May 9, 2024 – Loss Death and Dying Forum: Q &A, 4pm – 5:30pm, Northfield Public Library, Bunday Room


Article in the Northfield News, April 9, 2024

How We Die: Death midwife educates community about end-of-life choices

You don’t have to be alone when you die. In Northfield, there are several death midwives who assist the dying client in their journey toward a peaceful ending.

Barbara Krause is one of those professionals, often called death doula. She’s a certified proficient death midwife based in Northfield. Her business, In the Thick of Things LLC, offers clients an umbrella of end-of-life care services which include emotional, spiritual, and practical support.

As a trained death midwife, she helps those struggling with the end of life be able to reframe their pathway to death and live with ease until they succumb to death.

“Although not medically trained, I am an energy healer and knowledgeable about end-of-life choices like Voluntary Stopping Eating and Drinking (VSED) and Medical Aid in Dying (MAiD),” she said.

Krause estimates she’s helped 20 people die. And, another 15 to 20 have already asked her if she’ll be with them when their time to die comes.

A calling

Krause said she didn’t choose to focus on loss, death, and dying, which she shortens to LDD work. Instead, a decade ago she received a sign from her higher power, calling her to the practice.

“Initially, I wrote two, 500-word blogs a week for about a year. Later, I began leading Death Cafés, developing Reemergence Workshops, volunteering in hospice, and authoring a three-book series,” she explained.

An author of three books, “Sacred Bonds: Seeking Light,” “Gathering Light” and “Becoming Light,” Krause said she loves this work, because she doesn’t consider it as work at all.

“It’s a unique way to offer each person and family a meaningful, peaceful, and loving death experience,” she said. “Getting to know a client helps to personalize this sacred time and calm the person’s spirit.”

Linda Reed admits that, before taking Krause’s death and dying class, she “was not really comfortable around people dying.” But the more she learned, the more intrigued she became with what those dying are going through.

After her father had a stroke and needed a pacemaker, Reed said Krause accompanied her to the hospital to calm him down and slow his heart rate enough for the surgery. Years later, when Reed’s mother had a brain bleed, and it was time to unplug her from life support, she said Krause helped her understand that her mother refused to die until she was reassured her husband would be well taken care of.

To show her gratitude for helping her get through those personal experiences, Reed said she offered to take photos for Krause’s three books. To understand what images might best illustrate the points in the books, Krause and Reed read each chapter out loud. The resulting photos include ponds, birds, stones, gardens, flowers, butterflies, trees and skies.

Working with hospice

Families have asked her to set sacred space — a ritual of comfort — for their loved one in hospice. This is independent from the management of most current hospice programs and services. Some hospices are beginning to consider doulas to enhance their staffing.

Fees for her services vary, although most Minnesota doulas charge $35 an hour.

For retired nurse Sue Needham, talking about death always made her uncomfortable. When her husband Mark went on dialysis a few years ago and was waiting for a kidney transplant, the Needham’s turned to Krause for healing, guidance and support.

“Barb communicated with all of our family members and was always present when he was dying,” Needham said. “She helped him plan his own funeral.”

Needham said that she wouldn’t have known how to comfort someone who was dying without Krause’s guidance. Mark, who died a year ago, and Sue became “close spiritual friends” with Barb and her husband Paul.

“She honored our relationship,” explained Sue, who had met Mark when they were both teens at a drive-in theater in Edina; they were together for over 50 years.

“When he died, part of me was amputated,” she said. “I didn’t know how to do things without him.”

Thanks to Krause, Sue learned to sit vigil and give Mark permission to let go.

“He died in his own bed with me holding him,” she said. “She helped make that time as peaceful as possible.”

Rituals and remembrances

With Krause’s help, Mae Clayton said that she was able to come to terms with her wife Patti Clayton-Brown’s death. Before Patti died in 2020, the 5’1” musher who kenneled 40 dogs, had dementia and suffered from falls and strokes.

“I’m still in the grief process after losing seven people in five years,” said Clayton. “I became comfortable talking about fears and preferences regarding death after taking one of her classes. I totally believe in what Barbara’s doing.”

Another community member who believes in Krause’s end-of-life healing energy is Jean Wakely. To ensure that her children would not be burdened by making decisions when her own death was imminent, Wakely added a paragraph to her Advance Directive suggesting her children use Krause as a spiritual assistant who can create a safe space to provide families comfort, presence and peace of mind.

“My daughter in particular appreciated my thinking ahead,” said Wakely. “Krause has a uniquely empathetic heart.”

Krause said she works with families, with and without Advance Care Directives, to design an advocacy plan that manages a client’s end-of-life transition with grace and respect.

“I serve as a liaison for challenging family or medical conversations, and death and dying information,” she explained. “I offer assistance with advance care directives, obituary writing, legacy letters and awareness of deathcare information and options, offer vigil support during the dying process, along with meaningful rituals, extend in-person and remote energy healing and design and lead celebratory and personalized end-of-life services”

Krause said families appreciate being updated about death education and having someone else in the room as a second set of eyes and ears and general support.

“Life is precious,” she said. “Live it fully.”

YOU MATTER TO ME “You are part of a greater energy. You are not alone. You are safe. You are deeply loved. You matter to me.” — Barbara Krause



Interview with Paula Granquist on KYMN Radio including Mary Carlsen and Julianne Donaldson

On January 19, 2024 Barbara was interviewed by Paula Granquist on KYMN Radio – Paula Granquist explored doing what matters in life and discusses end-of-life issues with Barbara Krause, author and certified death midwife, Mary Carlsen of the Medical Aid in Dying group (MAiD), and Julianne Donaldson who shares a personal story about her husband’s terminal illness.

Interview with Paula Granquist on KYMN Radio

On June 2, 2023, Barbara was interviewed by Paula Granquist. Each week Paula interviews creative people in the Northfield community. To hear the interview click on the button below.


A Divine Spirit Network (DSN) interview with Orgena Rose: Producer, TV Host, Vocalist, Playwright, Author, Motivational Speaker and Award-Winning Voice and Visibility Expert (Click Here to see the interview )

At In the Thick of Things, we offer opportunities for exploration and respite and, in the process, your level of consciousness is revealed. Our Teachable courses and multiple services contain the tools for spiritual self-discovery to help you come to terms with your mortality in a reassuring and peaceful way. It is an opportunity to slow down, ponder, and discover who you really are without all your labels, such as parent, child, spouse, career definition – the list goes on. When you pay attention to your Source energy, you discover your true self and what really matters in life – transformation happens and peace of mind takes hold. This journey is the most important one of your lifetime.

Start by going to our Services page to see our many offerings to help you with loss, death, and dying. You’ll find content that is yours for a lifetime, videos, and self-study.

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Remergence Workshops

I was so moved in the presentation of everything is energy. I learned of other methods of burial, death, loss, and that change is growth. I loved the PowerPoint slides. It made the flow easy to follow. I love the way the class shifted to accommodate everyone. I will use the pre-work activities again to see my growth. It made me think. The program was so valuable for the emotional and evolving space I am in. Helped me more than words can say!


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Certainly I felt “shifted” by this work in a positive way. I valued the questions posed, activities suggested, and tying it all into the Chakra Centers. I like your calm and inviting teaching style, and you inspired my thinking along these lines. I valued my experience in taking this class and am interested in taking the next program.


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The workbook is an incentive to pursue your careful, meticulous, even rigorous program to focus on end-of-life issues with less fear and apprehension.


Remergence Workshops

I know the concept of greater energy…but this course helped me identify the work I have yet to do. Wonderful meditations and list of resources to explore!


Remergence Workshops

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We took the Remergence Workshops in 2018, and now, three years later, we face the reality of Mark’s mortality. Those workshops really helped us to make some hard decisions and deeply explore our feelings. Mark signed the POLST (Physician-Written Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) and is now DNR/DNI status. The work you did to create such a special avenue to verbalize, we are at peace. THANK YOU!!