Beautiful Day

Today I started out by getting coffee with Freddie Nechtow and Jen Stark. It was deep with delicious conversation. We covered all different topics and I felt deeply satisfied because of the company. We tried out a new place called Bob’s coffee.

After a fantastic time, I drove over to the China Palace where I spent lunch with Mylissa Buttram. We talked for over an hour. Mind you, I didn’t know her but by name before meeting her today. We dove in deeper than my previous conversation.

We talked about death, dying, cancer survival and cancer casualties. I learned more about support groups that deal with cancer. I was able to give out three business cards when some friends of hers showed up at the restaurant. She said that talking to new people brought her energy.

We discussed the Red Tent and our collective vision of which direction to go. We made another date for breakfast at the WaHo on a typical Monday so Freddie can meet her and talk to her about grief. I’m looking forward to getting to know her even better.

I can’t remember a time in my life where I’ve been happier. If I have, this happiness is the most complete I’ve felt in a coon’s age. I’ve been happy before, but this is different. I wish I had ample words to describe this feeling. I feel blessed beyond measure.

Press Release

NEDA Proficiency Badge

For Immediate Release

Date: 9-28-2021

Contact: Mare Martell,

Local Provider Receives Proficiency Badge from the
National End-of-Life Doula Alliance  

Oak Ridge, TN, Mare Martell is proud to announce that on September 28th, 2021 they have earned a Proficiency Badge from the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA). End-of-life doulas are trained, non-medical caregivers who provide holistic, personalized care to dying individuals and their families.  Their services include community resources, education, emotional support, and household assistance. By earning the Proficiency Badge, Mare Martell, has demonstrated understanding in four broad areas of competency: communication, ethics, values, and professionalism.  

A recent graduate of Going With Grace’s Doula training course, Mare Martell made it her life’s work to be engaged with the public when it comes to death and dying. She has helped several families through the End-of-Life transition and looks forward to helping others to prepare for the inevitable.

“Interest in end-of-life doulas has increased greatly in the last few years,” states founding member and current NEDA president Merilynne Rush, MSHP, RN, BSN. Until now, there has been no consistency in definition or guidelines of practice. “The consistency that NEDA offers through the Proficiency Assessment process is greatly needed,” states Rush. “Families who are utilizing end-of-life doulas, and healthcare providers who are referring to them, will have confidence in the knowledge of those who earn the NEDA Proficiency Badge.”

NEDA welcomes all practicing end-of-life doulas, trainers, and other interested parties to become involved in their various learning and networking initiatives. NEDA is the only membership organization that provides a ‘big tent’ for all concerned to come together and help this new profession grow. The new Proficiency Assessment establishes a strong foundation of knowledge, integrity, and skill in the field. To learn more about Mare Martell, please visit For more information about NEDA, visit, or



Perfumed purification

anointed my skin

fragrant with absolution

My brethren

Blessed sisters;

Heart-bound lovers


My blood baptized

in the cistern of love

Forgiven to be human

The elation of redemption

damp against my brow

Dancing in broad circles

Breathless with abandon

the release of blissful beauty

The End is Near

There is a man clinging to life but not long for this world.

His bones are resting heavy

as his skin becomes mottled

His breath labored

His jaw slack

His hands are loose fists.

The moaning has stopped

Ragged breath in

Rattling out

There is no movement

Check. Nothing.

Check again.


He has been released

Written on

some days (raw)

Some days it’s all I can do to get out of bed

Some days my body reminds me I’m morbidly obese

Some days I try so hard to adult and still fail

Some days I am invincible while being invisible

Some days I fight so hard to love myself

Some days I am most gentle with the me you see

Some day, always someday, I will be fully humanity

Sunshine Lost

There once was sunshine

simply because you existed

But now the mirrors are covered

clocks stopped of chime

Proclaiming with black-gloved hands

that you had ‘Stepped out of time’

Singularly, I weep oceans

quaking with the tide’s climb

going through the motions

the consecration of your shrine.


Saint Kristi Reynolds

Saint Kristi, Our Lady of Tie Dye, Art by Faun Andrews

Prayer to Our Lady of Tie Dye

Written by: Faun Andrews, Imagination Extraordinaire!

Prayer to Our Lady of Tie Dye

O Lady of tie dye, be with us in times of insipidness, for all your rainbow disarray and paths of absurdity. Saint Kristi who with joyous cacophony, left the world full of love and laughter, grant unto us the power to yeet the things we can, the light heartedness to cackle at the things we can’t, and the wisdom to “Clam Down” when presented with another person’s monkeys. Through the intercessions of Saint Kristi, watchful sister, protect us from taking the world too seriously, and bring us safely back to our artist’s studio



Prismatic energy circulates around her like a dervish

She was a breath of fresh air relieving the stagnant

her colorful soul splashed my world impressionistic

Even with her spirit mortally wounded

I feel profoundly lonely after her departure.

As if my breath had been sucked from my lungs.