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Life’s Too Short For BS: Authenticity Lessons From A Birth And Death Doula

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13th June 2024

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About this episode

Would you pack up your life in a moment to go to Cambodia and make a difference there? 

Would you send back $40,000 to a donor because you don’t have time to jump through hoops and need to be available for mummas, babies and dying people? 

In this heartfelt episode of Don’t Be Caught Dead, I sit down with Denise Love, a life and death doula whose experiences span the globe from Australian towns to Cambodian villages. 

Denise shares her journey of supporting people through the most profound moments of birth and death, revealing the powerful lessons she’s learned along the way. From dealing with terminal illness to creating a life of intention and minimal stress, Denise’s insights are both challenging and enlightening.

We discuss the importance of making conscious choices about living and dying, the impact of stress on our health, and the often-overlooked need for pausing and reflecting on what truly matters. Denise also opens up about her incredible work in Cambodia, where she’s established health centres and brought sustainable solutions to underserved communities. Her stories highlight the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of compassion.

Remember; You may not be ready to die, but at least you can be prepared.

Take care, 


Show notes

Guest Bio
Podcast Guest - Image
Denise Love

Founder of Life Options with Denise Love

As outlined on her website, Denise Love, Founder of Life Options with Denise Love outlines her services a; Circle-of-Life Doula, Birth Doula Trainer, Hypnotherapist - Birth, Life, Pain & Death, Death Doula Trainer, Doulas of the World and Women's Health Cambodia. 

Denise explains her philosophy; I am fascinated by the first and last breath.  I have been serving dying people for most of my life.  I run and in home, hospice or Death Doula Service and believe in cost effective green end-of-life choices.  I am comfortable with the choice to die when ever that is without treatment or people taking their own lives.


Key Points:

  • Facing Mortality: Denise emphasises the significance of asking yourself, "Do I want to live or die?" and making intentional choices about your health and treatment.
  • Dealing with Stress: We explore how chronic stress can impact our immune systems and lead to severe health issues, and why it's crucial to reassess and simplify our lives.
  • The Doula's Journey: Denise shares her extensive experience as a birth and death doula, including her pioneering work in Cambodia, where she established healthcare facilities and trained local midwives.
  • Life and Death Choices: The episode delves into the philosophy of living well to die well, and how Denise’s approach can help people find peace with their end-of-life decisions.


00:00:02,770 --> 00:00:07,270
So, when you get your diagnosis, even
before you say yes to chemo or have

00:00:07,270 --> 00:00:12,440
your first chemo treatment or radio or
surgery, just even if it's one night,

00:00:12,640 --> 00:00:17,419
sit with yourself, preferably under
the moon and just say to yourself, what

00:00:17,420 --> 00:00:19,000
are my needs and wants around this?

00:00:19,000 --> 00:00:20,099
Do I want to live or die?

6< ... Read More


  • Where There Is No Doctor, David Werner and Jane Maxwell
  • The Natural Death Handbook Paperback,  Josefine Speyer (Editor)
  • SBS On Demand is presenting 14 short documentaries from Australian Film Television and Radio School Bachelor of Arts Screen: Production students. One of those features Denise.

Ode to an End

Denise Love has been a death doula for 20 years. She serves dying people as a non-medical professional, working to make death and grief a more supported and realised experience for both the dying person and those around them.

Director: Layla Philippou
Producer: Jonathan Zhang


View free guides:

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