Summer Diegel was raised by a big-but-somewhat-disconnected family that's spread throughout land that is currently known as the United States-- mostly in Helena, MT which is the traditional land of the Salish Kootenai (Flathead) people. Summer moved to Coast Salish / Duwamish land aka Seattle, WA about 6 years ago.
Summer is a full spectrum doula, sex educator, and theologian. Their work combines their doula toolkit and interfaith education with their own experiences in five years of professional home health care, as well as over a decade of community grief care, harm reduction, and domestic violence prevention.
Summer received a B.A. from Seattle University in Theology & Religious Studies, and they are currently pursuing their M. Ed. in Advanced Teaching. They volunteer as Assistant Director for A Sacred Passing: Death Midwifery and Education and as Co-Chair of the Access & Equity Committee for the National Home Funeral Alliance.
Summer is a white, working-poor, genderfluid human here to share trauma-informed support. They are a person who values transformative justice frameworks of accountability and welcomes collaboration, feedback, and building relationships within the context of care access and education.
It is my hope to uplift and co-create grassroots healthcare education. I have six years of experience in direct end-of-life care for people who are dying, and since 2010 I have worked with sexual health education and community outreach programs in Montana and Washington. I supported in the caretaking of my community from a young age and I became familiar with grief and the way it impacted the people closest to me, many of us being some intersection of white, working poor, disabled, and queer-- many of us experiencing addiction or domestic violence. We are people who have survived life so far and are trying to shift patterns of harm we were taught. Care work means many things to me, and I continuously experience reproductive and death care work with both familiarity and mystery. In 2013, I was supporting the bedside care of my dying grandfather, and great-uncle, at home. I was also working full-time and attending high school. This was my beginning with engagement in professional full-spectrum healing. I completed my training to become a Certified Nursing Assistant at 16 and I worked in assisted living and geriatric care for four and a half years before moving to Seattle, WA. Working directly with my family, elders, and community members with disabilities is how I have developed interrelated friendships and mutual aid networks. I am grateful for the patience of those I care for, who care for me, and the patience I cultivate within myself.
Currently, I am continuing my learning as a graduate student at University of People, seeking my M.Ed. in Advanced Teaching with a specialization in K-12 Education. In addition, I teach community death classes as an assistant teacher with A Sacred Passing: Death Midwifery & Education. In 2019, six years after beginning work in end-of-life care, I completed my B.A. at Seattle University focusing on Theology and Religious Studies while successfully juggling my work in non-profit bookkeeping and home health care. I appreciate the educators who walked with me at my pace whenever possible & the friends who did care work for me by sharing resources, time, and love. For my bachelor's program, I chose a multi-faith, multi-cultural approach to studying religious scripture, which included rituals, laws, and practices. I leaned on my life experience and work as a sex educator & caretaker and studied in hopes of becoming a more holistic, prepared, and loving end-of-life care provider. I was offered the opportunity to attend SU through the Sullivan Leadership Program. In my degree program, I had the opportunity to learn of social movements, political history, ritual, and scripture from various traditions. Before founding Sunflower Services, I pursued additional training outside of the University to build my professional skills as a full-spectrum doula through a rigorous, personalized two-year program where I trained with local community healers, advocates, and professionals.
I support and value people and I care about our joy, safety, and agency. I know that our life journeys don't occur independently of social context, I want to make myself available to support in ways that my community asks me to be. I am committed to providing the support that is attentive to the unique needs and identities of each individual and their loved ones. Many are subverting the interrelated systems that disproportionately harm communities of people of color, people who are low-income, LGBTQIA+ folks, and those who are targeted, slandered or marginalized due to their physical or mental ability, body shape or size, choice in faith or religion, or immigration status.
No matter our health or productivity we are unique, creative, and powerful.
WHAT PEOPLE SAY
"For 2 weeks while we were visiting Seattle, they cared for my mother with such authenticity. Summer was a warm, attentive, and friendly person that our whole family loved. They even improved our trip by offering informed suggestions for accessible activities around the city!"
"I absolutely loved the time I spent with Summer. I was amazed by their seemingly endless knowledge of sexual ethics and the pleasure-oriented framework they have around sex. Their lessons are direct, consistently welcoming, and oriented around consent. Thank you, Summer!"
"Summer is a very skilled communicator. It seems like a weird compliment, but we really mostly notice only when humans are communicating poorly. And I rarely see someone do it quite as so effectively. Thanks for bringing that rare skill and attention!"