and steadily contributed to community deathcare initiatives. She is currently enrolled in Grof Legacy Training to expand her capacity to work with people in non-ordinary states of consciousness.

Although her current role with CDO is mainly administrative, she finds joy in curating experiences that promote healing and deepen our ability to meet change and loss in a balanced way. As a Transpersonal Support Worker, Heather serves as a malleable companion to those interested in making space for death.


Carrie Fawcett is a Ceremonialist, certified Life-Cycle Celebrant, and Sacred Circle Dance facilitator, trained in funeral celebrancy through the OBOD School of Celebrancy. She helps clients commemorate the unique life of a loved one by co-creating end-of-life ceremonies, including funerals, memorials, celebrations of life, committals at graveside or elsewhere, or other ceremonies of their choosing. 

As needed, she can be a facilitator, an attentive and sensitive interviewer, a creative writer, a public speaker, and a ceremonial leader. The ceremony creation process starts with a free initial conversation and is typically followed by a family and friends planning meeting; answering guided questions; the creation of a ceremony from a combination of stories, music, readings, poems and more; a ceremony overview presented for client approval; coordination and support of speakers as needed; and the shared experience of the ceremony itself. Carrie invites you to reach out to her with any questions or to arrange an exploratory, no-obligation conversation about an end-of-life tribute.


Jen Gillean weaves together her work in Yoga Therapy, Birth Story Medicine, and Morning Altars to support folks as a Birth and Death Companion. Jen has specialized training to work with clients through all kinds of pregnancy and infant loss, post traumatic stress, anxiety, addiction, and persistent pain. She is also working to complete her studies as a Registered Herbalist with the Ontario Association of Herbalists. 


Anne Pitman (M.Sc., Pain Care Yoga Teacher and Certified Yoga Therapist C-IAYT), is the Director of the School of Embodied Yoga Therapy and has over 35 years’ experience teaching somatic movement in Ottawa and speaking worldwide in support of Yoga Therapy integrated in healthcare. She is a graduate and ongoing scholar at the Orphan Wisdom School, a human-making, village minded school attending to dying in a death-phobic culture. As a practicing one-on-one Yoga and Grief Therapist at the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre and in private practice, Anne has extensive experience compassionately accompanying people living in difficult times (acknowledging pain, anxiety, PTSD, cancer and trauma); to create embodied practices in the midst of it all; to live deeply, willingly, and respectfully; and to tend to the path for some, in their ending days, to die well.


Donna Klassen started Earthbound Coffins to provide people with an environmentally friendly and local choice for burial. The coffins are made with local timber and her sons make the sisal rope handles. It’s a family affair.


Under the umbrella of Blackbird Medicines, the Indigenous Death Doula Collective is a grassroots movement fostered by Indigenous Caregivers, Spiritual Coaches, Healers, Teachers, Social Workers, and Counselors who work in their respective communities as Indigenous Death Doulas.

The collective is moved to action by their vision to support First Nations, Inuit, and Metis families, and future generations to realize harm reduction around the systemic design of society to extinguish Indigenous people at every stage of the spectrum of life.



Kyla Carson is a psychotherapist, family therapist and spiritual counselor, with experience in palliative care. She offers compassionate care to both English and French speaking individuals as well as families. She has also worked with Bereaved Families of Ontario as a clairvoyant medium, reconnecting people with their loved ones.


Avery Altose is a Certified Reflexologist. Reflexology stimulates nerve endings in your feet to relax the entire nervous system. In hospice, patients and caregivers face change and uncertainty, the experience of worry causes the nervous system to be uniquely taxed. This level of stress causes physical symptoms. Reflexology can relieve these physical discomforts while providing companionship and healing touch. Avery encourages us all to lead with love over fear. 


Pamela French is Chief Empowerment Officer and Co-Founder of Authentic Relating Ottawa (ARO), a community dedicated to connection using conscious communication skills in a brave and kind way. ARO volunteers were compassionate listeners at the Grief Couch at the 2019 Community Deathcare Expo. Pamela can help you with all the relationships in your life – from repair, forgiveness, completion, gratitude and love. Whether you, or they, are near the end of life, we all need to feel seen, heard and valued.