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About Journeying Beyond's

'End of Life Consultant and Death Midwife
and Logo Symbology
 
   
 

On this page (click on the link below to jump to section)
About Pashta -- Death Midwife for Journeying Beyond
About symbology of Journeying Beyond's logo

About Pashta

Pashta MaryMoon is a mother and grandmother, living in Victoria, B.C. Canada.    She spent her youth as a social activist and non-violence trainer, and teaching music in elementary schools.   Later, she obtained a Honours degree in World Religions (Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada), followed by a lay seminary degree (Unity Institute Spiritual Education and Enrichment in Missouri) — as well as training in sexual abuse and general counselling, and working in a Sexual Abuse centre as a volunteer counsellor (where she also dealt with incest and attempted murder cases).    With a life-long special interest in the dying process, she wrote several essays on the effect of modern death practices on our attitudes towards life, and visited Elizabeth Kubler-Ross's Shanti Nilaya center in the late 1970s.  

In the 1980s, Pashta worked with Northern Lights (Ontario) — a self-help community for people living with HIV/AIDS — sometimes caring for friends and co-workers who were dying from this disease, as well as officiating at their requiems or memorials.   During the same time period, she was birth-coach for 3 single mothers.   One of these cases involved the birth of a fetus who had died in utero: and Pashta stayed with the mother for 36 hours afterwards, supporting the mother's immediate grieving.   As a singer/songwriter, Pashta has long used vocal music as an alternate therapy to support the dying or grieving process.

Pashta's background is primarily in pastoral care in chaplaincies — as visiting clergy for hospital/hospice (10 yrs) and federal prison (20 yrs).   In the late 1990s, she joined the pastoral/spiritual care team at the Royal Jubilee Hospital (Victoria), and became its first non-Christian member.   During one experience with a patient during this service, she became aware of the power of vocal music as a way to reach those who were dying in a state of partial or full dementia — this experience left her wondering how to aid people with dementia and/or dying through music and other support services.

She was one of the co-founders of what eventualy became the Victoria Hospice Bedside Singers (originally called Songs of Passage) and co-lead the regular Bedside Singing program for the Victoria Hospice unit, until she left to create En-chanting Beyond (Bedside Singing for dying patients outside the Hospice unit, birthing mothers, and people with dementia).

Pashta has been a member of the Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting for the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) for 40 years.   She has been the clerk of the Memorial committee for the Victoria Friends Meeting for several years — as well as serving as clerk for both the Vancouver Island Monthly Meeting Ministry & Council committee, and the Victoria Friends Meeting Pastoral Care Committee.    Her personal faith background is Nature-based; and until recently, was active as a Wiccan priestess/clergy for public temples and/or rituals, chaplaincy, and personalized 'rites of passage'.

Pashta graduated from The Justice Institute as a mediator in 2011, and offers a specific focus in EOL (end-of-life) issues through E~merging Beyond.   In the past, she has also been a member of the South Island Dispute Resolution Centre, and volunteer coach for their Compass conflict resolution program.   She has taken training in various approaches to Advance Care Planning.   She is very aware of how important it is to have one's final affairs in order — especially to ensure that the Death Journeyer's choices will be honoured; and to avoid unnecessary confusion, tension or guilt feelings on the behalf of the family caring for the Death Journeyer throughout the whole of the pan-death process.

Her focus is the emotional/spiritual and practical side of dying; and less on the specifically legal affairs (such as wills) — although she has basic certification in 'Aging and the Law'.   She has spent several years researching variations of Advance Directives and Representation Agreements throughout North America (including the new legislation in BC).   As a result, she has developed comprehensive, values-based Advance Directives and Representation Agreements templates for both her Quaker community and non-Quakers clients as well.   She attends a variety of EOL and Advance-care Planning workshops — including with Life and Death Matters (psychosocial side of palliative care), and to participate in a number of organizations that are addressing EOL/pan-death issues.    She is also an active member of Patients As Partners/Patients Voice Network in B.C. — especially focused on 'end of life' and dementia-care issues; as well as a participant in the Island Health Research '5 days in May' program.

She has trained with Jerrigrace Lyons from Final Passages — one of the grandmothers of Home Funerals movement in U.S.A.   She is also a member of the Victoria Elder Friendly Community Network, and trained as an ambassador for Dying with Dignity.   She is also an original member of the End of Life Professionals Collective.

Pashta has over 30 years of experience with developing and leading personalized ceremonies for a variety of different rites of passage — including working with clergy/celebrants from other faiths to develop personalized multi-faith/interfaith ceremonies.   She has a strong belief in the value of combining cultural traditions with personal values, in order to create uniquely meaningful ceremonies — especially as a Funeral Celebrant (for funeral/memorial services), and the various other potential pan-death rites that might be included within the support expected of a Death Midwife.

Her interest in a less institutionalized form of dying/death started at age 7.   Her focus is on:

  exploring and honouring the values and choices of the Death Journeyer and their families — both before facing death, with comprehensive Advance Care Planning and support for families to discuss the choices made; and pan-death, in fulfilling those values and choices
offering support/guidance for a more 'hands on' approach for the family (allowing them — if they so choose — to care for their loved one after death as well as before it) including necessary paperwork, towards a family-led home funeral
and while incorporating various modern advances, generally returning to the pre-20th century role of the midwife (and the community of the Death Journeyer -- however they understand that in modern times) directly supporting all aspects of a death in a pan-death continuum

Throughout her lifetime, Pashta has carried this concern evolving from studies in the issues around death; through working with people with HIV/AIDS or other terminal illness, and end-stage dementia; to eventually becoming a Death Midwife with Journeying Beyond.

She is a co-founder of CINDEA, as well as its web designer and manager.

Please contact Pashta at 250-383-4065 or email us for further information on what she offers — as a Death Midwife (see also Death Midwifery) and/or EOL consultant (see also Advance Care Planning).

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About Symbology of Logo

The logo starts with a starry night-sky background night often symbolizing death; and stars, hope for the future or the afterlife.   In the palms of the hands, rests a glowing ball of light the Death Journeyer's spirit before death.    The ball of light gradually diffuses into the starry sky representing the journey out of this world, and into the starry heavens above.   The hands themselves (which are Pashta's hands) represent the hands of the Death Midwife, as well as those of the Death Journeyer's family and friends all who are physically and/or prayerfully supporting a gentle journey in this final passage.   They are cupped in a cradling position paralleling the hand-position of a Birth Midwife as they support the passage of a child into this world to once again 'cradle' this beloved life-spirit as it prepares to leave this world.

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