Martha Turner, Midwife of Death and Birth, 2021 Past President
Martha comes to Full Circle of Living and Dying from a life-long background in Midwifery and Women’s health. She is nurse midwife and nurse practitioner who obtained her nursing degree from CSU, Chico and Master’s degree from UC, San Francisco. She has delivered over 1300 babies, has worked with women from all walks of life. Her work has been primarily with women from economically vulnerable populations in Yuba, Sutter, Yolo and Lake Counties. In addition, she worked with the Navajo and Hopi in Tuba City and the Lakota Sioux on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. World-wide her calling has taken her to work Uganda, Nigeria and Haiti. After 25 + years working with pregnancy and birth she was ready to retire but knew she still had much to offer her beloved local community.
Martha learned about Full Circle in 2017 while reading a most interesting article in the local paper on the California’s End of Life Option Act. The journalist was interviewing Akhila Murphy who referred to the people in her organization as End-of-Life Doulas and Midwives of Death. This caught her full attention!
Time was spent with Akhila learning about the work Full Circle does with people at the end of life. Martha had been drawn to this special work after being with her mother during her last chapter of life and recently with two different close friends who died. She believes there are powerful parallels in the transformative times of BIRTH and DEATH for the individual soul who is being born or who is dying and for the constellation of family and friends who participate and bear witness to this transformation.
Martha joined FCLD Board of Directors as their fledgling secretary (someone had to do it!). She interned with Akhila and others in the art of end of life care and seeking ongoing education and training in all matters relating to this chapter of life. Her special area of interest is with planning for the possibility of Alzheimer’s and other dementias and how to construct a creatively positive and crystal clear dementia Death Care Plan before losing one’s autonomy to the disease.