Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Honorary Birth Support Dream Team Member #5

A wonderful friend and Birth Community member in the Ann Arbor area died yesterday.

Audrey Simon is the woman who taught me how to massage my baby and who imparted humor and wisdom during her careful massaging of my pregnant body. We referred clients to each other. We shared a regard for women, their bodies and the power of touch.

I always cautioned clients about Audrey. She swore liberally and effectively. She was a priestess "of some hippie religion" who could perform weddings. She was the first person who told me about sharing breastfeeding duties between mothers (she nursed a neighbor's baby and vice-versa). She was petite and wiry, funky and intense. She is older than my mother but a world apart in life attitude and experience. She could tell me about my chakras without making me worry I was in the hands of a new age nut. She stopped working as a doula because she couldn't stand "all the unbelievable shit they do to women in the hospital." She stopped running because it was too hard on her uterus.

The last time I saw her was about a year ago. We had lunch at the local vegetarian restaurant. She ordered a custom juice with all kinds of vegetables and grasses in it. As always, I felt so provincial and naive. And inspired and awed.

Part of her spirit will remain with me as I go on in my work with pregnant and birthing women. She is part of my birth support dream team. Oh that I could bring her back to be at my side for inspiration and support.

Audrey, wherever you are, keep giving 'em hell and sharing your magical touch.

I don't know how long it will remain active, but while it's still up, you should visit her beautiful website.



Blogger Chris said...

You told of her death so gracefully and sweetly.....I am sure she was just as blessed by you and your friendship.

3:46 PM  
Blogger kris said...

i'm sorry for your loss. you've honored her in a beautiful way with this. i just recently found your blog and am enjoying it very much:) I'm a doula in training down the state from you in niles.

7:37 PM  
Blogger Larjmarj said...

She sounds like a wonderful mentor and an amazingly free spirit. I wish there were more like her.

5:24 PM  
Blogger Sami said...

She looks and sounds as if she was a wonderful person... I am sorry for the loss of this wonderful woman - for you, her family and a lot of pregnant women and their babies...

8:33 PM  
Blogger Casey said...


8:43 AM  
Blogger doulicia said...

Thanks for all your kind thoughts. She leaves a personal and professional hole in the community.

8:46 AM  

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