It has become our passion to guide people through the death & dying process with strength, awareness & courage.
How We Began
We officially began in 2015, but the concept of this offering was years in the making. After seeing numerous deaths that could have turned out differently had there been more support, Shelby decided to help change that. She attended the International End of Life Doula Association's doula training and started A Peaceful Passing. Within the first week, a client's family found her and the word of mouth has been traveling ever since.
About a year and a half into this endeavor Shelby realized that she would need more doulas to help support our community. In early 2018 Nicky Hansen, who had also taken the INELDA training, was brought on to be A Peaceful Passing's second doula.
We are both now certified End of Life Doulas within the Richmond area and we have grown the business to not only support countless client's and families in our area, but to also educate our community about death and dying through Death Cafe's, speaking engagements and co-founding The Art of Dying Conference in 2019.
Over the many years we have been End of Life Doulas, we have had the privilege to be a part of many people’s journey through the dying process. What we have seen in those rare occasions when people accept death & dying, is that they depart this world spiritually fulfilled & content. This contentment spreads to the loved ones and family which allows this amazing moment, usually permeated with fear, to be instead filled with hope & grace.
To support and serve as guides to individuals and their families as they work through and accept the process of dying; to help them manage their physical, emotional and spiritual needs.
To provide the individual a sounding board to help establish and fulfill their ideas of a peaceful passing.
To assist the family as they navigate this journey, affirming to them that they are not alone, helpless or lost.
Shelby is the founder and president of A Peaceful Passing. Along with being an ICU nurse for over twenty years, she is trained and certified by INELDA (the International End of Life Doula Association), and has been a practicing end of life coach/doula for five years. In 2017 she became an instructor for INELDA where she travels around the country training others to be doulas. Shelby believes that dying isn’t a medical experience, but rather a sacred and special time in our lives that should be treated with such care. With the right preparation and open communication, she believes that dying can, and should be, a beautiful ending to the wonderful chapters we write.
Outside of her practice, she enjoys hiking, camping and reading. Her first loves, however, are her husband and three beautiful children.
Nicky is passionate about caring for the elderly and has been actively involved in hospice as a vigil volunteer for the past seven years. She has guided and supported many patients and families through the dying phase. With her caring nature she has formed strong bonds with her patients and encouraged their creativity through Art Therapy which is particularly beneficial to those suffering from dementia. She has also become certified in the Alzheimer's Association Person-Centered Dementia Care Training Program and essentiALZ exam.
Nicky is trained and certified by INELDA as an End of Life Doula. When the time comes, Nicky instinctively guides family and friends through the experience of losing a loved one in a compassionate manner, taking into consideration the various needs and concerns of everyone involved.
Outside of her work, Nicky enjoys quality family time with her husband, children and rescue dogs.