Being a Death Doula with Debra Diamond

In this episode, Kelle welcomes Death Doula, Debra Diamond, to Spirit Sherpa to discuss what a Death Doula is, how they work, as well as what Debra’s journey was like as she found her way to the work. Debra also discusses her work with Near Death Experiences (NDEs) and those who experienced them. Kelle and Debra discuss psychic and mediumship and how energy attunement allows for broad access to vast aspects of those who have passed over.


For more information about Kelle Sparta or Kelle Sparta Enterprises:

-For more information about Debra Diamond:


–For more information about Debra’s Books:

Driveabout (Full Version)

–Written by: Kelle Sparta

–Performed by: Kelle Sparta and Daniel Singer

–Produced by: Daniel Singer

-For more information about Joe Caliendo Jr (Joey C) or Honu Voice Productions:



Listen to the episode here

Being A Death Doula With Debra Diamond

We have a guest with us this time.

We do and she is so interesting.

Why don’t you introduce her?

I’d love to. Debra Diamond is with us. It’s so funny I keep running into people who are both spiritual and business people. It’s like me having come out of the real estate, Kathy had been the CPA and the head of a Fortune 500 company, and Debra, who was a number-one-ranked money manager for many years. She was the president of the best-performing investment fund on Wall Street. She was the first woman hedge fund manager and founder of seven investment partnerships. She was recruited by George Soros to join his team of managers. Now, she’s a death doula and medium. You got to love it when we make the transition from business to woo-woo.

She’s got this great new book out called Diary of a Death Doula. She’s a psychic medium and a near-death experience researcher. She is presenting the story of her life as a hospice death doula. In the book, she reveals 25 critical life lessons from those at the threshold of the afterlife and who have already crossed over. Ultimately, She’s revealing a new way of understanding death. You know me, I love talking cycle of life, so death is part of that process. Welcome, Debra. I’m so excited that you can be on the show with us.

Thank you, Kelly and Joey. It’s a pleasure to be here.

Tell us what’s a death doula.

Many people are familiar with the term birth doula. That’s someone who helps a woman give birth, a midwife, who usher life into the world. A death doula bookends the process so they help us your life out. People have sat vigil bedside for thousands of years. There’s nothing new about that. Sitting bedside with the dying, but the idea of a death doula who sits bedside as a service that’s offered to people is something new. It’s probably only about a few years old. I credit the Baby Boomers because whenever Baby Boomers get involved, they always seem to change things and look at what other options we have to make it better.

Many Baby Boomers are aging now. They are in their 60s, 70s, or 80s, and they don’t want the same old institutionalized process in terms of end of life and death. Death doulas have evolved in the last few years, and there are several types of death doulas. There are some who get involved with the process of a patient at end-of-life as soon as that patient enters the hospital or hospice.

There are death doulas who get involved in legacy projects or supporting families. There are a number of different types of death doulas, but my work as a death doula is sitting bedside with the actively dying. The actively dying are defined as those in the last 24 to 48 hours of life.

Now, when a physician tells you that your loved one has only 24 to 48 hours left, they don’t always get it right. It’s not because they are lying to you. They don’t know, and I will talk about this later if we can. The reason that they don’t always know is because death is a process and it involves body and soul. It’s not just the body or soul. It involves both, and sometimes people feel like they visit a loved one in hospice and say, “Why are they still here? It seems like they should have gone already.”

One of the reasons is they are not ready yet. Their physical body may be ready, but they are soul isn’t. We can talk about that more later, but that gives you a snapshot of the type of work that I do. The patients at end-of-life generally are unresponsive, but they are not unconscious. There’s a lot going on that most people don’t see because it’s taking place in the invisible world.

My work as a doula means that I’m oftentimes sitting for very long periods of time and quiet. I may be meditating or reading, and my job is to be the eyes and ears of the medical staff and the families because the medical staff can’t always be there in the room. The families often aren’t there but they want someone to be with their loved ones. They don’t want their loved ones to die alone and they want someone to be with them. That’s the job of the doula.

I know you are a psychic and a medium. How does that play into your death doula work?

For the most part, my work as a doula, as I mentioned, is to be the eyes and ears of the medical staff and report if there are any changes taking place with the patient or if the patient is uncomfortable and if I feel they need something. Also, to let the families know if they come in, “My loved one changed since I saw them yesterday,” that type of thing. I update them.

First and foremost, that’s the work but I am a medium. Let me explain to your readers in case they don’t know the difference between a psychic and a medium. They are two different things. Psychics are able to retrieve information about money, relationships, career, family, life path, and all the things that affect all of us as we go through life. Mediums connect with those who’ve passed over.

All mediums or psychics, but not all psychics are mediums because mediums have to go higher than psychics to retrieve that information. Let’s say you had a radio or television tower and you are in Virginia. If you were a psychic, you are able to pick up channels in North Carolina or Florida. If you are a medium, you’d be able to pick up the channel in California. You have that much more power.

It’s the same thing with psychics and mediums. A psychic has not as much power as a medium. Medium has to go higher to make that connection. As a medium, I’m able to see those who passed or were on the other side. As a medium, who happens to be a death doula, not all death doulas are mediums but because I am, I’m able to see into that invisible world. On occasion, patients will also communicate with me telepathically, and I’m able to see many of them while they are lying there in their hospital beds, and it appears as if not much is going on. It looks like nobody’s home.

There’s quite a lot going on. They are out of their bodies and they are journeying. They may be visiting memorable places from their past, their new home on the other side, or visiting with loved ones who’ve passed. There could be any number of things that they are doing, but they are out of their bodies.

My mother used to tell a story before she passed about my grandfather’s passing, her father. When you said they are not ready to go, it triggered that for me because my mother needs to tell the story that her father had a heart attack. They decided on Christmas day or Christmas Eve because Christmas was such a big thing for him that they wanted his last gift to be the gift of his corneas to a child who would get a sight. They turned off the machines on Christmas Eve so that he could give that final gift, and she said that he waited four days to die and he’d been on machines for a while. That shouldn’t have been the case theoretically, but she was convinced that he didn’t die for four days so that he wouldn’t ruin Christmas for her.

Death Doula: There’s nothing new about sitting bedside with the dying, but the idea of a death doula who sits bedside as a service that’s offered to people is something new.

It’s not an uncommon story. Your story has its particular aspects, the holiday. At end-of-life, patients are much more aware of time, space, holidays, events, and all of that. Many people realize. They are usually unresponsive. They are not wearing watches and not looking at the clock yet they seem to know if a celebration or a particular life event is coming up. They are hearing is also the last sense to go. This is what we are told. If you are in the room of a dying patient and you are having this conversation about, “We think we’ll turn the machine off. Grandpa will die and we can donate his corneas.” He hears you. That’s something people need to be aware of. You didn’t ask about how I decided to become a death doula, but the answer plays into what we are talking about.

The thing is, my mother passed away many years ago, and when she was ill, we had hospice come to the house. They were wonderful, as anybody who’s had an experience with hospice will tell you. At one point, one of the hospice professionals handed me a piece of paper and said, “You might want to read this,” and I set it aside. When I eventually picked it up and I read, it said, “If the soul is ready and the body isn’t, you don’t leave. If the body is ready and the soul isn’t, you don’t leave. When the body is ready and the soul is ready, then you leave.”

I read that, I re-read it, and it had a profound effect on me because up until then, I’d never been around anybody who had died. My idea of death was something like out of the movies where a thunderbolt would come out of the sky and all the secrets of the universe would be revealed. I imagined it would be something very dramatic. It’s not like that. It’s more like birth. It’s a process.

After I read what this hospice had written, I thought about it for a long time because what they were saying was death is a process. It involves body and soul. This is something that you see in hospice. I could think of one patient in particular who had been in hospice for a month and hadn’t eaten for weeks. He was down to 85 pounds. I was sitting in the room with this patient and the nurse came in. They said, “So-and-so, you can leave now.”

The nurse went about her business. I was talking to the nurse and I whispered, “Do you say that to all the patients?” She got very defensive and said, “This patient’s family keeps telling them they could leave. Why is this patient still here? They have been ill, and they should have gone by now.” The doctor came in a little while later, shook his head, and looked at the patient, “Why is this patient still here?” The doctor and the nurse left, and the patient telepathically said to me, “I will go when I’m ready to go.”

The patient’s mother and aunt were in the room in spirit because I could communicate with those who passed over. The mother said to me, “This person always had their own mind. They are always so independent.” You don’t change. At end-of-life, this is not the time to take a U-turn and become another person you don’t. This person evidently was quite independent-minded. Nobody who’s going to tell this person what to do, and it was the same at end-of-life. This patient’s body looked like there was not much left, but the will and soul were strong. Both have to be ready to move on in order for physical death to take place.

It’s a big shift from money manager to death doula.

When my mother passed away, I was still a money manager. Like many people on the spiritual path, when you look back on it, you can pinpoint moments that were markers on your spiritual journey. I had my transition point in 2008, but if you go back farther, you could say, “In 2000, I became a vegetarian. In 2001, I started doing this.” It’s almost like you are in training and your life starts to change. It’s incremental until the moment where you make the shift.

I had been a money manager for many years on Wall Street. The thing is, when I was a money manager, I also had these abilities or gifts. I don’t know what you want to call it, but I knew things. I would be able to pick up a prospectus or an annual report, and without reading it, I would know about the company, management, product, industry, or if the stock would do well. I would know all that.

Paul Scheele teaches people how to do that. He calls it a Download. That’s fascinating that you are automatically doing it, but he teaches that process.

There’s a process called Psychometry, which maybe you are familiar with, where you pick up a physical object, you are able to do a reading on it, and get information. I’m sure there’s a certain amount of that involved, but I didn’t know what it was at that time. My boss, who was pretty open-minded, would say things like, “You have pretty good instincts.” I seized on that and thought that’s the answer. In the investment business, like you were in real estate, nobody goes around talking about being psychic. I’m sure it’s not a topic that comes up. It never occurred to me. It could be something else.

I had that foundation already. It was built into me and appeared in my work when I was in the investment business. It wasn’t until 2008 that I attended an intuition development class in New York because I thought I had pretty good intuition. It would be fun to take a class. I went up to New York for the weekend for this class. In the class, there were about 25 people, men and women. I didn’t know any of them. It was Saturday morning and we did a few exercises. I was getting everything.

The first exercise was Psychometry, where you had a partner. I didn’t know my partner, but she was a woman. She handed me her ring. As soon as I was holding it, I started to see the Amazon. I had never been to the Amazon, but I knew it was the Amazon. She said, “What do you see?” I keep it in hand because it sounded so ridiculous to me to say, “I see the Amazon.” I’m sitting in this New York classroom with a woman I don’t know and I’m going to announce I see the Amazon. She kept saying, “What about the ring? What do you see?” I said, “I see South America.” I figured that was a good hedge.

Anyone gets too far out. She said, “Keep going.” I said, “I see Brazil,” and she said, “Keep going.” I said, “I see a hut in Brazil, and I see you working in a hut with this woman.” When we were all done, the teacher said, “Now exchange the thing back and talk about what you found.” The person I was working with said to me, “I’m going to Brazil and three months to work with a shaman. It’s going to be the two of us, and we’ll be in this little hut in Brazil.” I was like, “How did I do that? I didn’t even know how I did it.” Things like that were happening that morning. We took a break, and when we came back, the teacher said, “Now we are going to do a seance.” It would be like you and Joey saying, “Debra, surprise. Now we are going to do a seance with you.” I hope you are not. Maybe in the next time.

Death Doula: The reason that a physician doesn’t always know how many hours your loved one has left is because death is a process and it involves body and soul. It’s not just the body. It involves both.

When she said we were going to do a seance, I was like, “No.” I looked at the schedule for the day. I didn’t see anything about a seance. This was supposed to be intuition development, something very soft. I thought, “I don’t want to do this,” but it’s still Saturday morning in the classroom through Sunday afternoon. “We’ll do this one exercise. Nothing is going to happen, and then we’ll go on to the next thing.”

The teacher said, “I’m going to put you on a meditative state, and then I will take you out of it. If you see anyone, you let me know.” I thought, “That doesn’t pertain to me. I’m not going to see anyone.” I meditated, and then she brought us out of meditation, and she said, “Does anyone see anything?” I looked around the room and everyone was looking at each other. I raised my hand and she said, “What do you see?” I said, “I see about 50 people.”

These were people who had passed. I saw people who were family members of mine who had passed and who went with other students in the room. I saw some random people. I saw 42nd Street show girls prancing through the center of the room. The teacher said, “If you see someone in the corner of the room, chances are they go with someone in that corner.” I said, “I do see a man in the corner and he had black hair and big handlebar mustache.” As I described him, the woman sitting in the corner began to sob.

She said, “I know who that is. That’s my fiancé. He died two years ago. If I show you pictures of him on my cell phone during the break, can you identify him?” I said, “Yes because he was plain as day to me.” During the break, she came over. She flipped through pictures on her cell phone. I said, “There. That’s him.” She said, “Yes. That’s my fiancé.”

She had wanted to hear from him for two years. I come from Wall Street. I didn’t even know what all this stuff was, but she believed in it. She had wanted to hear from him and she had not. She was very disappointed for two years. Here, I bring him in in this exercise. She hugs me and thanks me. There are no hugs on Wall Street.

I realized that I had done something meaningful for someone, which is also a foreign thing if you worked on Wall Street. How meaningful is that? I was very overwhelmed by all of it, but I recognized that this was something that had happened. I continued in the class the rest of the weekend, and more things were happening because now I had opened up this portal. I didn’t know that at that time.

Sunday night, I drove back home and I called my youngest son. I have three sons, but my youngest one is a very linear or logical thinker. I called him and I explained to him what had happened. He listened and when I was all done, he said, “That makes sense. We are just energy and the energy has to go somewhere.” That explanation helped me because up until then, I didn’t have a context to put any of this in. This provided a context. We are energy. That’s something that I have used in all my work since then. It’s something I can understand and spans science and the spirituality part.

You’ve done some research on near-death experiences. How does that fit into your work with the dying?

It’s a natural progression. I had been asked to read for a famous NDE or a Near-Death Experience in 2013 in Washington, DC. This particular person had a near-death experience. They were struck by lightning, had an NDE, came back, and had certain artistic gifts that they didn’t have prior to their experience. I read for this person, and it was a very unusual reading because psychics see things in symbols. The symbols I was getting were from the cosmos and the universe. That’s not typical. When a client comes to me, I’m not usually shown the universe. I came home that evening, and I googled near-death experience after-effects because I was puzzled about why this person had these afterthoughts. What they are supposed to do with them. What about other NDE-ers? Where do they get, if anything, and what does it mean?

I googled NDE after-effects and I found out there hadn’t been any research done. I decided, “I will do the research.” It’s not that farfetched because when I was in the investment business, I spent the first ten years as a healthcare research analyst, so I already had that background. That led me to study near-death experience after-effects because most people come back with some after-effect from an NDE, even if it’s a shift to becoming more spiritual, but there are also some more profound after-effects. In that process of working with these cases, I also did readings on all the people who had NDEs because there were questions about what happened to them that they couldn’t answer in a questionnaire like, “Who was the being of light that I met? Why didn’t I see the light? Why didn’t I have a life with you?” You can’t answer that on a questionnaire.

We did readings. In the readings, certain information came to light. One of the things that came to light is that people come back from these experiences with a shift in their energy. When they have an NDE, they go out into the universe or wherever they are going. They are not there very long, but when they come back, they have changed. There’s a fundamental shift in them, and it appears as if their consciousness has expanded.

It’s almost like they go out into the universe and get tanked up at the universal gas filling station. They are not the same. Let’s say that before an NDE, we are all 98% physical body and 2% consciousness, and then you have an NDE. Now, you are going to be maybe 95% physical body and 5% consciousness. Your consciousness is enhanced, which is what makes it so difficult for NDE-ers when they come back. They are not used to this. They are not used to all of a sudden having psychic powers or being able to get information from the person who’s standing in line at Walmart.

I have to interrupt you because I have got a ton of people who are all saying, “I’m suddenly psychic and I don’t know what to do.” They are having these awakening experiences. What do you tell people when they have that experience?

We know this about NDE. Seven years to adapt after having an NDE. We don’t know numbers yet for spiritually transformative experiences. Some of your people may have had NDE and others may have had a spiritually transformative experience. It’s impossible to say without. I’d have to do readings on them, honestly, but to see exactly what happened, you know where they are and what kind of person they are because it’s different for each person. There is no antidote. I can’t tell people to go out and drink this, and they will be fine because it doesn’t work that way.

Death Doula: They go through the transitioning or journeying process that goes on for a while. That means every time they’re out of their body, they go to that proverbial universal consciousness and then they come back into their body.

You have to learn how to see things differently.

The biggest issue for all these people is that they walk with one foot on Earth and one foot out of the universe. While people say to me, “How do I have one of those NDE things? That’s exactly what I need.”

Be careful what you ask for.

You don’t want one. It creates other issues. Lots of people are having these shifts right now. There are so many people that you would never have expected to have that. All of a sudden, your banker is coming to you and saying, “Can I tell you something?” They always whisper because they are afraid somebody might hear.

I’m here in Richmond, which is the heart of the Bible Belt. I get a lot of people coming up to me and saying, “I have got this and that.” I get that all the time because when you are the one out person in the world, they are something like that. I totally get it. You have a book called Diary of a Death Doula. What is that about?

The book came out after my book on near-death experiences called Life After Near Death. Diary of a Death Doula is about my work sitting bedside at the hospice with the actively dying. It’s called 25 Lessons The Dying, Teach Us About The Afterlife. There are lessons in the book that range from very commonplace lessons like families and loved ones dying need care too. That’s not a particularly psychic lesson, but it’s something that people need to recognize all the way to experiences that I have had sitting bedside with the dying where I have witnessed a patient was being out of body or have had conversations with loved ones in spirit who are in the room.

The most profound lesson is one that I alluded to about the near-death experiences because you asked about how the near-death experience relates to this. There’s a shift in your consciousness when you have an NDE. Without having done that work on NDEs, I wouldn’t have understood some of the work I have encountered as a death doula.

Sitting bedside with the dying, as I mentioned, they are out of the body quite a lot. They are journeying and transitioning. That’s part of the transition process. They go out of the body and then they come back into their body, and so on, and that’s a process that they do. Unlike NDEs, the NDE-ers go out of their body one time when they have their NDE, they come back, and then they tell you about it. With folks who are physically terminally ill, they don’t come back. At least not in that way, and they go through the transitioning or journeying process that goes on for a while.

What does that mean? That means every time they are out of their body, they go to that proverbial universal consciousness gasoline station and get a fill-up, and then they come back into their body. What seems to happen is their consciousness is expanding through this whole process, even as their physical body is declining until the moment when they die when their consciousness is at full bloom, and their physical body is no longer viable. To me, having done the work with NDE-ers and done the research was a stepping stone to the next step, which is actual physical terminal death. It’s nothing that I set out to do. I didn’t think, “I have done work on near-death experiences. Let me see how I can take this with patients who are actively dying.”

I wanted to be a death doula. I knew that after my mother passed away. I think that’s a very common thing. Many people who’ve experienced hospice then decide they want to give back and somehow want to get involved. I knew I could sit bedside with the dying because, as a medium, I talked to people who were dead. It didn’t scare me. That’s how I got into it. I knew I wanted to do the work, but once I started doing the work, I had to think about it, and I thought, “This seems to be taking a page from the NDE-er side.”

You said that they go out, visit, and come back. It feels like what you were saying was that the consciousness has to bloom before they leave the body. How does that work in traumatic deaths where death comes very quickly or people may cross over and be stuck as a ghost because they don’t even realize they are dead? How does that play into the process?

In hospice, we don’t generally see those kinds of cases because hospice is for people who can come in six months prior to their death. They are going through the whole process generally at the hospice. The traumatic death is a different process. I know a little bit about it because I read for people who’ve unfortunately lost loved ones, particularly with the opioid epidemic. Unfortunately, many young people traumatically and obviously people who’ve lost other loved ones through other trauma.

In those cases, from what I know and understand, people are immediately out of their bodies and they feel no pain. That’s always a question that I get from the loved ones. Were they in much pain? No. They are out of their body, instantly looking down on their bodies and wondering exactly what happened, but they are not in any pain. Someone from the other side who they are close to is there for them instantly, a grandparent, aunt, uncle, father, mother, or whoever.

It’s a different process. Many of them end up on the other side even if they didn’t go through the same process as someone at the hospice. They live there, are good with it, and adapt. What you are describing about someone who’s stuck, I honestly don’t see that. It’s not something I encounter so much.

This is a good education for our readers because different people are tuned into different things. I don’t do hospice work, and so, therefore, I don’t see what you are seeing, but I run into a lot of ghosts that go, “I don’t understand why nobody will talk to me.” I’m like, “You do realize you are dead,” and they are like, “No, but that would explain so much.” It’s that moment, but I have run into many of those people. This is what we are attuned to. It’s what we are used to practicing with. Just because two people say that they do mediumship or they are psychics, it doesn’t mean that they get the same information. That’s a good lesson.

Death Doula: What seems to happen is their consciousness is expanding through this whole process, even as their physical body is declining until the moment when they actually die when their consciousness is at full bloom and their physical bodies no long

I was in a group where they were talking about, “What do you do when someone comes to you and says, ‘This psychic told me so-and-so,’ and what do you think about that?” It’s like trying to get into someone’s dream. You can’t. That’s their consciousness and whatever’s flowing through their consciousness. I can’t jump into it. That’s the information that they are getting. It’s the same. We are all different and get different information.

We carry different energies. I tell people I don’t do future reads because I carry the energy of change. The moment I tell you what’s going to happen in the future, it changes. It’s a moving target.

What you said about people who jump in and say, “Help me,” I think about a nurse who was in one of my classes. She worked in the emergency room. She would talk about how she would get in her car in the morning. Her car is parked in the garage. She turned her car on and this person would jump in front of her car and say, “Help me.” There would be somebody who had died the day before in the emergency room, and she’d say, “I can’t help you. I have to go to work.” It does happen. It’s not part of my practice. It’s the same as what you are discussing. It’s not how I work.

That’s exactly a great place for us to end because it’s great for people to know what they do and what they don’t do so that you know exactly where to go for what you need. This has been such an interesting conversation. I want to thank you for coming on to the show. I feel like we scraped the very edge of the top of the iceberg. I want to thank you for sharing this information, and I recommend to the readers that if you are interested, you can check out her books. Where can they find you online if they want to want to reach out and learn more about you?

Thank you, Kelly. My website is There’s a contact page on my website so you can reach out to me for readings and consultations. Both of the books are available on Amazon and at many booksellers like and

I’m going to invite you to become part of our Spirit Sherpa after-party group on Facebook, where we invite our guests to come. Thank you so much for coming. This has been fantastic.

It’s my pleasure. Thank you so much. I enjoyed it.

This has been eye-opening. Thank you, Debra. That is all that we have time for this episode, but be sure to join us next time as Kelly adds another chapter into your guide to energy magic and the spirit world.

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About Debra Diamond

Debra Diamond, Ph.D. is a natural psychic/medium and medical intuitive who was gifted with her abilities as a child. She provides remarkable insights for her clients to assist in healing and expansion.

Debra is a former top ranked Wall Street Money Manager, regular CNBC commentator and former Professor at Johns Hopkins University who left a prominent career to pursue a life of service and spirituality. She is committed to helping others and to assist through Spirit.

Debra earned an MBA from The George Washington University, a Masters Certificate in Contemporary Art from Christie’s Education and a Ph.D. from the Esoteric Interfaith Theological Seminary. She is a graduate of the Holistic Studies Institute of New York, has completed mediumship training at the Arthur Findlay College in the UK and trained at the Carl Jung Institute in Analytical Psychology in Zurich, Switzerland.

Debra’s readings are astonishingly accurate and clear and her clients are continually amazed by her innate abilities. Debra has the ability to provide a remarkable and deep reading and is able to access Spirit for answers to her clients questions and reconnect with loved ones. She is fluent in translating the energy of Spirit for the highest good.

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