Jan 2020 Forum-Demystifying Death: An Elder Law Attorney & Death Doula’s Perspective on End of Life

Demystifying Death: An Elder Law Attorney & Death Doula’s Perspective on End of Life


“How strange this fear of death is! We are never frightened at a sunset.”      ~George MacDonald, scholar & author


Most of us plan for major life events, like birth, graduation, marriage, and retirement, however the majority of Americans do not plan for how we want to die.  As you approach a time of year full of traditions related to honoring our past and reflecting on what’s to come, we hope that you will join Brenna Galvin, Elder Law Attorney and Death Doula to bring life to the all-to-often taboo topic of death and dying.

What is a Death Doula?

A Death Doula is a non-medical person trained to care for someone holistically (physically, emotionally and spiritually) at the end of life. Death Doulas care for the whole person, taking into account patients’ emotional, mental, spiritual, and physical factors.


Death Doulas can:

  • Help create positive, empowering end of life plans;
  • Provide spiritual care, psychological and social support;
  • Suggest ideas for optimal physical comfort;
  • Help plan home vigils; and
  • Educate patients and families on the new and progressive options of home wakes and natural burials.

Hospice and palliative care programs don’t have the structure or staffing to alleviate the care issues that arise from end-of-life and dying. Doulas fill in the gaps. More than that, they help restore sacredness to dying, provide respite to exhausted caregivers, bring deep meaning to the dying experience, and prepare people for the last breaths of their loved one.

At the end of our evening together, you will leave with a deeper understanding of the importance of professional support and resources available to you as you navigate the end of life for loved ones and for yourself. 

Event Information

Monday, January 13, 2020

Check-In and Networking: 6:15 – 7:00 pm
Presentation: 7:00-8:30 pm
Location: Minnesota State University Mankato at Edina


Event fee: $15 for members; $25 for non-members.




Our Presenter

Brenna Galvin, is a Shareholder and Elder Law Attorney at Maser, Amundson, Boggio & Hendricks, P.A. She practices in the areas of Long-term care planning, Veterans benefits, Medical Assistance, Estate planning, Disability planning, including Supplemental and Special needs trusts, and Estate and Trust Administration. Brenna provides resources that enhance her clients’ quality of life and gives her clients and their families comfort in knowing that they have planned for the worst, so they can live their best. Brenna chose to become an attorney because she believes law at its core is a helping profession. She draws her inspiration from intergenerational interactions in her own large family and years of working with seniors and individuals with disabilities. Brenna is a graduate of the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Political Science, and she earned her Juris Doctor from William Mitchell College of Law. Brenna is involved in a number of professional and community organizations, including the Elder Law Governing Council of the Minnesota State Bar Association, the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, the Bancroft Neighborhood Association, Minneapolis Rowing Club, the University of Minnesota M Club, and Kairos Alive! Brenna was recently featured the book, A Survival Guide to Aging. When Brenna is not working, you can find her exploring the North Shore, rowing on the Mississippi River, roaming farmers markets and art museums, and attending concerts and plays throughout the Cities

Refund Policy: In the event that SHIFT cancels a program, you’ll receive a refund of your registration payment. SHIFT will not issue credits or refunds in the following circumstances: you cancel your registration, register but do not attend, or attend but leave early, or do not attend all sessions of a multi-session course.