In Wellmania, Liv meets a death doula named Philomena and is forced to accompany her to see a grieving family, which reminds her of the day her own father died. Yael Stone plays the role of Philomena.
Dr. Singh agrees to evaluate Liv for her green card once again if she agrees to get a psychological evaluation done first. However, there are only three consulate-approved psychologists in the region, and the ones in Sydney have a six-week wait.
Since Liv cannot wait for six weeks, she decides to go to Canberra. On her way, when the bus stops for a break, Liv meets a strange woman on the side of the road. The woman tries to sell her organic products and advises her not to buy a charger.
Liv does not listen to her and proceeds to buy the charger. She actually ends up missing her bus as soon as her phone gets charged, and she gets stranded in the middle of the road.
Who is Philomena?
When Liv sees the woman packing up her roadside stall to leave, she tries to ask the woman if she is going to Canberra and even tempts her with the idea of drugs that she can buy there. The woman understands that Liv needs a lift and agrees to take her to Canberra.
On their way, the woman gets a call, and Liv finds out that her name is Philomena and that she is a doula. Doulas provide people with emotional and physical support during pregnancy and childbirth.
The woman who calls Philomena sounds distressed, but Philomena assures her that everything will be alright, as they have been planning for this. The whole conversation gives the impression that Philomena is talking about childbirth.
It is the Sarkis family that needs Philomena’s help, and Philomena decides to go to them immediately because, as a doula, she goes where she is needed. Liv has no choice but to tag along.
When they reach there, Liv finds out that Philomena is not here to assist with childbirth but with someone’s death, as it turns out that she is a death doula, much to Liv’s surprise.
Death doulas assist families with the dying process. When Philomena was talking about being in the flow of things, she was talking about death, which is just as natural as birth.
How does Philomena help?
Mr. Sarkis is dying, and his family, which consists of his wife and two daughters, is preparing to say goodbye to them. Liv refuses to enter the house when a member of the family is dying.
However, when she watches Philomena comfort Mrs. Sarkis and Philomena insists that she come inside, Liv obliges. As Liv fails to get a cab, she has no choice but to be with the family until Philomena’s work is done.
After Mr. Sarkis dies, Philomena’s job is to get the family settled. She calms the older daughter, Nicole, and advises her to simply sit and be in this moment with her family. She tells her that one cannot manage the grief out of their life or run from the pain; they must face it, even though it is hard.
Parallel to Mr. Sarkis’ death, the show depicts Liv’s memories of the day her father died and she met Amy. Philomena’s words and watching the Sarkis family moving past their differences and reminiscing together hits a nerve in Liv.
Philomena then asks Liv to help her move Mr. Sarkis’ body before rigor mortis sets in. Liv initially denies, but when Philomena asks her if she is going to let the family process their loss with him stiff in a chair, she agrees to lend a hand.
Philomena arranges for the funeral director and asks the family to say whatever they want to say to Mr. Sarkis and to not keep anything inside. The family comes together to sing Mr. Sarkis’ favorite song for him, and Liv unintentionally joins.
Liv realizes that she has also been crying, and the family welcomes her to join them. Philomena brings together the whole family in their moment of loss. Additionally, with Philomena’s help, Liv gets a chance to process her own grief with another family.
Liv tells her later that her father died when she was a child, and her family did not deal with the loss the way the Sarkis did. Liv cried and mourned alone; her family never came together to support each other.
Liv admits that it has been a weird day for her and thanks Philomena; it is evident that she thanks her for more than just giving her a lift. By the end of it all, Liv’s opinions about Philomena, the death doula, change drastically.