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Briefly Perfectly Human: Making an Authentic Life by Getting Real About the End With Alua Arthur

Guest Interview

Hello beautiful souls! Welcome to another enlightening episode of Angels and Awakening! Today, we have the privilege of hosting Alua Arthur, a beacon of spiritual wisdom and America’s foremost death doula, on our show. Alua’s memoir Briefly Perfectly Human offers a profound reimagining of death, urging us to embrace its spiritual essence as a catalyst for profound personal growth. Endorsed by acclaimed authors like Jodi Picoult and Tembi Locke, Alua’s work resonates deeply with those seeking meaning in life’s transitions. With warmth and humor, Alua guides her clients through the sacred thresholds of life and death, fostering deep introspection and spiritual connection. Having navigated her own journey through adversity, from fleeing political turmoil in Ghana to accompanying her loved ones through illness and loss, Alua embodies the transformative power of spiritual resilience. Join us as we explore Alua’s insights into the interconnectedness of life and death and the spiritual awakening that awaits those brave enough to confront life and death with an open heart. I’d love to hear your thoughts about this episode over on Instagram @angelpodcast . . . and THANK YOU for listening!

To learn more about Alua Arthur’s work:
Alua’s book Briefly Perfectly Human is available at this link (click HERE)


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Julie Jancius: Beautiful souls. Here’s a preview of today’s discussion.

Alua Arthur: my hope is that it’s really peaceful. I don’t know. You know, I don’t know. I think that’s also going to be a great big adventure if we’re going to stay on that theme. Like, it might be a really wild ride.

Julie Jancius: Hello, beautiful souls. You’re listening to the Angels and Awakening podcast. I’m, your host and author, Julie Jancius. Did you know that you can listen to this show everywhere podcasts are found? It’s true. Now I have three free gifts just for you. First gift, I give away a new reading each week to a person who’s left a five star positive review of this show, then submitted it to me using the contact form@theangelmedium.com. backslash contact I hope I’m calling your number. Next. Second gift if you’d like a new daily angel message, join me on insta at angelpodcast. Third free gift if you’d like to know the name of one of your guardian angels so that you can work with them even more closely, go to the homepage of my website, theangelmediam.com, and submit your contact info at the very top. I’ll email you back personally with the name of one of your Angels. Okay, as we begin the show, I want you to feel the presence of your Angels surrounding you. And just know that the loving, positive messages you resonate with today are messages for you from your Angels and loved ones on the other side. Oh, and don’t forget to register for the spiritual retreat because the early Bird pricing is ending June 30. We don’t want you to miss it. Sign up over@theangelmedium.com retreat. That’s theangelmedium.com retreat. Hello, beautiful souls. Welcome back to the Angels and Awakening podcast. I’m your host and author, Julie Jancius and friends, if you’re watching on YouTube today, I am showing the book title. we have the fabulous Alua Arthur on the podcast today. She is the author of briefly, perfectly human making an Authentic Life by, by getting real about the end. Alua welcome to the show.

Alua Arthur: Thank you so much for having me, Julie.

Julie Jancius: Oh, I’m so excited. So by the time that this comes out, the book will have launched. And, I’m so excited to have you on because you’re an end of life doula. and there’s just so many questions that come up, so many things that I see in my sessions when it comes to this topic. And I’ve got just so much to ask you about. But I want to start with this. You’re going along your journey in life, and it calls to your heart to go in this direction to become an end of life doula. How did that come up for you, and what does that story look like?

Alua Arthur: I was practicing law for about ten years at, the legal aid foundation of Los Angeles, and it was great work. Realistically, theoretically, you know, to be able to work with folks that don’t have enough money to find a lawyer, folks that are having a hard time accessing the system. But it wasn’t great for me. It was not a fit for my personality. There’s so many details in the practice of law, so much paperwork. And I wanted to sit and talk to my clients about their lives and their pain and their trauma, and, you know, what we could do to help them get out of the situation that they were in. And let me tell you what, the system, the way that it was set up, is not made for people to get up and out of it. It was very crushing to me. there’s a lot of great work being done at legal services, but it wasn’t a fit for me. And I grew depressed. Depressed, not in the casual, oh, I’m so depressed way, but in the clinical depression, where it was hard for me to continue engaging in my life as it was. It got to the point where I could no longer go to work, and I took a medical leave of absence, and I went to Cuba through a bunch of beautiful serendipity. I ended up in Trinidad, Cuba, where I got on a bus with a fellow traveler who was named Jessica, who had uterine cancer. And we talked a lot about her life. And then I started asking her questions about her death. And before long, this really deep and rich conversation about mortality came up. It just really sat in between us. It held us in this little bubble where we journeyed together through the things that were undone in our lives and the things that we still wanted out of life and the things that


Alua Arthur: we regretted. And I, for the first time, got to look at my life through the lens of my own mortality and realize that I really didn’t like what I saw. I wanted a different life. I wanted one that I salivated over, one that was full of magic and awe and wonder, beautiful moments. And I’d had a lot of, like, fun experiences in my life up until then, but I don’t know how present I’d been. And I also feel like for a lot of the fun moments I was having in my life. I was trying to fill some type of void. And this helped me see that the void, maybe the thing that I was seeking to fill was my mortality. I was looking. I was looking at my death without even noticing I was looking at my death. And that’s how I got into the work. Or at least that’s how I started thinking about the work. not long after I came back from Cuba, my brother in law, Peter St. John, became sick. And that was really sad. And then not long after that, he died. And I got to support him in the last two months of his life. And those two months were the most rich. They were really full. I was on purpose. I was absolutely singular, focused in a way that I’d never experienced myself before. I feel like death can insert some purpose into our lives if we let it, but we have to let it. And I let it. I let it move me. I let it guide my actions and my thoughts and my words, and it created something really beautiful. And from there, I grieved a lot. And then I started a business to support other people in death and dying.

Julie Jancius: You just said something that, brought me back to a memory. You know, we all hold space for our friends and our family members when they’re going through something really major. And, I have somebody close to me who had somebody very, very close to her who was in stage four cancer. And so, as I would talk to her, she would talk to me about the conversation she was having with her friend who was dying. And she said something that I’ll never forget, where her friend looked at her one day and said, everybody keeps telling me I’m going to get better. Everybody keeps telling me to pray. Everybody keeps telling me to, just think positive and mirror can happen. And she said, it’s one of the most crushing parts of this experience, because she said, what they don’t get is, I’m in stage four cancer, and there aren’t things that can be done. This is it for me. And she goes, and I know this is it for me. And she said, and I don’t know how to respond when people say that to me. I think we do this all the time within our, relationships, within our conversations. How can we handle this differently and maybe even more appropriately?

Alua Arthur: Thank you for sharing that. It’s very true how often we do that. I think I have probably done it myself without noticing that I was doing it until I was chatting with Jessica in Cuba on the bus. And she told me a very similar thing that people tell me to have hope and to look at healing. And she’s like, but what if I don’t heal from this disease? And I thought, that’s so true. It feels like existential gaslighting. It’s not allowing people the reality that their lives will end one day, maybe as a result of this disease, maybe as a result of another, but one day their lives will end. Why not make space for somebody to be with their mortality? They’re not going to live for forever anyway. I wish that, what we would do would be to validate the experiences of others, even if we can’t understand it, and also even when it makes us uncomfortable, because I think part of the reason we don’t is because it makes us uncomfortable. Like, if you love somebody and they’re talking about dying, you don’t want to think about them dying at all. And so maybe you’re having hope for healing, and so you’re saying also you hope for healing. But I don’t think that hoping for healing is necessarily at odds with preparing for death. But I think that we also need to make space for people to think about and talk about death and dying. It makes us feel, I think, powerless to be able to not take away the pain of another or to not be able to fix their disease. But there isn’t anything we can do about it. We can love them where they are, and that’s maybe the most healing thing that we can do.

Julie Jancius: What about the people who say, but Julie, there are miracles, or Alua there are miracles, and miracles can happen. How do we, as spiritual beings, bring hope and love and, that openness to other people while at the same time honoring their experience?

Alua Arthur: Both those things are true, I think. Miracles happen, and eventually that person will die. And so if they are in a, serious disease process, they can be preparing for death and also be hoping for the miracle.


Alua Arthur: And when the miracle occurs, fantastic. So now they’ve had an opportunity to prepare for their dying, which will come one day, so nothing is lost at all. It’s just you’re further along in the game. Hooray. A plus. You win.

Julie Jancius: I love it. And something else that you said earlier reminded me, I’m just watching this documentary on Steve Martin, the comedian on Apple TV, and he talks in there about how he had this dream, and he was really unhappy throughout different parts of his life because his work, just was so much. And he had to live out of hotel rooms for so long that he couldn’t really have that family that he wanted. And he got to this point in his life where he had this dream. And he said, in this dream, a woman came and took him to this grave. And it was his grave, and he saw it, and he looked at her, and he knew that he was happy. When he pastor, it said that he was happy on the tombstone. And he said, is it still possible for me and at my end of, or like, towards, you know, my older years, to find this happiness and die with happiness? And the woman in the dream looked at him and said, yes, it will take adventure. You need adventure. And you talk about that in your book. and you’ve experienced that in your life. I’ve experienced this, too. And I think it’s such a complex thing to talk about, because until you experience it, you don’t truly understand it. But that adventure can truly only come by following your intuition. What’s in alignment with you, what’s calling to you. Can’t do everything in this world but talk about that adventure in your life and the emotions that it brought to you by following it.

Alua Arthur: I see so much as an adventure. my partner and I yesterday were both starving, and rather than pause to make anything in the fridge, I was like, let’s go find some food. He was like, where? I said, I don’t know. Let’s go on an adventure. And sure enough, we found something delicious. But life feels like an adventure to me. It is. I mean, there’s such, like, magical odds for us to be born that every step that we take, every turn that we make is something that has a big unknown right behind it. all of life is an unknown. I don’t know what’s going to happen the next second. I don’t know, tomorrow, the next day, the next years. Anything could happen at any moment in time. That, to me, is an adventure here in my life just as much as it is if I’m on some grand adventure trekking through Nepal. You know, it does require us to follow our intuition, to listen to that voice inside that says, yes, this is for me, or yes, right now, or no, because that’s also a strong telling from the intuition. but every single time I found myself following those little breadcrumbs, it’s led to a delicious pot of gold.

Julie Jancius: Yeah.

Alua Arthur: Yeah.

Julie Jancius: I love that. Ready for a little getaway that completely resets your energy? We’re hosting a live, in person spiritual retreat called a whole new you. It’s the weekend of October 4 in Oakbrook, Illinois. This spiritual retreat is all about your own personal healing and, growth, reconnecting with yourself, learning to connect with your Angels. And I’m going to talk about all new Angels that I’ve never talked about anywhere before. And you’re going to leave with more personal peace, purpose, clarity and confidence than ever before. Learn more and see the itinerary@theangelmedium.com. backslash retreat that’s theangelmedium.com retreat. Links are in the show notes and friend, I cannot wait to meet you and hug you in person. When it comes to being an end of life Doula, I had someone once tell me, because I always thought, end of life Doula. I know exactly what that means. That means that that person helps energetically a person who is transitioning from this life to the other side. But then I was talking to someone one day, and she’s like, yeah, I just went through my end of life doula certification, and it wasn’t what I expected it to be. It was figuring out, like, what to do step wise to help the family take, kind of like, all the documents that you have to go through, all of, like, the legal stuff that you need to do towards the end of life. Is it a lot, are there different programs out there? That’s, I guess, what I’m


Julie Jancius: asking, where more. So some are focused on, like, the legal aspect and how to have, the family walk through the process, and some are more like heart based and spiritual based of energetically walking that person to the other side.

Alua Arthur: Yes. There’s a variety of different training programs, which is why I think it’s so important for people to think about who they’re signing up with when they want to seek doula training. The training program that we have at, going with grace does have a strong practical component of it, but it also has a serious justice lens, and it has a self exploration lens, because I think it’s really important for us to get clear on our personal relationships with death so that we don’t cloud the space between ourselves and the other while we’re supporting them through. When we’re doing that. We can also make space for them to have all their explorations around spirit and curiosities there, because then I can just let you be you do you, and I can support you regardless. Also, I just find it difficult to tell somebody about how to support another through dying because it’s so. Such an individualized process. You know, I wish that there was a clear, step by step. This is how you do law, but really you do your own work as much as possible. I think you build your relationship with death. You build your relationship with your life. You get clear for yourself. You learn some knowledge and information. You build a nice community so that you have resources, and then you show up and you allow the human to be exactly who they are. You listen to their needs, you try not to insert yourself into the process, and you give them the grace.

Julie Jancius: Yeah, absolutely. One of the things that I see in my sessions, and I think it’s really interesting, I don’t know if you found the same, that when you work with thousands of people, and then you’re like, oh, my goodness, 90% of people struggle with this, and 50% of people struggle with this. There’s this energy of some people’s lives are taken quickly. A lot of people’s lives, they get to an older age, and they’re passing from that old age. And when I work with those clients on the other side who are bringing through messages to their loved ones, what they often show me is the struggle of releasing these roots that we have energetically, like, really ground into the earth realm here of where mothers and sisters and daughters. And, how do you leave these roles that you’ve only known here? And I see from the spirits that I’ve worked with, it takes so much courage, and it takes so much bravery and strength. I think this is one of the hardest things that a lot of us do emotionally. do you see that, too, that release of these roles? And how does an end of life doula help a person transition and release those roles?

Alua Arthur: It’s a hard part, for sure. I find so often that nearing the end of life, the family members or the people that love the person who’s dying, they are encouraging the person to let go. And they’re saying, it’s okay, you can let go. It’s okay, you can let go. Whereas what needs to happen often is the people that are still living are the ones that need to let go. They are the ones that need to let go. We create such strong, strong bonds while we live. Many of us do. But those strong bonds are the same things that I think make a lot more difficulty as dying is occurring. Not only because we will miss them, in this capacity, like, in the role that they play in our lives right now, but also because it is hard to separate. There’s a torment of separation when people are seeing it that way, that it’s like this person is going and they’re going to be gone, and I can’t. I don’t want to let them go. I think this is sometimes why so many people die by themselves. You know, there’s been other people in the room, and then they wait until the people leave the room, and then they die, because it’s finally given them a little bit of release to be able to be like, peace out. Thank you very much. But I’ve got to go right now. There’s already so much labor that goes into dying. You know, there’s a physical labor of the body. I think that there’s all the grief, which feels like labor a lot. and then there’s also the releasing of the relationships and everything that holds us here energetically and also tangibly.

Julie Jancius: Yeah, I have, a lot of healer friends, and I had never thought about it like this. And when they really asked me to look at my own feelings about death, I felt very scared,


Julie Jancius: fearful, of almost feeling like the body is going to go through something painful at old age to just release. And they said no. And one of them walked me through this, like, visualization process of me being at the end of my life and passing. And it was literally the most peaceful, beautiful experience I had ever seen. And it really took a lot of that fear and fright and scaredness away from the process in general, because I realized it’s kind of the ultimate spiritual experience at the end of life to see encapsulated your entire life here and bridge over to the other side. As I’m remembering back to this just magnificent experience, it brings tears to my eyes. It was so beautiful.

Alua Arthur: I can imagine that imagining something like that feels really lovely. We offer a, death meditation course at, going with grace. It’s a, nine step one based on the nine contemplations of dying that allows people to walk through the process of the body’s eventual end. Obviously, I have no idea what the experience actually feels like. And people have a lot of fear around pain. And any pain that people are experiencing in dying is not as a result of dying, but rather as a result of the disease process in the body. And so any pain that’s experienced can be controlled through medication, through, like, the hospice team and the medical team should be able to handle any pain. So it shouldn’t be painful necessarily. I mean, there is a part of getting older that’s a little painful. You know, things hurt a little bit longer than they used to. And, like, there’s this back here somewhere. I can’t quite tell where the pain is coming from, but it shoots down my leg sometimes. And I’m like, is that going to go away, or are we just doing this for the rest of my life? So there’s that pain I think of getting older in some way that we fear is going to heighten at the end of life, but any pain that we feel should be controlled. my hope is that it’s really peaceful. I don’t know, you know, I don’t know. I think that’s also going to be a great big adventure if we’re going to stay on that theme. Like, it might be a really wild.

Julie Jancius: Ride when your clients are at the end of their life. There are so many nurses on TikTok now who talk, about being there towards the end of a person’s life, and that person seeing loved ones coming through, talking even about Angels. Have you had that experience of your clients? and how often does that happen with your clients?

Alua Arthur: I had a client a few years back who had dementia, and she’d had dementia for years. By the time I met her, she was still speaking, words that made sense but not together. And then after a while, just dissolved, devolved into just syllables, and she would be having a full conversation with you, but I had no idea what she was saying. And after a while, she had a respiratory event. so she was just in the bed and it was clear that active dying was soon coming, and so she’d started her decline. She was nonverbal at that point, wasn’t saying any words at all. one day her daughter left the room for a while, she went to go run some errands, and it was just me and her in the room. And she sat up, clear as day, and looks into the corner and says, hubert, hubert, help me, hubert, you know I can’t do this. I can’t do this without you, hubert. And then laid back down. When I tell you. She hadn’t said a sentence in six, nine months. She had not spoken a complete sentence. So that was a bunch of sentences together that made sense, and she was talking to somebody. When the daughter came back, I was like, hey, this thing happened. And she was like, what did she say? And I explained Hubert was her mom’s boyfriend when she was a teenager who had died in a motorcycle accident. And so, daughter had never met Hubert cause he was dead before she was born. But mom would talk about Hubert sometimes, so she very clearly was talking to Hubert in the corner. Hubert, help me. I don’t know how to do this. Hubert. And she was like a little coy and cute with him, you know what I mean? As I think you can imagine a teenager flirting with her boyfriend, like, stop it. You know, like that, like, Hubert, help. You know, I can’t do this, Hubert. very, very clearly.

Julie Jancius: Wow. Have any of them ever talked about Angels specifically?

Alua Arthur: Mostly they talk about the people that they knew in life that are now dead who have come to greet them, that they’re talking to, and how.

Julie Jancius: How. Like, what do you think that the percentage is on that, where you have clients who see loved ones or talk about loved ones who come to greet them?

Alua Arthur: maybe, like, 25%. Not high.

Julie Jancius: Yeah.

Alua Arthur: Yeah. Well, I guess that is high.

Julie Jancius: I think it is. One, four. Yeah. That’s amazing. So your book, briefly, perfectly human.


Julie Jancius: How did just the concept of this book come to you and call to.

Alua Arthur: You in the early days of the pandemic, when we were in the Tiger King days, when people were still hoarding toilet paper, and we were all really separate from each other. I missed being with clients, and I missed the power of storytelling and the capacity to, like, share story effortlessly. And I wanted to find ways to carry that forward. And so I started writing stories of clients and started writing my own story in a bid to find ways for us to stay connected. I think that we all end up feeling so alone often in our thoughts around death and the experiences that we have. I certainly felt that way when my brother in law was dying. Yet I see in my work that the experiences really are universal, and so I wanted to write about them to show how universal they actually are. My intention was that anybody be able to find themselves in the stories. And my understanding so far is that many people are. They can identify with the struggles of a particular client, or my struggles, or just their thoughts around death and dying are finally, like, out. So they can say, yeah, me too. And that was the hope.

Julie Jancius: I love it. Give people a taste of the book and maybe tell a couple of stories that you love that kind of share that universality.

Alua Arthur: The book tracks my journey into death care and then highlights some of the major themes from my life with the client stories. I think that shows very clearly how much we are both living and dying at the same time and how the things that happen to us as humans happen at any point in the life cycle, even in the dying. I share stories of several clients, like Ikua, who was really struggling to come to terms with the fact that she was dying, and then eventually did and created some really beautiful reckoning for herself. the story of Justina, who was beloved by very, very many people, who wanted sweet intimacy in her dying and didn’t get that ultimately, and what it taught me about how we die, and also my role in death care. I share a story about a client who wanted some end of life planning sessions where she was working through vulnerability and surrender, while also tracking my journey and my conversations with vulnerability and surrender myself. My hope was to kind of layer the story so that we’re not just talking about me because I’m so boring, but rather talk about clients as well. And I say I’m boring because it’s my life, you know what I mean? When I hear other people’s reflections on it, they don’t think it’s boring, but I’m like, yeah, so I traveled a bunch. I did some cool things.

Julie Jancius: No, you. You have been through so much, throughout the book, you share, obviously, those personal experiences, be it struggling with depression or dealing with your family’s escape from a military coup in Ghana. How did you manage to just navigate these difficult topics emotionally as you’re writing about them?

Alua Arthur: Oh, it was definitely a lot of therapy. My therapist was on speed dial during the entire writing process. For real, because it was like I had to go, like, fold into myself and find all those things again and bring them up and out, but with the emotional depth of when I was experiencing them. so there was a lot of tears, there was a lot of remembering, but there was also a lot of healing. I realized at some point, and somebody gave me this advice a long time ago, but that I was writing from the scar as opposed to the wound. Like, it wasn’t so fresh and painful anymore. It was like there’s distance. There’s been some learning, there’s been some healing, and now I can tell the story, but I did have to put myself back in it in order to be able to share it adequately. And that was difficult at times.

Julie Jancius: I can’t imagine. Yeah, therapy.

Alua Arthur: Therapy.

Julie Jancius: I like that you have your therapist on speed dial.

Alua Arthur: She was working overtime, honey. Bless you, Nicole. Thank you.

Julie Jancius: you’ve described losing your sight of, ah, sense of self. and I can relate to this because this has happened to me a couple of times in my life. How did you find your way back? I think this is really important for our, people to understand the listeners and I guess specifically, too. What role did becoming a death doula play in this journey?

Alua Arthur: I lost sight of myself through, I want to say, my work, but it wasn’t just my work. This is my work. Prior to Doula work, when I was practicing law, legal aid, I think in retrospect that I had listened so much and I had fallen prey to the expectations of other people in society about who I should be and how I should live my life. And while I am black. And so some of the american markers of success don’t necessarily apply to me by virtue of my race. Many of them also still do. And I fell into them very effortlessly, which meant that I had to crawl myself back out of them. I, had to stop and listen to myself and


Alua Arthur: remember my particular gifts, my skills, my talents, my desires, the things that light me up in the world, and try to redefine success for myself. You know, it used to look like a career that other people thought was valuable and being in service in that way and doing the noble and just thing for the world, which I am still doing in a different way. But now I can be my whole self. I don’t have to put parts of myself down in order to be able to do this work. I think I found my way back to myself by listening. By listening. And also, I mean, frankly, some psychedelics. Psychedelics helped a lot.

Julie Jancius: Okay, so I’m going to give the parents over here who might have their kids listening, a little warning. maybe we’ll just turn this one off or flip to the next one. Amazing. Well, what psychedelics have you done? Like ayahuasca?

Alua Arthur: I have done ayahuasca. Ah. the psychedelic in particular that was really supportive during my depression was mushrooms, was psilocybin. That was really supportive. but, yeah, psychedelic medicine has been a, really nice ally, a plant ally.

Julie Jancius: But I want to go into this because I think there are a lot of people who are just fascinated. I know I am. you watch biographies about people who have had different experiences, and then it led to just life changing clarity, in different ways. And so how did the experience of mushrooms differ from the experience of ayahuasca?

Alua Arthur: Vastly, very, very different. Yeah, I think so. part of the experience to me of mushrooms is like a deepening, like going very inside and like looking at stuff that I had not wanted to look at for a while. that one experience that I wrote about allowed me to see how sick I actually was because I’d been pushing away for so long. But the mushrooms cleared all the space out so that I could see who I’d become, and I didn’t like it. And so I was like, all right, we got to do something about this. And I also just was able to finally admit that I was sick where I wasn’t able to admit it. Before ayahuasca, I, only used after I had, healed from the depression. And my experiences with ayahuasca mostly went up and out rather than internal. I don’t quite know how else to put that, but Ayahuasca allowed me to connect externally. and mushrooms at times have too. They’ve allowed me to be with the plants and the sun and the wood. but ayahuasca, I think, opens up the aperture much, much, much greater to be able to see, like, all things.

Julie Jancius: In totality and, like, experience a oneness in that, or do you see yourself in that?

Alua Arthur: Always.

Julie Jancius: Always.

Alua Arthur: And, you know, it’s so classic. And I was joking about this with a friend recently, but it’s, you know, psychedelics to me are, where we can experience the divine effortlessly if we’re willing. If we’re willing.

Julie Jancius: Yeah, absolutely. It’s interesting. I see it, and I’ve never done either, but I’ve wanted to do both. Not as something that you do all the time. It’s not like you can become a. A drug addict of those things. It’s more so of like I look at a healing session or, therapy, as it can open you in different ways. And I know that people say, don’t use it as a crutch because it can’t replace therapy. And I get that too. But I’m just so fascinated by the topic in general.

Alua Arthur: I think that they’re a wonderful accompaniment. And, you know, I believe this very strongly that they are medicine, and for some reason they are not, legal to be used in many places, but they really should be. I mean, we okay a bunch of chemotherapy drugs, but we don’t okay all the rest of these, like, actual toxins. It’s fine to take, but not the things that grow from the earth that hold incredible power. And I wish that weren’t the case. I’m hoping that soon that won’t be the case. And actually there are a bunch of organizations that are working on it, and I’m really grateful. Some folks are working with psilocybin in the end of life space to allow folks that are getting close to the end of life to use psilocybin to open themselves up and look at the other places that may need some additional attention.

Julie Jancius: Really?

Alua Arthur: Yeah.

Julie Jancius: How does that work? do you have to be strong enough at the end of life to be able to do that experience?

Alua Arthur: You mean physically strong enough? Yeah, on some level, yes. I don’t think these are for folks that are imminently or actively dying, but rather people that, just maybe want a little assist in their, healing process. To me, they’re really useful for mental health as well. I think that they are, as I said before, just a really powerful accompaniment to everything else. Yeah, I’m a fan.

Julie Jancius: Totally. All right. With this next one, I’m not going into your beliefs, but my own beliefs about the other side, but more so how it relates to your clients. so I wrote in my first book, book, Angels and awakening, that what the Angels


Julie Jancius: show me is that we do make mistakes. We’re all going to make mistakes in this lifetime, and we can wait till the other side to rectify some of those. Or I see it karmically as weighing more so, in a good way here, when we rectify those here and we’re right our wrongs or we make peace, in various different ways. Do you find that a lot of people who are nearing the end want to heal in that way, that they want to m heal those mistakes or right those wrongs or have those conversations, or is there a lot of kind of still hiding from ourselves at the end?

Alua Arthur: Well, for starters, people who are dying are largely the same as when they were living, except they have some awareness of their mortality. And so if they were people that were taking accountability and responsibility for the things that they did while they were living, they’re probably doing that as they’re dying, maybe on a greater level. And if they were people that didn’t, they probably still aren’t going to. I do have one client, though, who was estranged from her children. She turns out that she probably was somebody who should not have had children. She wasn’t a very good mother, and her children had no interest in talking to her. They’d separated. there was a big fracture from decades long. And in her dying, she really wanted her children to be there, and they didn’t want to come. They were complete. They were complete. They had said what they needed to. None of them came. And she had a really hard time with that. And for a long time, she was very justified that they should come and they’re not doing her right, etcetera. But then as she got close and closer, and I think realized that they really weren’t coming, we were able to get a letter out to her kids. the letter had some. I’m sorry, but some of it was still. She was still very right about some of the things that she’d done, but she was at least able to communicate the things that she wanted to communicate to her children before she died. I think in some capacity, she was trying to right her wrongs. I’m using air quotes there. but also, she was still justified in what she’d done before, which led to the exchangement from her children. There’s also. I mean, I also wrote about a client who was a terrible racist, and he was that way all the way until the very end. You know, he had no reason to hate me but for the color of the skin I wear. And he was fine with that until his death.

Julie Jancius: What happened there?

Alua Arthur: his sons invited me to come and support them in a disagreement that they were having about their father’s access to medication. Their dad was asking for more medicine. One of the sons thought that he shouldn’t have it. They were afraid of the risk of addiction. Son thought, give him whatever he wants. He’s dying. And they were locked in, and I thought that they should probably see a mediator or so, but they really wanted to work with me. And so I drove an hour and a half to where they were, and when I arrived, they greeted me and said, just so you know, our dad is a kind of racist. And I said, I don’t know what kind of a racist. Either you’re racist or you’re not. Like, it kind of is an entire racist. And I was angry. I was very frustrated that they’d done that. It felt like they. They had used me for what they could get from me, which is the history of whiteness. All, centuries long. They had taken for me what they could get without regard for its impact on me. I talked to them about what their disagreement was and then eventually felt like, I really need to talk to their dad to get a sense of what was going on with him and his desire for pain medication. We, just talked about accessing pain meds at the end of life. I think they’re really necessary and useful. And he was already getting, It didn’t seem as though he was in physical pain. the nurse was palpating his abdomen. We don’t do any medical support at all. So I had nothing to do with the medical assessment, but rather, I was just listening to the language that he used, and it sounded very much like he wanted opiates. He kept asking for opiates, which he didn’t ask for medicine. He didn’t say, I’m in pain. He said, where are my opiates? And I, mean, the guy wants some drugs, give him some drugs. He’s dying, you know. So I talked to the kids, but I will tell you that their dad was really nasty to me while I was there, and I will never put myself in a position like that again. But I did it that one time, and I have forgiven myself for doing it, but it was violent to me. Not physically, but to my spirit. It was vile.

Julie Jancius: I’m so sorry that you experienced. I was hoping the story turned back around where. No, it didn’t.

Alua Arthur: No, he was vile the entire time until he learned that I had talked to his sons. And I said, if he wants medicine, give him the medicine. I was just trying to get out of there, to be honest with you. And when the sons told him that, then he called me a sweet girl. but


Alua Arthur: beforehand, he told me to get the fuck out of his house.

Julie Jancius: I’m so, so sorry.

Alua Arthur: Whiteness is a hell of a drug sometimes.

Julie Jancius: Oh, just want to take a moment here and just, let spirit come in and guide us to this next place. Not to bypass what happened, but just to go to the beautiful work that you do. And I just honor the work that you do because it is so magnificent. And I know that you are just helping serve so many people and helping others step into their power as end of life doulas. What has been your best experience? The yin and the yang. What is the best experience and story that you have? Have, from working with your clients?

Alua Arthur: Most of them are really, really good. Most of the stories are great. Even when there is difficulty in working with the client, being able to witness a human in their full humanness is really, really rad. there’s a client I wrote about, miss Bobby. She is the last client in the book, and she made my heart sing. I’ve been visiting her for almost a year by the time she eventually died. And I came because her kids, her daughters, weren’t able to be physically present with her as much as they would have liked. And so I was hired as a companion in a real sense. But it also became clear that I did a long life review with her. she would tell story after story after story from her life. She was a traveling nurse, a black woman, but a traveling nurse. And so she had gone to nursing school and gained access to a lot of places where black people couldn’t. During that time, during the Jim Crow era, she had integrated multiple neighborhoods in LA. She’d been married a bunch, divorced a bunch. She joked about one lover. She ran off with a gun because he. Yeah, because she found him cheating. Like, she just was wild, you know, she traveled a lot. She was. She seemed so full of life, even though she was tiny. She was getting close to death. She had Parkinson’s disease. In her bed, she looked like a little baby Bird. Yet she still spoke of life with so much lust and joy, you know? And part of the reason why I adored sitting with her is because Miss Bobby made no apology for the life that she’d lived, for doing things the way that she wanted to, the way that she thought was right. And it was a powerful message, a beautiful example to me about somebody who lived on her own terms at a time when her life was supposed to be a very, very small, cookie cutter version of one. She yearned for adventure. She created it. She loved hard, she lost hard. She made no sense of her life whatsoever. But she was really grateful for the ride of it. And that’s something that I think we can all take away.

Julie Jancius: Absolutely. Absolutely. You know, as we’ve been talking, I’ve been getting this vision of who hires you now as an end of life doula. Is that typically the siblings? And can you see a day and age where ten years from now, 20 years from now, it’s so common, and people are coming home to their own spirituality so much more now. can you see a day and age where the person who is passing ends up hiring an end of life Doula? Maybe even before they’re in the active stages of passing, when they’re in their late eighties, just to get to know that person and have that relationship with that person before their time comes.

Alua Arthur: I’d say about half of my clients were the dying person themselves who have hired me because some of them, know that they must prepare. I wrote about a client named Dora, who was in her late sixties, I believe, who was like, I’m dying from this disease. I believe she had a, bone cancer and was like, I want to prepare. What do I need to do? What’s still undone in my life? Let’s get at it, honey. Let’s go. And working with somebody who has awareness that death is approaching and is just down to do what we need to do is a really beautiful experience. I see a future soon where death doulas are part of every aspect of society. And not 20 to 30 years. I mean, if I have my druthers, it’ll be in, like, three.

Julie Jancius: I love it.

Alua Arthur: Yeah. Where we have death doulas in schools, we have children that are grappling with illness and disease and death. They are doing active shooter drills. They know about the danger of dying from violence, and yet where are the structures in place to help them process that? So we have death doulas in schools. We have death doulas in the military.


Alua Arthur: People are trained to kill and then don’t have any support for what happened when they do, or the fact that their fellow soldiers are dying. that would be amazing to have some support there. Obviously, in hospitals and police departments and fire departments, in, like, every strata society, lawyers, offices. We need death doulas. The court system, the jurors that have to listen to horrible details about a death. We need doulas everywhere. We need death doulas everywhere. We are in the midst of a serious, mental health crisis. There’s a lot of grief that’s occurring right now, and a lot of it is occurring. I mean, grief occurs as a result of death anyway, but I think so much of it is because of these deaths that go unacknowledged. Our grief then becomes compounded because there’s no space to access it. There’s nobody thinking about these kids that are in active shooter drills at school. What is the message that we’re sending them? How do we help them process what they are experiencing? We don’t. Yeah, we should.

Julie Jancius: That’s true. How would an end of life doula help in that capacity? Cause, they just don’t know that much about it.

Alua Arthur: Yeah, I think that the death doula could be supportive to help the kids work through their fears, because I’m sure they’re scared because they do these drills, because they know that there’s a potential that somebody could come in and shoot up the school. Right.

Julie Jancius: I’ve had those fears since my daughter was in kindergarten. I mean, the kindergarten classroom was the first classroom right next to, where you walk in to the office. And I’ve had those fears since then. I remember thinking when she was in kindergarten, I can’t wait until she’s in first grade so that she’s at the end of the building and having those fears based on where she was in the building at what grade. And she’s in middle school right now. My husband’s a middle, ah, school teacher. They’re at the exact same school. And I. I still worry, you know, I try not to let my fears get the best of me, but you can’t stop the thoughts that flow in, and it’s really, really hard to have them both in there at the same time.

Alua Arthur: So I think if there was a doula, who was at the school, the doula could also be supportive to you and your worries, which are totally founded, by the way. You know, we’re seeing this happening all the time. Of course you were worried. Now, where is the support for you in that? And I’m sure you probably talk to your friends or other parents or who knows what your support system is. I trust that you have some. But somebody whose job it is to be present for that emotion about this thing happening at the school would be grant.

Julie Jancius: Yeah.

Alua Arthur: Would be grant. Because your fears are rooted in the fear of death. Yeah. That, somebody’s gonna come in there and kill them. Yeah. That’s a fear of death.

Julie Jancius: Yeah.

Alua Arthur: But it’s like, it’s so basic to me. Me. But also, all of this is so basic to me. I’m like, why are we doing this? I don’t get it. I don’t understand.

Julie Jancius: No, for sure. No. It’s really, really eye opening just to even have this conversation. I think that that’s really, really beautiful and so needed for these kids who are 14 through 18 at high schools and in colleges, who they just don’t have any control over the situation whatsoever, but they’re in this environment, and, yeah, it’s hard.

Alua Arthur: Yeah. Some of them probably have some anxiety disorders that are popping up that might be tangentially related to that fear of death that, are going unexplored, you know? And then aside from just active shooter drills and the fear of death that way, then there’s also high rates of suicide, and parents are dying, or grandparents are dying, or pets are dying, or. We need more access for children, for young people to be able to think about grief and death and loss and school is where they spend so much time. Anyway, I got to, go to my niece’s school a couple days ago Tuesday and talk to her 9th grade health class about death, doula work, and death and dying. It was the sweetest, most wonderful thing. None of them knew that well. Most of them shared about a death that had occurred in their life, and none of them knew about the others deaths. And so before long, they were talking to each other and, oh, my God, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize that happened to you. And my cousin died, too, and this is what it felt like. And before, they were just. They were open with their emotions about it, how wonderful they could support each other. Otherwise, they were struggling in their own silos and alone.

Julie Jancius: Oh, I just felt that as just this bottled up emotion within and just the talking about it in general releases it so that it’s not this pent up pressure


Julie Jancius: within.

Alua Arthur: Absolutely. It was really sweet, is the best way I can put it. And then I heard some of their ideas about the afterlife, which are wonderful and fantastical. A few of them talked about funeral ideas that they thought would be really cool. A few of them talked about fears, about talking to their parents about death, and like, I don’t know, are my parents scared? And I thought, this is all rad. Talk to your parents, see what they think.

Julie Jancius: Oh, interesting. I haven’t thought about this in forever, but when I was just out of college, I read something about how back in the day, we used to have funerals at a person’s home, not in funeral parlors. And I wrote to my mom and I said, if I ever pass away early, this is what I want to happen and I want to have it at my house. I don’t want to be in a funeral parlor somewhere. I want to be cremated. Do not put me in the urban or else I will come back and haunt you, even though I don’t believe in that. And, No. I think that it is something that we all think about, but we pause or it’s too taboo sometimes that we don’t feel comfortable enough opening up about it. But the more that you do, it just becomes easier. And, I haven’t seen this, but I’ve heard that in different cultures, it’s very much integrated as a part of life more than it is here in the US. And that must be, a beautiful thing that’s just bringing so much more ease and comfort to folks.

Alua Arthur: Absolutely. Also, home funerals are absolutely a thing right now in this country as well. They’re not as common, but it’s the work of the death doula. And there are some home funeral homes that help people have funerals at home if they would like. And I don’t know if you’re familiar with this, but the term the living room is because the main room, the front room, the parlor, is where the dying person was laid out and where we had the funerals. And when the funeral industry came and took that part over, they renamed the front room the parlor to the living room because now you live there, the dying isn’t happening there anymore. Wow. Yeah.

Julie Jancius: That is fascinating. Yeah, I love it. Alua your book, briefly, perfectly human, making an authentic life by getting real about the end is available everywhere. Tell us one thing that you just want everybody to know about living.

Alua Arthur: That our time here is really brief.

Alua Arthur: And that your ride, as it is, is absolutely perfect.

Alua Arthur: And it is an utter privilege to be able to be with your mortality. And if you have that privilege, use it. Use it.

Julie Jancius: Ah. Thank you for being here. Where can everybody find you? Your work, your book? We’ll put all those links in the show notes below.

Alua Arthur: Spectacular. The Internet. God bless the Internet, but you can find me there. You can google my name or find us at GoingWithGrace.com dot perfect.

Julie Jancius: Thank you for being you and all the work that you are doing within this world.

Alua Arthur: Thank you very much for having me. It’s an actual honor.

Julie Jancius: Friends, I need your help reaching as many people as possible. If you’d like to support this podcast and help us spread more hope to the world world, please book a session with me, join my angel membership or take my Angel Reiki school. What’s the difference? If you’d like to know what messages your Angels and loved ones have for you, you’ll want to book a session with me. The angel membership is all about your own personal spiritual healing. The membership takes you on a spiritual journey that teaches you how to create your own heaven on earth. And the Angel Reiki school is for those who want to get certified in mediumship, angel messages and energy healing all at once. These are three ways you can help us share a message of hope and love with more people than ever before. Register for one or all three at ah theangelmedium.com. that’s theangelmedium.com dot. Now let’s pray together as we do. I want you to pray in a way where you feel as though everything you want for yourself and the world has already come true and you’re giving thanks. Why? Because this is the best way to manifest. So let’s begin. God Universe Source thank you. We’re so grateful that you’ve blessed this world with calm and peaceful for all. This calm and peace has spread like ripples soothing the hearts of every Soul. Thank you for opening our hearts to abundance, allowing each of us to live our most authentic life and helping us to create our own heaven on earth. We thank you for the love and deep heart to heart connection


Julie Jancius: that surrounds us every day in our relationships. We thank you for the abundance of health and aliveness we feel radiating from every cell in our and our families bodies. Thank you for the gift of walking this life with us and guiding us every step of the way through your messages. We hear you through our own intuition and we feel you walking right by ourselves sides and we overflow with gratitude. Thank you for financial abundance and abundance of opportunities, miracles, blessings and prosperity in every way. We know that you want us to succeed so that we can show others how you want them to succeed too. Thank you for the boundless love, kindness, Empathy and compassion that binds us all together. Thank you for the laughter, fun moments of pure delight that fill us every day, especially today. God Universe Source thank you for blessing us beyond measure and allowing us to use our souls, gifts, talents, skills and abilities to serve the world. We love you. I love you. And in this we pray. Amen. Friends, we’re working on some pretty major things over here. If you wouldn’t mind saying a little prayer that these things come to fruition. If they’re God’s will, we’d so appreciate it. And please add a little prayer in for any specific thing you need right now too. Have a beautiful, blessed day, and don’t forget to submit your contact info@theangelmedium.com. dot if you’d like me to channel the name of one of your Angels for you, sending you peace, bliss and many blessings.

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