Hello! I'm Valerie, a death doula and senior companion, and I am currently serving the Charlotte metro area. I was originally born in Texas but raised in Charlotte, NC and have continued to call this area my home. My decision to pursue this work full time came after the death of someone very special to me in May 2023. I have had various experiences of showing up for those that were close to death and being present for those that have suffered the death of a loved one. For me, death and loss has been the greatest teacher. If you choose to work with me I attest to showing up for you (and your family) in the ways I have shown up for others to hold space through this period of life that we all will experience one day.
Why I chose to pursue this work...
Since my father was absent for most of my childhood and died from a work accident when I was 14, my grandfather was the closest thing to a father figure. I was his shadow and followed him practically everywhere, even on late night trips to the hospital. My experiences with him were what made me want to "heal" people. As I was further into my teenage years I helped care for him and on the way home from a doctor visit he turned to me with tears in his eyes and said "Vale, I'm gonna die. I'm scared I'm gonna die." Suddenly, he was human. The 19 year old me was frozen and the only thing I could think to do was be present with him as I nodded my head to acknowledge him and kept my tear filled eyes on the road.
Soon after, he wound up in the hospital again and this time was worse than the rest. I spent as much time as I could with him at the hospital, sleeping on the recliner in ICU. On one of his last few days of his life he kept asking around for my younger brother, so I half jokingly said, "Popo, why don't you ever ask for me?" and he replied, "I never ask for you, Valita, because I know you'll always be here." And that was the moment I understood the power of presence.
Since I was a child I always wanted to be a healer, however, after working on my own healing journey I realize that it is not my duty to heal people. My calling is to create a safe space for others to be, and in turn they will heal parts of themselves. For me, those impactful moments happened to be when death was near or for those who have suffered a loss. I have had multiple experiences with dying people from the years I worked in the hospital and other times where I have been with family or friends. Each instance I have held onto that inner knowing of holding space for others and have had some profound moments that I will cherish for the rest of my life.
This work is for all the souls that will never leave my heart, the ones that have taught me the sacredness of life and death..
For Hugo (my dad), Popo (my grandpa), Catalina (my grandma), Gail, Oso, and Kylee.
Valerie's Education & Certification
Notary Public, CPCC
End-of-Life Doula, International Doulagivers Institute
Reiki Master/Teacher, Usui Ryoho Reiki
Master of Healthcare Administration, Utica College
Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science, UNCC
My connection to death and the dying started at a young age but the unfolding of Passage to Agapē began when the universe sent me to Mexico the morning after my grandmother passed away in 2020. Here are some photos of the experience I had that began my healing journey and opened my eyes to the value of a good death, supported by community.