Fall 2020 - Member Spotlight
CEOLC Secretary & Co-Founder
Kerry received her end-of-life doula training at the Conscious Dying Institute and went on to use her skills as a volunteer at Denver Hospice. Prior, she worked at the Denver Police Department as a victim’s specialist. As a specialist, she responded to victims of rape, domestic violence and assault, and to families of suicides and homicides. Kerry feels that many of the same skills she brought to victims in crises, she brings to the dying and their families.
“I believe that when most people are at their lowest low…when they are hurting and afraid…their hearts cry out for Mother. I can be that presence. I can wrap that person in my arms and rock them, whether physically or metaphorically.” When not “rocking” Kerry writes articles and books, lectures, and creates art.
Kerry holds a BA in Communications and Journalism from the University of New Mexico, and an MS in Criminology from Regis University.
War Cries: Unheard Voices, Unmarked Graves
by Kerry Arquette
The devastation caused by World War II is described by historians in terms of military strategies and battles, the toll on economics, and the numbers of dead. But only the stories of those whose lives were changed or lost, can convey the true horror of the war. These were people very much like ourselves—men, women, children, siblings, poets, soldiers, students, professionals, laborers, givers, takers, jokers, dancers, lovers, dreamers, cowards, and the brave. Each is the hero of his own tale.
Each tale underscores the uniqueness of human perception based upon personality and circumstances. By listening to the voices of those with stories to tell, we can grow in our appreciation of what it means to be human. War Cries: Unheard Voices, Unmarked Graves provides a stage for those who experienced the war to speak their truths.
War Cries Artwork
From War Cries
Fanny Mina Grotz
(First story in War Cries)
There is a place a world away
Where a man may journey after his toils are through.
Without the weight of guilt or blame or passion or pain
His soul rises like a leaf born on the gentlest breeze.
And as the earth falls below, the air becomes clean and clear.
Sounds fade to the whirr of a hummingbird’s wings.
Odors of life and death dilute, then, disappear.
From this ethereal tower that dwarfs the tallest mountain peaks,
One can view the enormous mosaic of mankind--
From time’s conception to the clock’s most recent tick.
A man may find his soul space in this scheme,
Gaining perspective on his contribution to the rich and riotous whole.
And then he will know if his life has been well-lived or wasted,
And whether, in the end, he was hero or villain.
(Last in book)
White rabbits can be drawn from hats,
And coins plucked from ears.
Babies emerge wailing from wombs.
The deathly ill can heal and rise from their beds.
A flower often sprouts where it was never planted.
The sound of the sea can be heard in a shell.
A mountain returns your spoken words.
Fog can be seen, but never touched,
And the moon changes shape in the night sky.
The world is full of magic
And so I allow myself to believe that somehow, some way,
Those who come after, will sense my presence, Like a voice echoing through time.
They will pause labors or pleasures and wonder
And as long as I reside in their minds and hearts, I will never truly be gone.
An Eclectic Body of Work
The Joy of Scrapbooking
Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul
(Concordia Publishing House)
Day of the Dead Crafts:
More than 24 Projects that Celebrate Dia de los Muertos
with Andrea Zocchi
Sweet Dreams: 5-Minute Bedtime Stories (Harcourt anthology)
Articles have appeared in:
- Seventeen Magazine
- Woman’s Day
- Woman’s Word
- American Baby
- + more
Kerry's Teaching Philospohy
"I believe in the work that end-of-life midwifes offer to families and patients and believe strongly that our profession is poised to change the way we do death in America. For that to happen, people need to know about us! I am chomping at the bit for the opportunity to speak to groups in our state and around the country. Professional organizations, doctors, support organizations for those with chronic illnesses, schools, meetups, book clubs, senior centers, 55+ and retirement communities, hospitals and rehab centers, libraries, online groups…anybody and everybody who wishes to know more about our work!"
“I invited Kerry to speak in my psychology class and was blown away. She broaches a difficult topic with grace and humor, creating an informative and engaging environment that invites students to explore both cultural and individual beliefs around death. Students left the lecture deeply impacted which, as a teacher, is the goal of the classroom. I look forward to inviting her back every semester and would encourage anyone interested in exploring these topics to do the same!” ~ Britt Mahrer, MA, LPCC, Adjunct Professor
Past speaking engagements include:
The Chicago Mensa Convention
University of Colorado Denver
Colorado Community College
Southwest Writer’s Convention
CEOLC EOL Doula Member Spotlight
Member Spotlight - Sigrid Swerdlin
I grew up a little sheltered from the world in a small rural town in Germany. Growing up I only had one living grandparent, but I was very close with my grandma, Anna, who passed away when I was 16 years old. She always said, “If ever I end up in a hospital, I will come out feet first.” And that’s exactly what happened.
Member Spotlight - Janet Reichart, LCSW
For as long as I can remember, I have experienced a fascination with death, with the dying process, and with how people grieve. Even as a child, I was drawn to stories about end of life, and about the medical aspects of death. Somehow, even in youth, I knew that the experience of leaving this physical existence is a deeply sacred transition, one that extends far beyond the cessation of a heartbeat.
Member Spotlight - Sara E. Stewart
After a stroke in October of 2015, Sara had to focus on rehabilitation. Her recovery was underwhelming. It was not until she realized she was grieving that things changed. Sara turned that grief into mourning the person she was prior to the stroke, and she began to speed up her recover process.
Member Spotlight - Vanessa Johnston
In 2015, Vanessa Johnston was looking for a new career. Her passion for teaching high school English had waned, and she wanted a different way to be of useful service in the world. She now spends her time as an End-of-Life Doula, a death educator, and an advocate for all the new options in the field of death care..
Member Spotlight - Valerie Nicholas
Valerie has always had an affinity for working with older adults, and she attributes this calling to her loving and influential grandparents. Valerie has been a life-long professional working with older adults and has devoted herself to end-of-life care as a hospice volunteer, life-cycle celebrant, and end-of-life doula.
Member Spotlight - Kerry Arquette
Kerry is the secretary and co-founder of the Colorado End-of-Life Collaborative, as well as the proprietor of End-of-Life Midwife. She has authored several books and is regularly invited to speak and teach about her work as an end-of-life doula, as well as a victim’s specialist for the Denver Police Department. Her most recent book, War Cries: Unheard Voices, Unmarked Graves, is a beautifully haunting collection of poems that give voice to the stories of many people much like ourselves who died during WWII. CEOLC is proud to feature her article, “Why Our Collaborative Is Imperative,” as we launch our new Collaborative Blog. Find out more about Kerry in this month’s Member Spotlight.
Member Spotlight - Cindy Kaufman
Cindy is the president and co-founder of the Colorado End-of-Life Collaborative, as well as the proprietor of HeartSpeak End-of-Life Companioning. She is regularly invited to speak and teach about what it means to be an end-of-life doula. Her most recent book, The Mortal’s Guide to Dying Well: Practical Wisdom from an End-of-Life Doula, was released in May 2020. Visit Cindy’s website to see more articles, publications and interviews.