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03rd Sep 2020

Sinead O’Connor is studying to become a ‘death midwife’

Jade Hayden

“My desire is to work with people who are particularly alone.”

Sinead O’Connor has revealed that she is studying to become a “death midwife.”

The singer said that she will begin studying to become a healthcare worker who assists in the dying process this month.

She told RTÉ’s The Ryan Tubridy Show that she has had an interest in the process from a young age, and decided that she wanted to train to become a death midwife following the death of a friend five years ago.

“There’s a movement of these people called death midwives where they work with people who are frightened,” she said.

“A huge impetus for me was one of my best friends in the world died about five years ago. He asked me would I sleep in the bed with him when he found out he was dying and I told him I would, but in the end I was too frightened and I didn’t.

“I felt since then that I would never leave a person alone feeling frightened. I let my friend down very badly. That’s one of the more personal reasons.”

O’Connor added that the experience taught her how to know what a dying person needs. She soon realised that she wanted to train to help others in the same situation.

“I learned from that never to leave a person alone,” she said. “My desire is to work with people who are particularly alone.

“I didn’t leave him alone for days, there were other people in the house, but I didn’t get into the bed and snuggle with him like he wanted because I was frightened.”

O’Connor will begin her online one year diploma course last this month. The singer said being unemployed during Covid-19 allowed her to make time for the training.

She added that it will most likely be a long time before she’s working in palliative care.

“It’s not that I’m rushing to the front line,” she said. “I’m learning how to use Word. It’s that early in the game.”