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The Death Dialogues Project

The Death Dialogues Project

By The Death Dialogues Project
“I love how real these episodes are. . .” “This podcast was like a beacon of light when I needed it most.” A grassroots movement getting conversations about death, dying & the aftermath out of the closet. Becky Aud-Jennison, DeathTalker, has worked for the past four decades as a therapist, instructor, presenter, writer—interfacing with Death professionally—it was her own deep loss that motivated her to start this project. Hearing others’ STORIES are what informs us. Join us as we talk all things Death. Follow: Find us on IG & FB .
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76. A Journey without a Map: John Sardella
1. Grief is both a universal and individual feeling. When John Sardella lost his wife, the feeling of grief and loss was overwhelmingly heavy on him. So heavy that he had to lean on others to get through it. A Journey Without A Map ​aims to help those going through their personal grief, while letting them know they’re not alone. 2. Every difficult day is an opportunity to keep going. ​It was a hard lesson for John Sardella to learn that life doesn’t stop when your own world comes crashing down. John says that even the hardest days without his wife are an opportunity to keep moving forward. 3.​ ​It’s not just support that’s important, it’s the consistency of support. ​Anyone who’s lost a loved one has experienced sympathy and support in the aftermath of loss, but John Sardella is quick to point out how quickly that goes away. There’s sympathy then silence. John suggests that the key to moving forward is to seek out support to be there for you in between the sympathy and silence - for the life part. 4. It’s going to be okay. ​John Sardella will be the first to tell you that you don’t stop grieving the loss of a spouse/best friend/mother, but years after losing his rock, he can tell you that it’s going to be okay. John says that his grief will always be there, but it changes with time making it easier to move forward. A Journey Without A Map​ on Amazon​ ​ / Release Date: February 25, 2020 / Lioncrest Publishing Book Description After twenty-seven years of marriage, John Sardella lost the love of his life when his wife, Margaret, passed away following a seven-year battle with cancer. John looked for a book that would give him space for his pain and inspire him to move forward, but all he found were clinical books written by psychologists. That was John’s motivation to write ​this​ book and share how he worked through the grieving process in the hopes of reminding others not only that they are not alone, but also that they will be okay. A Journey Without a Map​ gives you permission to not only feel those real and true feelings you have, but also permission to move forward. Sharing stories that span from Margaret’s battle with cancer to her funeral and John’s life since, John demonstrates the power of connection and shows that with the proper perspective, you can still live life to its fullest extent. You can get back to being the person you’re capable of being—John wants to help you get there. JOHN SARDELLA is the author of two previous books: ​How to Start a Successful Youth Lacrosse Program​ and ​L is for Lacrosse: An ABC Book​. John’s professional career was spent in the Liverpool CSD. He was a teacher for sixteen years and a principal for fifteen years. He is now retired and enjoys spending his time writing, golfing, and being with family and friends. John resides in Liverpool, New York, and Naples, Florida. His kids are all grown, and John still sees them often. You can find John on Twitter @sardella_john, connect via email at, or visit
September 17, 2020
76. The Memory Circle: Barri Leiner Grant
Barri Leiner Grant is a self-proclaimed Chief Grief Officer and founder of The Memory Circle, which was established in 2018. Since losing her mom, Ellen Jane, in 1993, she has believed that our grief stories and loss need a better place and space in modern society. A redefinition of the vernacular around loss. Her work as a writer, stylist and collector, has made the art of visual story telling a centerpiece of her life for decades. The Memory Circle was born from a desire to make the grief cycle a shared and more open experience. A a place to tell your tale because it reinforces that your loss mattered. "I have combined my work as a yoga and meditation teacher with my personal mission to heal and help the bereaved at any stage of their journey. Our workshops and gatherings are bathed in ways to release what we are holding - while always keeping the spirt and celebration of those lost and loved, alive." barri leiner grant 917.545.1036 Instagram: @thememorycircle and @blg Website and mailing list: The Memory Circle, Private Facebook Group
September 3, 2020
75. BONUS—Tipping Point: stress•school•anxiety
This timely episode is an offering for university or high school students who are finding themselves experiencing extreme stress and/or anxiety as they return to school at a time when the corona virus seems to be running rampant. Thrust into unknown, hopefully you will find a greater ease after listening to this episode. Written transcript at  Please share with anyone who you think can relate to this episode. 
August 27, 2020
74. Hope for Steve
Meet Hope Cross who was the 24/7 caregiver of her husband Steve for nine years— from diagnosis of ALS until his death in April 2020. Steve and Hope openly shared their journey and brought attention and awareness of ALS. They have a wide audience, a documentary and have touched so many lives. Hope commits to always tell Steve’s story. This Intimate conversation was recorded shortly after Steve’s death. You can find Hope at
August 20, 2020
73. Good Grievings: Thomas Biddulph
Hey, I'm Tom Biddulph and have been through a lot in my 38 years of time on this earth. Since 1994, I have lost 16 loved ones that have either been family or friends. Grief is a never ending journey, but I've learned to find the good grievings along the way that bring me joy. My hope is for you to feel a sense of self worth and to see there is so much more available in life than just to wallow in the pain and fear. I want you to feel love after death, and happiness so you can be present and not lose out on what greatness life has to offer you now. @goodgrievings (twitter) @goodgrievings (instagram) @goodgrievings (YouTube)
August 6, 2020
BONUS: AfterDeath: keeping our loved ones home
Bex Tingey, from our latest podcast, Our Lost Adventure, and host, Becky, chat about their experiences of having their deceased loved ones' bodies at home for a period of time after their death– what that process feels like and some of the logistics surrounding it. We felt that since some people aren't familiar with this practice have expressed curiosity, this conversation could provide some insight into what that process. And don't forget to hear Bex share her story of her partner, Josh's, untimely death in the last podcast.  Thanks for being here. 
July 30, 2020
72. Our Lost Adventure: Bex Tingey
Bex Tingey unexpectedly lost her life’s adventure when her partner/fiancée was killed in a paraglider accident. She is trying to work out the new normal whilst honouring love. IG: our_lost_adventure
July 23, 2020
71. Grief Alchemy: Taurie Bednarski
In September 2018 Taurie's Dad suddenly and unexpectedly past away. Riding the waves of shock and deep grief, she recalls having a clear moment of being able to "choose" the course of her grief journey. In that moment Taurie decided that she would choose her heart and open to her journey of grief, conciously, resulting in the realisation that she now stands strong in believing, that grief has the potiential to be a portal or gateway into a deeper sense of self and life. Taurie now holds sacred containers for groups and individuals and allies those who are feeling the pull to courageously walk the path of a conscious griever. IG:Taurie.Bednarski
July 9, 2020
70. Marisa Meddin: letters from beyond— Part 2
Part 2. Please listen to the previous episode with Marisa- Part 1. On this episode Marisa and your host, Becky, process the letter from beyond that Marisa channeled for Becky based on questions she had written for loved ones. After graduating with a business degree from the University of Michigan and completing a six year career in brand marketing at PepsiCo in NYC and LA, Marisa realized she wanted more time and freedom to explore other countries. So, she quit her corporate job to try her hand at entrepreneurship, and began traveling the world full-time while running a few successful online businesses. In her time visiting over 60 countries, learning about self development practices to become a better entrepreneur, and studying spiritual and scientific principles to heal a broken heart & mysterious back pain, Marisa learned two important skills that changed her life: One, she had the ability to coach others so that they, too, could live emotionally freer lives filled with more joy and alignment. And two, she discovered she was a psychic medium who had the gift of communicating with those who had passed on (which, looking back, was not so surprising considering her mother’s spiritual experiences). Marisa now knows her mission is to heal others by leveraging her gifts of empathic coaching and spiritual communication....all while traveling the world and living a life in alignment. Find Marisa at IG @mlmeddin
June 25, 2020
69. Marisa Meddin: letters from beyond— Part 1
In this episode we hear the fascinating story of Marisa Meddin discovering her gift of mediumship and some pointers for those of us who may have an interest in connecting with our deceased loved ones. After graduating with a business degree from the University of Michigan and completing a six year career in brand marketing at PepsiCo in NYC and LA, Marisa realized she wanted more time and freedom to explore other countries. So, she quit her corporate job to try her hand at entrepreneurship, and began traveling the world full-time while running a few successful online businesses. In her time visiting over 60 countries, learning about self development practices to become a better entrepreneur, and studying spiritual and scientific principles to heal a broken heart & mysterious back pain, Marisa learned two important skills that changed her life: One, she had the ability to coach others so that they, too, could live emotionally freer lives filled with more joy and alignment. And two, she discovered she was a psychic medium who had the gift of communicating with those who had passed on (which, looking back, was not so surprising considering her mother’s spiritual experiences). Marisa now knows her mission is to heal others by leveraging her gifts of empathic coaching and spiritual communication....all while traveling the world and living a life in alignment. Find Marisa at IG @mlmeddin
June 11, 2020
Mid 2020 update 🖤
Thank you so much for your listener support of The Death Dialogues Project Podcast. We will be moving to an every two week publishing format while Becky works on a writing project surrounding death, dying & the aftermath.  Next week's episode is a fascinating discussion with medium Marisa Meddin. This conversation is so fresh and light as Marisa walks us through what it was like for her to leave the corporate world and follow the path of opening up to her gifts.  I'm so excited to share this unique and enlightening episode as Marisa shares the very special way she communicates with Spirits. Find us at
June 4, 2020
68. Shauna Janz: Death of a Grasshopper— grief as initiation to life
Shauna Janz, MA is dedicated to tending belonging in our world - within ourselves, with each other, and with our other-than-human relations. She creates space for reaching into the rough and beautiful places that are a catalyst for transformation and healing, personally and collectively, through grief work, ritual and ancestral healing. Her offerings are trauma-informed and anchored in the resiliency of the human spirit, healing justice and animist values. Shauna supports individuals, families, communities and organizations, and has been designing and delivering trauma-informed programs since 2008. Audiences have included non-profit organizations, local and provincial government, First Nation communities, post-secondary education institutions, counseling teams, rural communities and international summits. Alongside her online school of Sacred Grief, Shauna is a trainer and director with BC Bereavement Helpline supporting traumatic loss, and has been a teacher with Ancestral Medicine leading multi-day healing rituals; an Executive Director with Learning Through Loss serving youth with grief education and support; the founder of the Victoria Holistic Death Care Gatherings, and a co-visionary for the annual Deathly Matters community conference. She is a lover of inspiration and creativity, and can be found dancing, playing music, and walking in the wilds of nature and mystical communion. You can book a free consultation with Shauna at
May 28, 2020
67. Grieving Mothers: Megan Hillukka
Megan Hillukka is a grieving mother turned grief coach, who is supporting and guiding grieving moms on their grief journeys. After her daughter, fifteen month old Aria, died unexpectedly Megan found that the emotions of grief were overwhelming and she felt so crazy and alone so often, and she now provides that space for other grieving moms to know they are not alone, and she shares the tools she's found to help her in her find life after loss. Megan lives with her 5 children and husband of 9 years in Minnesota USA and carries Aria every day in her heart. Find links to The Grieving Mother’s Podcast & Megan’s work at
May 21, 2020
66. Lysa Black: transformative power of death
On this episode we hear the transformation Lysa Black experienced after a miscarriage & then the death of her beloved horses (two within two weeks) & the major changes that have ensued in her life and the enlightenment and boundaries in relationships that resulted. After 11 years in Business, Lysa Black knows how vital it is to feel safe owning our heart medicine - she became fully booked after 5 years in Business once she published her first book - and began sharing her story. Her role as a Healer & Business Mentor for Trail Blazing Healers, Coaches & Intuitive Business Owners is to reflect back the heart medicine she can perceive in them. We can't speak up publicly about our sacred work until we feel safe, and we can't feel safe until we are seen and loved in our truth. Lysa knows that the feminine leaders are the only ones who can bring through the heart transmissions that facilitate true transformation" 3 key URL's: Website, Facebook & Instagram
May 14, 2020
65. A Grief Warrior: Leslie Barber
Leslie Barber is the Founder of Grief Warrior, a company that brings recognition, respect and reconnection to the grieving. Leslie’s husband, Steve, died from esophageal cancer on the summer solstice, 2015. The longest day of the year became the worst day or her life. She and her six-year-old daughter were devastated. Leslie has channeled her sorrow into Grief Warrior to help other grievers. Grief Warrior offers corporate workshops and trainings on grief, 1:1 and group coaching, and heartfelt sympathy gifts for the grieving. Grief Warrior's workshops and trainings enable corporations to acknowledge grief within the workplace. The Grief Warrior sympathy gifts enable supporters to connect with the grieving - to SAY or DO something that is helpful, useful and healing. Leslie is also a grief coach who works with grievers to recognize their grief, to find the purpose to put one foot in front of the other and ultimately to take their next step. Grief Warrior can be found at and @agriefwarrior on Instagram and Facebook.
May 7, 2020
64. Trauma & Resilience: Kemia Sarraf, MD, MPH
On this episode you hear the current thoughts from a physician, public health specialist, mother, partner, human— as we discuss our current experience with living in the midst of the covid19 pandemic. Dr Sarraf is an Internist and Public Health professional who left clinical medicine more than a decade ago to start a public health initiative for children in her community focused on working with and teaching children in schools and community organizations to “Eat Real, Move More” through programming in the kitchen, gardens and playgrounds. Kemia is also an trauma specialist and executive coach who melded these two disparate fields into a coaching paradigm specifically for physicians and other professionals who are experiencing high levels of chronic toxic stress and secondary trauma (aka “Burnout”) in their workplace. She is the CEO of Lodestar Consulting and Executive Coaching. Married to a physician who will be a part of the frontline in this pandemic, Kemia is currently holed up with her four sons, providing a public health perspective in several local physician groups, blogging on FB in a desperate bid to get her community to understand the concept of radical social distancing to flatten the curve, and fielding calls from clients, all while trying desperately to avoid listening to her two youngest children “read” to her during homeschool hours. The live on a small family farm where it is currently lambing season, the muskrat have invaded the ponds and it’s raining enough to need an ark; she firmly believes all those things should be part of her boy's curriculum. She would very much like to know when the “social distancing” part of this pandemic will kick in for her in her home... Kemia M. Sarraf, M.D., M.P.H., CCC, TIPC™ CEO, Lodestar Lodestar - Direction when you’ve lost your True North.
May 1, 2020
63. Full Circle: Stephanie Sprinkel’s story from Grief to grief coach
On this episode we come full circle as one of our first interviewees reconnects about eighteen months after our initial conversation where she was learning how to walk in the world as a new widow. On January 16, 2016 Stephanie Sprinkel unexpectedly became widowed when her husband passed away from a sudden heart attack. Feeling alone and misunderstood she decided to create a separate Instagram account. One where she could openly express her wide ranging emotions from her loss. She quickly began to connect with other widows, widowers, adult children that lost their parents and sadly parents that lost their children. Soon after she realized two things: Grief is not a phase, it’s a lifelong journey The journey is misunderstood by those who haven’t been through it. The feedback and fellowship she found from her Instagram account and Facebook page that followed, started to pull at Stephanie. She felt a strong calling use her experience to help others. As fate would have it sponsored ads for life coaches and widow coaches began popping up in her Instagram feed. That’s when she realized that’s what she needed to do. She decided to become a coach so she could walk alongside others through their grief journey. In 2019 Stephanie embarked on an intensive life coaching program. She has now graduated from the program with the intention to assist other women. Help them find the self confidence to grow, get unstuck and move forward after the loss of their significant other. She found her tools in becoming resilient are also helpful for women who experiencing the ending of a relationship do to a break up, separation and/or divorce. You can follow Stephanie on Instagram @survivingtheloss or @chooseyourselfcoaching. If you wish to contact her for one on one coaching services in Grief, Loss and Resiliency she can be reached through either account.
April 24, 2020
62. Grief Dreams with Dr. Joshua Black
Dr. Joshua Black is considered one of the leading academic experts in dreams after loss (also know as Grief Dreams). Additionally, he is a speaker, author, and host of the Grief Dreams Podcast. Dr. Black has focused all of his graduate research (in psychology) on investigating grief dreams from many types of loss (including prenatal loss and pet loss). The majority of his research on grief dreams has been specifically on dreams of the deceased. Due to the lack of academic research in this field, Joshua has focused his efforts on raising awareness on grief dreams through doing talks, workshops, interviews, and running his podcast. Additionally, he developed a grief dreams website (, runs several social media accounts (Grief Dreams Facebook Group, and Twitter and Instagram pages @Griefdreams), and wrote a children’s book on grief dreams called Dreaming of Owl.
April 17, 2020
61. Life in the Time of Covid: Part 3
Thanks for being here. On this installment of stories during the time of the covid pandemic we hear from previous contributors & my precious intern Svenja Mueller, who we can thank for the existence of this podcast, and the following people: Jana Buhlman (episode 11 & 12) who shared about walking her husband from stage 4 cancer to his assisted death. You can find her on IG @baldgrrl & ; Jane Edberg (episode 43) of The Fine Art Grieving — you can find her at IG under the same name & at ;Beth Robbins (episode 46) author of A Grief Sublime; Lisa Jones (episode 52) After a transformative shared-death experience, Lisa brings messages from the beyond to enlighten and comfort. IG lisajonespodcast . Thank you so much to all of our contributors to today’s episode. So much love and comfort to all of our listeners. Stay in the moment & take good care. 🖤
April 14, 2020
60. Life in the Time of Covid19: Part 2
On this episode we have another instalment of how some of our previous contributors are dealing with life during this unprecedented time. First up is Kellyn Shoecraft of (episode 21) who shares insights she has gained from her reaction to this pandemic. Next we have Lucinda Herring , author of Reimagining Death, (episode 17) with her personal perspective about our relationship with Death during this pandemic & her human experience. Then we hear from Angela Mencl whose story of becoming a widow at the age of 30, her sister dying the day before her husband & being a mom of four young children was our most listened to episode (number 32) as she describes what life is looking life for her as she walks down a new road (you don’t want to miss this update) & the curve of her personal Covid 19 response. Angela’s instagram handle is @lovelylionheart_ . And finally we have Ronit Plank, podcast host of And Then Everything Changed as she shares how things have changed since our previous conversation (episode 57) last month. Sending out a huge thank you to all of our contributors for sharing from their hearts on today’s episode. Would you like to share your thoughts about your Covid 19 pandemic experience? Record a 5 minute audio clip and send it to
April 10, 2020
59. Stories of Life in the Time of Covid19: part 1
Listen to the first installment of this series where people are sharing stories of their day to day living during the covid19 pandemic. Today’s contributors are previous guests of The Death Dialogues Project Podcast: — Kjerstin Davies, episode 29. — Diana Jecker, episode 42. —Serena McCullough, episode 51. — Dawn Picken, episode 7. —Jane Cunningham, episode 16. — Heike Mertins, episode 22. Thank you so very much to our guests for sharing a glimpse into their responses to the current pandemic. Be on the lookout for part 2 of this series. Subscribe to this podcast so you don’t miss a story. 🖤 Please don’t forget to listen to episode 53– Calm in the Time of Corona for some research based practical tools you & your family can use to ease the stress and improve your wellbeing now & for all times.
April 4, 2020
58. Deathwork with Lashanna Williams
Lashanna (she/her) is, at her core, a helper; a doula and massage therapist who merges formal education, ancestral knowledge, life experience, and all 6 senses to guide her care. She serves individuals, families, intentional communities, and small businesses with end of life education and planning, body care education, home wake facilitation and creating legacy pieces. She has an never diminishing desire to grow community care through education and collaboration to fully support autonomy and choice through abortion, death and dying . "If energy is neither created or destroyed, I'm sure we've met sometime before." Don't forget you can contact Lashanna for a 30 minute free consultation at: The other organizations Lashanna is affiliated with are: & Don't forget to check out the podcast And Then Everything Changed! Here's a link to the episode where  you hear the story behind The Death Dialogues Project:
April 3, 2020
57. Covid19: And Then Everything Changed
Ronit is a native New Yorker, a writer, teacher, and mother who has also led parenting support groups for new families in the Seattle area. She hosts the podcast And Then Everything Changed which features intimate conversations with survivors, authors, thought leaders, and social justice advocates about the pivotal moments in their lives and the decisions that have defined them. New episodes weekly, available on all podcast platforms: Website Instagram @andtheneverythingchangedpod @ronitplankwriting Twitter @ATECpcast @PlankRonit Apple: Spotify:
March 31, 2020
56. Complex trauma & grief: Lindsay Joy Taylor
Lindsay Joy Taylor is a grief advocate and the owner of The Joyful Jewelry Box. Lindsay's mom died when she was only 13 months old so now she keeps her mother's memory alive by serving other bereaved people with grief support and remembrance jewelry. She also writes and speaks to normalize and raise awareness about grief, loss, and trauma. Lindsay lives in California and in her downtime, you can usually find her at the beach with her husband, Brandon and their dog, Trooper. >>> Join my mailing list for updates and grief support: >>> Follow me on Instagram for inspiration and encouragement: >>> Visit my shop: * * *  Don't forget to check out the podcast And Then Everything Changed! Here's a link to the episode where  you hear the story behind The Death Dialogues Project:
March 27, 2020
55. Kemia Sarraf, MD, MPH: life in the time of covid19
On this episode you hear the current thoughts from a physician, public health specialist, mother, partner, human— as we discuss our current experience with living in the midst of the covid19 pandemic. Dr Sarraf is an Internist and Public Health professional who left clinical medicine more than a decade ago to start a public health initiative for children in her community focused on working with and teaching children in schools and community organizations to “Eat Real, Move More” through programming in the kitchen, gardens and playgrounds. Kemia is also an trauma specialist and executive coach who melded these two disparate fields into a coaching paradigm specifically for physicians and other professionals who are experiencing high levels of chronic toxic stress and secondary trauma (aka “Burnout”) in their workplace. She is the CEO of Lodestar Consulting and Executive Coaching. Married to a physician who will be a part of the frontline in this pandemic, Kemia is currently holed up with her four sons, providing a public health perspective in several local physician groups, blogging on FB in a desperate bid to get her community to understand the concept of radical social distancing to flatten the curve, and fielding calls from clients, all while trying desperately to avoid listening to her two youngest children “read” to her during homeschool hours. The live on a small family farm where it is currently lambing season, the muskrat have invaded the ponds and it’s raining enough to need an ark; she firmly believes all those things should be part of her boy's curriculum. She would very much like to know when the “social distancing” part of this pandemic will kick in for her in her home... Kemia M. Sarraf, M.D., M.P.H., CCC, TIPC™ CEO, Lodestar Lodestar - Direction when you’ve lost your True North.
March 25, 2020
54. Walking her mother home: Kristie Bennett
Kristie Bennett’s life was forever changed after the journey to the end of life of her mother. From first symptom to diagnosis of terminal stomach cancer, Kristie talks about negotiating the medical system and the need for an advocate. Her mother’s death was a wake-up call. Death is one thing that is certain but we don’t want to talk about it. Most of us are completely ill-equipped to deal with loss. Our hearts are broken and we have no idea how to fix it. Grief is the normal and natural reaction to loss of any kind. The problem is that we have all been socialized to believe that these feelings are abnormal and natural. Feeling frustrated with the lack of real conversations regarding death and loss, Kristie became a Grief Recovery Specialist and is dedicated to helping others through their own unique and painful grief journey. Kristie also believes that children are often the “forgotten mourners” of grief. She struggled to help her 3 daughters through the loss of their beloved granny. Through a conscious parenting approach, Kristie helps parents develop the skills to help assist children navigate through any emotional turbulence they experience. Not only does this help children heal their broken hearts but creates a greater connection between parent and child. WEBSITE INSTAGRAM FACEBOOK *  * *  * Don't forget to check out the podcast And Then Everything Changed! Here's a link to the episode where  you hear the story behind The Death Dialogues Project:
March 20, 2020
53. Calm in the Time of Corona
On this bonus episode, The Death Dialogues Project creator, Becky Aud-Jennison, MA, LCPC (therapist gone rogue) taps into her clinical background & research & imparts some tools you may find helpful during these trying times.
March 17, 2020
52. Exploring Death with Lisa Jones
After a transformative shared-death experience, Lisa Jones expresses her passion for life by exploring death. Author, speaker, and host of the Exploring Death podcast, she has had the privilege to work with groups and individuals, business leaders, entertainers, and fellow spiritual seekers. Lisa brings refreshing clarity and honesty to a challenging subject. She seeks to use her gifts to give encouragement, comfort, and inspiration to a culture that has hidden death and dying from view. You'll be uplifted by her energy and touched by her warmth.
March 13, 2020
51. Losing a father at 12: an eloquent story of how deep loss affects a child & lingers on
Serena McCullough, Intuitive Guide shares on her experience around death and how loosing her Father at just 12 years old greatly impacted her life and how she has viewed life. She now takes what she has learnt, having hit her rock bottom when her children were 6 and 4 years old and coming out the other end of depression and anxiety, and supports and guides other Mum's and sometimes Dad's, on their healing journey as they too cultivate the authentic and harmonious family life that they desire. Website - Facebook - Instagram -
March 6, 2020
50. Aftermath of Suicide in the Workplace: transforming conversations
In this episode we hear a unique perspective of how a leader handled the suicide of a colleague within the workplace to best support her staff and personnel. Rachel has been an educator and leader based in Ōtautahi (Christchurch, New Zealand) for 25 years. She currently works for The Prince’s Trust New Zealand as their Director of Education, with side hustles as a professional supervisor and a funeral consultant & celebrant. Her intention in all her work is to be strengths-based, resource focussed, and to walk alongside others in their learning, working, dying or grieving journey so they can learn, work, or ‘do death well’. With regards to her new funeral consultancy business it is her hope that through this work, families and friends together feel empowered to manage as much of the process as they feel comfortable with in order to provide an honouring that personifies their love, enables their involvement, and facilitates healthy bereavement for their loved one.
February 28, 2020
49. From Death’s Edge to Death Work: Paige Haviland’s journey to becoming a Death Doula
Paige Haviland-Drufovka joins us a Death Doula and Energy Healer. Her journey to becoming a Death Doula and Energy Healer began 7 years ago when she was diagnosed with a fatal illness that no doctor said she would survive. Through the process of western medicine, holistic healing, and losing very close family members unexpectedly, she found her path and calling in our communities for “death doula” work. She’s had to face the fear of death and then the loss of her close loved ones. Paige understands both spectrums of death and the ones left to grieve. She is a certified Death Doula and End of Life educator for those facing death or the death of a loved one providing comfort, listening, care, compassion, and understanding. She is a certified Death/End of Life Doula through the Midwest Women’s Herbal Conference, INEDLA, and National Teaching Transitions through Rainbow Hospice. She is a current member of INELDA. She also works with Rainbow Hospice in various volunteer positions which include Respite and Vigil care. Additionally, she is certified in 3 different energy healing modalities; EFT Tapping through EFT International, Therapeutic Touch through Therapeutic Touch International Association, and 2nd Degree Certified in Usui Shiki Ryoho Reiki through Om Sweet Om Wellness Center; which she offers to everyone in the community. She is a current member of EFT International, TT International Association, and International Association of Reiki Professionals. She has an office out of Om Sweet Om Wellness Center in La Fox, IL. You can reach Paige at (USA) 914-772-8524
February 21, 2020
48. After Chloe: the story
Melo Garcia, a grief specialist, is assisting those who have lost what isn't replaceable by creating After Chloe, an online community and resources, providing support, resources, and assistance through the difficult journey of grief. And to find a way not only to process the pain of loss and grief but to incorporate grieving and living to find a life of meaning after loss. Melo started and cultivated After Chloe in 2015, with the idea of giving the griever a feeling of community and to know that their opinions are, in fact, not only valid but that anyone can create a roadmap to find their way after loss. Melo created in honor of her daughter Chloe who passed away in 2011, and after losing both her parents. And felt it necessary to help others deal with the grief and losses life present from death, divorce, identity, age, fertility, and empty-nesting by creating various types of solutions that the grieving find a life worth living and to speak your grief in your way, a way that will assist you and inspire you to live and grieving.
February 14, 2020
47. Reframing Suicide: a mother’s story
Claudia Crase is a mom who was comfortable entertaining life’s big questions with her kids And, for her, this interview feels like a snapshot of what it’s like to process the biggest question yet that her family has faced. Claudia is a retired middle school teacher transplanted from Chicago to the mountains of Montana. Instagram @cadocrase
February 7, 2020
46. A Grief Sublime: Beth Robbins
BIO: I am a writer, teacher, director, and editor. And now I am a widow. I was married for just under thirty years to Steve “Sproutman” Meyerowitz. Originally from NYC, we moved to the Berkshires in western Massachusetts where we raised our three children: Gabrielle (31 years old), Ari (29 years old), and Noah (20 years old). The summer after Steve’s death I attended Oxford University. It was there that I found my voice as a writer. Or, perhaps, rather, recognized it. I began to play with form. I discovered the permeability of once-perceived boundaries. I began to put my voice in conversation with John Keats, with Walt Whitman, with Emily Dickinson. I began to explore in my writing the liminal. The difference between an intellectual or emotional response to a work of art, and an imbibing of it––this is not only possible but necessary. In 2017, the Bread Loaf Journal published my personal essay––“Fragments in Liminality: A Lover’s Discourse.” This has since been expanded into a book, A Grief Sublime, published in December of 2019 by Keats & Company Publishers. I have been a high school English and drama teacher in a Waldorf school for the last 15 years. I have worked as an editor for a small publishing house. I have always believed in the necessity for an authentic engagement with literature and the development and validity of every one’s voice. My work with my students has been punctuated by dialogue and passionate debate, and with a focused effort on crafting writing that speaks both to the texts studied and in a voice that is true to the student. In our increasingly fragmented chaotic world, connection is ever more important. The fragmentation of our world begs for conversation, reconnection, dialogue. I have developed curriculum around the Romantics and Transcendentalists, among many other subject areas including Beowulf and Chaucer, Dante and Shakespeare, Virginia Woolf, Jorge Luis Borges, and many others. Keats and the Romantic poets have always been favorites, but after my husband’s unexpected death I entered into Keats’s poetry and the notion of liminality in a life-changing way. From that moment, romanticism and liminality have been touchstones for me, informing my work in my teaching and in the projects I’ve done at Bread Loaf School of English at Middlebury College, and subsequently. This became the way I moved from incomprehension and confusion to some sense of peace and acceptance. Or, at least, an ability to live, as Keats would say in his so-called Negative Capability letter, “in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason.” Keats helped me remain somehow if not content, well then at least okay with half-knowledge. To be with what was rather than what was not. I have discovered a vibrant living experience of literature. I have learned to quiet the self to allow the truth of the other (whether living or nonliving) to speak. Words and experiences become portals to transformation and, possibly, reconfiguration that renews and recreates.
January 31, 2020
45. A SHORT: after Kobe Bryant: unpacking the story
Listen to this brief chat about how the news of Kobe Bryant & his daughter’s death (and the others in the helicopter crash) has devastated those with their feet still on the planet— and the way this loss can intertwine with your own and complicate your reactions. And hear why #bekind is so very important right now.
January 27, 2020
44. Reimagining Grief: Lisa Keefauver
Lisa Keefauver holds a Masters in Social Work and is on a mission to change the narratives of grief. She is the Founder and CEO of Reimagining grief and host of the podcast, Grief is a Sneaky B!tch. She has recently launched an incredibly thoughtful and sometimes humorous line of empathy cards to help you find language when you’re at a loss for words. Based on decades of personal and professional experiences, research and practice, she is incredibly passionate about reimagining and reauthoring our understanding of grief and loss, something 100% of us will experience. Her “grief resume”, as it were, is substantial. Woven throughout her personal life, including losing her husband in 2011 and then a close friend shortly afterward, and in her professional life as a practicing social worker and narrative therapist for nearly 2 decades. Find Lisa’s work, podcasts and cards at
January 24, 2020
43. The Fine Art of Grieving with Jane Edberg
Jane Edberg is a published writer working in poetry, flash non-fiction and memoir. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts. She is a retired art professor who taught Art Appreciation, Photography and Design at various Universities and spent twenty years full-time at Gavilan College. Jane is currently working on a hybrid memoir of images and prose called “The Fine Art of Grieving” about how she used art to process grief and heal from the loss of her son. She authors a blog and Facebook page by the same title. FACEBOOK LINKS: INSTAGRAM LINK: WEBSITE:
January 16, 2020
42. Lessons from a Parent’s Sudden Death: Diana was 19 when faced with the ensuing responsibility
In this episode, we hear from a young university student named Diana. Diana shares her experience with the sudden death of her father, John, when she was just 19 years old. She walks us through her story of loss, from the first overwhelming days of the “after,” to where she stands today, nearly two and a half years onward. In the wake of his passing, Diana shares what she has learned about forgiveness, friendship, the strength that can stem from community, and ultimately, herself. Hailing from the West Coast of the United States, Diana attends college with the goal of becoming a pediatric trauma nurse. One day, she plans to put her skills to use helping youth on the frontlines of the global refugee crisis. She loves all things outdoors, and is still inspired today by her father’s resilient spirit, and quiet, loving nature.
January 9, 2020
41. A Happy New Year Update
Just a quick check in of what our project is about, what we’ve learned and where we are heading for 2020.
January 2, 2020
40. Trans Deathcare : inclusivity in life and death
Meet our guest on this episode, Toni King-Rose: I am a 20 year old, male identifying, openly transgender funeral student currently going through an accredited Canadian mortuary Program. I work part time at an independent retirement living complex as a housekeeper and friend. I spend my free time either vegging out with my pals, singing karaoke with my seniors, volunteering with dying with dignity Canada, focusing on growing the Trans Death Care initiative and going to therapy. I believe it's never too early in life to start talking about your own death and about the deaths of others. And all genders need to be involved in the conversations. Connect with Toni at @transdeathcare on Instagram and
December 27, 2019
39. Medium Rebecca Rosen: love & lessons from the beyond
Internationally acclaimed best-selling author, spiritual medium, and speaker, Rebecca Rosen has made it her mission to open the line of communication between the spirit world and our day-to-day world. Rebecca’s spiritual journey began in 1997 as a college student struggling with depression and a debilitating sleep-eating disorder. Following months of therapy and medication, Rebecca finally, out of desperation, began to pray. On one particularly unremarkable day while sitting in a bookstore, she felt compelled to write in her journal. That’s when her deceased Grandmother Babe, answered her prayers. Rebecca was flooded with words that she involuntarily transcribed, or channeled, not even realizing what she was writing. The handwriting was Rebecca’s, but the words were her Grandmother’s. Because she, herself, was skeptical, Rebecca asked for proof that what was happening was real. Grandma Babe told her three specific things she wanted Rebecca to share with her father, Grandma Babe’s son. All three turned out to be true and were things only her father and Grandma Babe could possibly know. For the next 18 months, Grandma Babe was Rebecca’s guide, giving her life lessons and even predicting specific personal events that would later come true. At the end of this time, her Grandmother told Rebecca to fulfill her life’s purpose, and ultimately help others. Rebecca’s journey as a medium started with personal readings for family and friends, which were uncannily accurate. These experiences were shared with friends, and then friends of friends. Soon strangers began asking for readings too, and Rebecca realized she had officially arrived as a professional spiritual medium. Now, over 20 years later, Rebecca’s passion lies in transforming people’s lives by helping them connect to their deceased loved ones, angels, spirits and guides through small group readings, larger audience events, and a variety of spiritual growth products and resources. Her incredibly accurate and detailed readings have amazed and empowered clients and led Rebecca to national media appearances on The Dr. Oz Show, E! News Specials, Fox & Friends, Dr. Phil, Entertainment Tonight, Extra, Nightline and The Rachel Ray Show, among others. In addition to her two books, Spirited, published in 2012, and Awaken the Spirit Within, published in fall 2013, Rebecca’s newest book, What the Dead Have Taught Me About Living Well was released in February 2017. In her newest book, Rebecca shares the daily practices and tools that she uses to connect with support from beyond, showing readers how they can learn to recognize the signs and harness divine guidance for their everyday lives. Rebecca was also on LMN’s (Lifetime Movie Network) show The Last Goodbye. Through the show, Rebecca connected people seeking answers from their deceased loved ones, and shed light on the truth that death is not the end and love never dies. Rebecca resides in Denver with her husband and children and travels to share her gift and teach others how to receive wisdom and insight that can profoundly, and positively, impact their lives. For more information on Rebecca, her readings, large audience events, spiritual growth products and more, please visit
December 20, 2019
38. Picture Death: a father’s last 17 days are captured on film & project is born
Meet this episode’s guest— Josh Neufeld. I’m Josh, founder of Grief Narratives. I’m a photographer based in Vancouver, Canada. In 2015, death took my dad rather quickly. When they found the cancer, it had already taken up residence in his pancreas and spread to his liver. What I discovered during the process was that though I felt alone and unique in my grief, the reality is, so many share a story so similar to mine. At the time I was beginning work on a photo project around terminal illness and mortality. Suddenly, my father became the subject. Capturing moments and writing about the process allowed me to connect with so many others experiencing something similar. It created the desire to build a space for people to be able to do the same. The link to the piece about Josh’s dad: His website: IG @griefnarratives & @joshneufeldphoto
December 12, 2019
37. Death Midwife: Lauren Morse
An introduction from our guest Lauren Morse: I’m located in Yellow Springs, Ohio and offer intersectional end of life support, death positive educational workshops, and death/grief as sacred activism through ritual and circle crafting. Although rooted in traditional Appalachian folk practices I’ve integrated trauma informed yoga therapy, counseling, and other professional and personal experiences to return advocacy and community deathcare to my neck of the woods. Find Lauren on Instagram at @exhale.midwife
December 5, 2019
36. Emily Elizabeth: she changed lives
Chris Frazier is a 34 year old stay at home mom of two beautiful girls. This last year has been a trying one for their family as they dealt with the prenatal diagnosis and eventual death of their second daughter Emily. Their story is one of sadness but also hope and miracles. Chris holds a masters degree in student affairs in higher education from Colorado state university and a bachelors degree in communication from Oregon tech. In her spare time Chris loves to read, exercise, spend time outdoors.
November 26, 2019
35. Zenith Virago, Deathwalker
At our podcast’s one year anniversary, it is very appropriate we would be blessed to have an interview with a person who has been one of our primary influences on The Death Dialogues Project’s mission. It was Zen’s work that empowered Becky to take a natural approach with her family— something she would have dreamed of doing, but without exposure to Zenith’s work would not have felt as confident on the journey. Zenith lives in Byron Bay, and is the EO and founding member of the NSW Charity, the Natural Death Care Centre. She is the co author of the book The Intimacy of Death and Dying, and subject of the international independent documentary, Zen & the Art of Dying. The inspirational dream of the NDCC is that every individual, community and service provider has the knowledge and capacity to do death well. Zenith has been at the forefront and a leading pioneer of dying well, family led body care, meaningful and appropriate ceremony, and informing and educating communities to reclaim and be empowered before, during and after death. Offering a hybrid of truly traditional ways blended with a more contemporary understanding, encouraging people to take their dying, death, after death care and ceremony back into their own hands and hearts, even in cases of sudden death and trauma. With a legal and community background and work history, she is a seen as a community resource, assisting people to know and reclaim their legal rights, and co-create their own social rites of passage. She has been working towards more holistic cultural change in approaches to better and continual end of life and after death care for well over 25 years. She is known as a Deathwalker, an educator and a celebrant, sharing the subtle and obvious layers involved, offering guidance, support and care to inform, enable and empower people to be as informed, open and courageous as they can, and to experience their dying and their loss in the best way they can. Simply, she accompanies and guides people in their loss. She now works, speaks and teaches both nationally and Internationally, and her work may best be summed up as assisting people to die well, and for those left behind to have a healthier bereavement, as they move into their healing with no or few regrets. Zenith Virago : Deathwalker. Celebrant. Author. Trainer. JP. (+61) 0427 924 310 Transformative Rites of Passage. Weddings & Funerals Conscious & Integrated End of Life & After Death Care Consultations Deathwalker Trainings Co-Author of The Intimacy of Death & Dying Documentary Films
November 14, 2019
34. Death & Divinity
Splintered by her own loss, today’s guest shares how her experience has expanded and shaken her. On this episode you will hear from Rev Melissa Harris -Interfaith Minister, Writer, Speaker, Student, Inquisitor Melissa received her undergrad degree in Psychology from Iowa State University and an M.S. in Counseling from Wayne State College in Nebraska. Her professional career has included social services, conservatorship law, and insurance. Ordained as an Interfaith Minister in 2017 following study in Comparative Religions and Mysticism, she is currently pursuing a Master’s of Divinity through All Faiths Seminary International and serves on the Spiritual Council of Unity Center of Des Moines. A lifelong seeker of wisdom and meaning, Melissa believes that the breath and body are expressions of God, and that the way to live fully is to intentionally and equally embrace our humanity and our divinity. Melissa is married to Tim Harris. They live in Urbandale, Iowa, are avid sports fans, and enjoy boating, fishing, hiking, and any time spent connecting in nature.
November 1, 2019
Season 2– here we come
On this short episode you will here a wee bit about the history of the project and lessons learned from what life hurls at us as we rev up our second season of the The Death Dialogues Podcast. Contact if you have a story to share.
October 23, 2019
33. Lifestyle : Deathstyle
In this episode, Becky, creator of The Death Dialogues Project discusses the use of the word “lifestyle” in New Zealand & how we could all stand to ponder that word a bit more for our lives — and deaths. And don’t forget about our workshop coming right up: ‪A Good Death: a DIY Workshop Exploring ...‬
July 18, 2019
32. Widowed at 30: young mother of four negotiates life after loss
Angela Mencl unexpectedly found herself a widow and single mother of four at age of 30. Angela not only lost her spouse but her sister passed away the day before. Determined to create the most beautiful plan B she moved to Utah to be close to family and raise her children with that support. Her grief was too much to bear alone so she turned outward and created a Instagram platform to work through grief and help others. Angela’s raw posts expose the untold stories of grief and create a safe place for others to feel accepted and seen. Angela is the true embodiment of a lovely lion heart. You can find her Instagram account at
July 11, 2019
31. Tricia Barker shares her Near Death Experience (NDE)
Tricia Barker experienced a profound near-death experience during her senior year of college, and this experience guided her to teach overseas, in public schools, and at the college level. Her near-death experience story has been featured in media outlets including The Biography Channel’s I Survived: Beyond and Back, National Geographic Magazine, Women’s World Magazine, Simple Grace Magazine, and The Doctor Oz Show. Tricia’s memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, tells the story of her near-death experience, teaching mission, and eventual triumph over trauma in her past. The book also focuses on the importance being of service and giving unconditional love to others. Tricia is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin. She also received her MFA in Creative Writing from Goddard College. Currently she teaches English at a beautiful community college in Fort Worth, Texas. She interviews other near-death experiencers, researchers, healers, and mediums on her YouTube Channel. She has partnered with Dr. Raymond Moody and Lisa Smartt to produce The Second Annual Online Near-Death Experience Summit. Tricia speaks to audiences nationally and internationally about unconditional love, healing, and consciousness. Book: Website: YouTube: Podcast: Facebook: Instagram: Twitter:
July 2, 2019
30. Kate Manser: You Might Die Tomorrow
In this episode we hear what inspired Kate Manser to create the project You Might Die Tomorrow. Kate is just so happy to be alive. After experiencing four separate sudden deaths of friends in two years, she experienced a radical shift in perspective: Thinking about your death reminds you to live. She is now the creator of YOU MIGHT DIE TOMORROW a recognized brand with the mission to help people really live before you die. Today, YOU MIGHT DIE TOMORROW has a global following with thousands of stickers around the world, happy clients like Facebook, Inc. and the book is coming out before Christmas 2019. Get a free sticker at
June 25, 2019
29. Charlie’s Guys: a good wee boy’s death brings gifts to grieving siblings
Hear from a mother who , after the death of her precious toddler, Charlie, channeled her energy into giving to other families experiencing a similar loss. Extraordinary. Kjerstin Davies is a southern California native, raising her family in Colorado. She has always had a heart for children. Formerly, Kjerstin was an event planner and later, a child educator. Before she had any of her own she was a court appointed special advocate for foster kids for many years. She is the co-founder of Charlie's Guys, a nonprofit she runs for bereaved siblings. It all started with Charlie and his brother. Charlie was born 21 months after his brother, creating a close brotherly bond that they both cherished. Things they enjoyed most were playing with their transformers, pretending to be transformers, digging for dinosaur bones, playing hide-and-seek, and swimming together. One morning when Charlie was all but 23 months old, he passed away in his sleep. While the founders didn't know it at the time, Charlie had contracted a virus that compromised his body and left him with no symptoms until it became fatal. Terrified to begin this journey, they were showered with love and compassion in the form of gifts, clothes, books, and experiences. Even their unborn daughter (due two months after Charlie passed) was showered with gifts. This generosity made their pain more manageable and they were able to see love in the midst of their loss. This organization is born out of all the generosity they received. Now they want to give back to those who are also changed by this type of tragedy. You can find more at, on Instagram and FB.
June 18, 2019
28. Modern Loss: co-founder Rebecca Soffer shares her story
Rebecca Soffer is the cofounder and CEO of Modern Loss, a website and community the New York Times has hailed as “redefining mourning.” She is a former producer for the Peabody Award-winning Colbert Report, having accompanied Stephen Colbert on his quest to meet all 435 U.S. House Representatives. Rebecca coauthored the book Modern Loss: Candid Conversation About Grief. Beginners Welcome, and is one of Spirituality & Health magazine’s 10 spiritual leaders for the next 20 years. A Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism alumna, Rebecca has spoken nationally on the themes of loss and resilience at Chicago Ideas Week, HBO, and Amazon, and has been featured in outlets including NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and Newsweek. Her writing has appeared in a variety of media such as New York Times, Refinery29, Elle, Marie Claire,, and various book collections. She lives in New York City with her husband and two little boys. Go to to explore more. You can find Modern Loss on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter
June 9, 2019
27. John Pavlovitz on death & grief & love
In the past two years, John Pavlovitz’s blog, Stuff That Needs To Be Said, has reached a diverse audience of millions of people across the world with his outspoken distaste for a number of President Trump’s policies and confrontation of the larger national vitriol about immigrants, guns, and many other hot button issues. His popularity is not surprising, given that his core message is one that so many of us are yearning to hear: that hope is still possible, and that kindness, inclusion, and compassion are the way forward. A former megachurch pastor, Pavlovitz now preaches a much less-traditional Christian message dedicated to radical hospitality, mutual respect, and diversity of doctrine that has earned him the nicknames “The Pastor of the Resistance” and “The Atheists’ Favorite Pastor.” He wants to help those of us who feel hopeless recognize ways in which we can change things for the better. “Hope isn’t found in a celebrity, religious leader, or politician,” says Pavlovitz. “It’s found in the mirror.” Pavlovitz fervently believes that people can change things with a little guidance. “We all have a small world that we can save,” Pavlovitz explains “Compassion, or giving a damn, is one of the most powerful weapons we have in difficult times.” In a rousing and inspiring interview, Pavlovitz, author of the new book, Hope and Other SuperPowers:A Life-Affirming, Love-Defending, Butt-Kicking, World-Saving Manifesto (Simon and Schuster, November 2018), can discuss: • How to find hope in the face of the discord and anger we see on social media news feeds every day • Recognizing that personal pain can mobilize us to activism • Specific places to start and steps to take in the face of the vast and overwhelming problems in the world • How to balance fighting injustice in the world with caring for oneself • One thing each one of us can do right now to be the kind of person the world needs • And much more! John Pavlovitz is a writer, pastor, and activist. In the past five years his blog Stuff That Needs To Be Said has reached a diverse worldwide audience of millions of people, and he is widely regarded as a leading voice in progressive faith in America. A 22-year veteran in the trenches of local church ministry, John is committed to equality, diversity, and justice—both inside and outside faith communities. In 2017 he released his first book, A Bigger Table. His second book, Hope and Other Superpowers, arrived in November of 2018. For more information visit Or you can find John on Twitter @johnpavlovitz, Facebook @johnpavlovitzofficial, and instagram @johnpavlovitz. Hope and Other Superpowers is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Indiebound, and wherever books are sold
May 31, 2019
26. Kenn Pitawanakwat: When My Son Died
Kenn Pitawanakwat, B.A., M.A., is a professor of an endangered language. A Graduate of York University and Northern Michigan University, Kenn steps forward as people’s confidant and Algonquian language etymologist. Kenn has been featured in film, social media, and academe. Kenn currently lives, with his wife, Lorraine, in northern Ontario, Canada, where his personal search for meaning in tragedy led to the writing of this book. Credit: Al Joyner FIRST NATIONS FATHER RECOUNTS HIS BATTLE WITH GRIEF THROUGH LANGUAGE AND CEREMONY ​ Contact: Kenn Pitawanakwat Email: ​ ​ WIKWEMIKONG, ONTARIO, May 12, 2016 – Local band member, grieving father, and survivor of Residential Day School, Kenn Pitawanakwat, of Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve has announced the publication of his personal journal of bereavement and grief following his son’s accidental death, When My Son Died ($19.95 US/Amazon and as an Ebook $3.00). This 159-page book sheds light on death from a First Nations perspective and aims to help others with similar experiences. ​ Pitawanakwat suffered the unexpected loss of his son Shannon to a snowmobile accident two years ago. Shannon’s death triggered regrets and a landslide of traumatic family memories suppressed since childhood. Unable to find any self-help resources on grief that rendered First Nations realism, Kenn wandered alone trying to reconcile with this tragedy. This book is the product of that journey. ​ "Raw, honest, and unafraid, When My Son Died is the story of a man’s deepest loss, written in the tongue of his own cultural grief. It is a visceral look into a man’s pain and his fight to thrive." (E.D.E. Bell, author of the Shkode Trilogy) ​ Frozen by an overwhelming sense of helplessness and confusion, Pitawanakwat, turned to ceremony and writing. Desperately praying for protection of Shannon’s spirit, Kenn renewed himself in the language of his ancestors and was gifted with visits from the spirit world that brought him comfort and reassurance: Shannon’s spirit consoled him, nurtured his hunger for insight on the circle of life, and enabled him to experience lighthearted moments once again. ​ When My Son Died is available from or can be ordered from ​ About the Author: Kenn Pitawanakwat, Masters in Individualized Studies, is the author of several essays, poems and short stories depicting First Nations characters and issues of interest. He started his career in film production and acting prior to holding various First Nations community development positions that eventually led him to pursue his unquenchable interest in his mother tongue. Recognized as an authority in the endangered Odawa language, Kenn helped establish a Nishinaabe Studies Program at Northern Michigan University where he taught for eight years. Pitawanakwat uses his Indigenous knowledge and gifts to help families, couples, and individuals of all ages in First Nations communities and urban centres across Canada and the US to overcome abuse, violence and trauma. Kenn was a grief counsellor to Residential School Survivors at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada hearings and continues to use his personal and professional knowledge and skills to promote healing. He lives on Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve, Ontario, Canada, with his wife, Lorraine, and family. For more information, or to schedule an interview with or appearance by Mr. Kenn Pitawanakwat, email or visit Review copies are available to the media on request.
May 24, 2019
25. Down to Earth Dying
Down to Earth Dying: Caroline Schrank became a Funeral Director after planning funerals for her parents 8 years apart.  Her goal is to educate and inform that death and funerals aren’t “one size fits all”, and that there are options - you just have to ask.  Caroline runs Down To Earth Funerals in New York City.
May 19, 2019
24. To Die For— listening to our hearts & whispers from the beyond
Anne O’Boyle Vlahos resides in Vermont with her husband and near their two children. She is still inspired today by her mother’s love of gardening and cooking and her father’s curiosity and love of nature. Her dog Moose is usually by her side when she’s home. Death was never an event Anne’s parents sheltered her from as she grew up. They took her to a wake for the first time at the age of two. Though only one of two children, Anne is from a large family with an abundance of opportunities to see that many struggled with loss for many reasons. When Anne finally lost Baba, her maternal grandmother, it was the beginning of her journey to develop a personal understanding of death, spirituality, and life’s meaning. This event, when she was twenty and starting her junior year in college, started deep conversations with her friends, intensive reading, classes, and sessions with several spiritual teachers and intuitives. As Anne explored, she was also aware that her intuition and inner guidance grew, as well. The first time she connected with someone who had passed was in 1992 at the age of thirty, following the death of Evelyn Isadore. Though not with great frequency, she has, since then, been visited by close relatives upon and after their passing. She learned that anything from action to acceptance to stillness can allow you to see the gifts that only a loved one’s departure can bring. She welcomes you to explore what gifts you too may find in that loss. Anne was born in Pennsylvania and raised in New Jersey by her parents, along with her sister. She attended the University of Delaware and Hunter College, receiving a BS and MS in Nutrition, which led to a thirty-year career in sales, marketing, and business development in the food industry. You can connect with me here: FB: To Die For book YouTube: To.Die.Forbook Instagram:
May 9, 2019
23. The Accidental Episode
Dan Ruderman (IG loveand_death_ because) agreed to be a guest on an episode of our podcast. But as we began to chat— he felt it was maybe too early. As you will hear, his wife’s death was on Thanksgiving Day November 22, 2018: very recent. We decided to go on and just chat and it happened to be recorded— this was the technology we were using. At the end, Dan decided he was okay if our conversation was used as a podcast. Thank you Dan for the generosity of sharing your heart and your unique and love-filled experience of walking your dear Ditte home and holding such a meaningful vigil for her. Apologies for the inconsistent audio since we were not considering this an episode recording.
April 29, 2019
22. Grief is . . . with Heike Mertins
Heike Mertins is an author, blogger and speaker about grief, grieving and recovery. She is the author of “Grief is...Thoughts on loss, struggle and new beginnings” (2017) which chronicles her journey through the bizarre, frustrating and at times humourous world of incomprehensible loss. Following the death of her brother and husband, Heike began to document the process of loss, emotion and healing that accompanies a momentous life change. The Kirkus Review noted her work as compelling due to her adamant refusal to file the rough edges of her emotions in order to make readers more comfortable. In closing the reviewer wrote that the book will surely provide some comfort to those facing a similar loss. Heike likes to think of her writings as pulling back the curtain of one of the few experiences we still prefer to not think about. A taboo that leaves those who grieve isolated and those wishing to support them at a loss as to how to do so. A taboo it is her personal mission to help dismantle. Hers is a message of hope for those who grieve. Today, she is committed to improving how we perceive and manage grief. Doing so has become her heart work. Website link: Blog: An eclectic life Facebook: Instagram: When you order the book, if it says sold out— continue with the process and the book will arrive within 7-10 days.
April 21, 2019
21. Surviving Siblings: Kellyn Shoecraft
Coming upon Kellyn’s “surviving siblings” Instagram account and our ensuing conversation felt like a breath of fresh air. You’ll have to listen to hear the analogy Kellyn made that struck my heart and soul with a deep sense of knowing — and relief— that someone else “got” it. Kellyn, drawing on her experience of surviving her dad and sister, founded Here For You, a company that changes the way people support each other during difficult life transitions. She lives in Boston, Massachusetts with her husband and daughter. You can find her company at and at her Instagram page of the same name. Also on IG find survivingsiblings , surviving parents & survivingchildren.
April 13, 2019
20. Rob Hamill— The Power of Ceremony & Symbolism
Olympian, Rowing Champ, Master Griever. Many New Zealanders are familiar with Rob Hamill and his story. Or stories. Well known as a highly esteemed elite athlete— excelling in rowing was precipitated by hugely traumatic grief. When Rob was 14 his older brother went missing on a sailing adventure. It was later discovered that Kerry had been captured by the Khmer Rouge & tortured for months before his murder. Hear Rob’s heartfelt journey that led him to go back to the space his brother spent his last days and make an award winning documentary: Brother Number One. You’ll also hear the unfolding of grief over other losses as his family’s lives are forever changed. Experiencing tragic deaths has given Rob a refreshing perspective on living life in the moment as he & his wife & children go off grid & live on a sailboat. You can find links to those adventures, Rob’s work as a motivational speaker & his movie all at Follow their adventures on their FB page and youtube channel called The Cruising Kiwis.
April 5, 2019
19. Loss of a soul sister— a life transformed
Meet today’s guest: EMILY HOLODY whose life was forever changed after her journey to the end of life with her soul sister and the family deaths that followed. A Peninsula, Ohio, native, Emily Holody is a stay-at-home mother and freelance writer with a degree in sociology from Kent State University. She has a background in mental health and social work, and finds joy in sharing her story of life and loss with others. Emily loves all things outdoors, and lives in Euclid with her childhood sweetheart and their family. Emily shares her stories at: She contributes to the online publication: And runs a Facebook grief group: The Fire and Rain Grief Group, an Anchor of Hope in the Sea of Loss. Emily hopes others will learn from her life lessons, and join the conversation. The human connection, and helping each other journey through this life, fuels her soul.
March 29, 2019
18. Guided by Grief: Lisa Bovee
Meet this episode’s guest, author of Guided by Grief/Guided by Now— Lisa Bovee: Badass Author. Speaker. Mama. MiMi. Friend. Human. When Lisa's son Conner died in a tragic car accident, she was running a successful freelance writing, editing, and book publishing business. After her loss, in an attempt to regain her footing, she began to search for grief writings that might help her. She wanted stories that sounded like hers, something that would offer guidance, inspiration, and encouragement and also a way to honor her son. None of what she found truly spoke to her heart. More importantly, when she connected with others, she heard the same sentiments about the gap in grief narratives. That’s how Guided by Grief & Guided by Now the Vision, the Mission, the Movement (and the book) were all born. Lisa has been Guided by Grief to repurpose her life and to share her story and help others do the same -- together we are changing the conversation about grief from private, ugly & uncomfortable to OPEN, NORMAL & SUPPORTIVE. Her book Guided by Grief: Always Remember is combination memoir, self-help and compilation. It’s real and raw with surprising injections of humor. Her talks about life, hope, and happiness after loss, are encouraging, sometimes funny, and always inspirational. She confirms that you are NOT doing grief wrong and helps you to realize there can be joy after loss. Lisa was Guided by Grief, but she wants you to be Guided by Now. WEBS + SOCIAL LINKS: Lisa Bovee (Guided by Grief The Movement) Facebook @Guidedbynow on Insta @GuidedbyGrief on Twitter Join Lisa’s PRIVATE Guided by Grief Facebook group (The Guide Tribe) where you’ll find other loving, supportive, understanding and compassionate folks.
March 22, 2019
17. Reimagining Death: Lucinda Herring
LUCINDA HERRING has worked at the cutting edge of the green funeral movement for more than twenty years, beginning with others in the 1990s to quietly care for loved ones after death. Today she is one of the leading voices for more healing and ecological ways to care for our dead. Her book, Reimagining Death: Stories and Practical Wisdom for Home Funerals and Green Burials, has just been published by North Atlantic Books, and is available at your local independent bookstore or online. Herring is a home funeral/green disposition consultant and guide, an interfaith minister, and a licensed funeral director in the state of Washington. She speaks regularly about her work, and through her company Limina LLC--Thresholds Consulting and Ministry, she offers Advance After-Death Care planning, home funeral/green disposition education and trainings, and celebrant/ministerial services for families and communities who are reclaiming their innate right to care for each other and the earth at the end of life. Lucinda is also a storyteller and festival maker, committed to bringing art, beauty, ritual and celebration to all of life's thresholds. She lives on an island in the Puget Sound, amongst people who love exploring and creating new paradigms and ways of being that can be of service to all. Lucinda’s website is:
March 14, 2019
16. Jane Cunningham: where death has taken me
Jane Cunningham, from the Northland of New Zealand, discusses her experiences with death and how it’s affected her living. Jane understands that the world is hungry for a return to Spirit. She paints, prays, plays and tends to her soul and the souls around her knowing that the Numinous is present everywhere and comes alive whenever we tend to it. You can find Jane’s work at You can find the tool for facilitating conversations about end of life at
March 5, 2019
15. Anything goes? personal thoughts on after-death-care
Join Becky for a chat about what her journey has illustrated to her about making decisions about the care of her own body after death. Always remember there are death doula services and alternative funeral supports available to support you/your family after death. Stay tuned for our next episode as our guest gives us deeper exploration and a free resource to prepare for our end life & post-death journey. Subscribe to our podcast so you can be informed of new episodes & to show your support.
March 1, 2019
14. from cardiologist to caregiver: lessons on dying
Today we speak to Stephen Jennison, a cardiologist turned caregiver. Stephen shares lessons he’s experienced professionally and personally interfacing with death. Stephen is an integral member of The Death Dialogues Project team. Please subscribe and follow us on Instagram and Facebook. Your support helping to spread our work is invaluable and we thank you. (the photo shows Stephen, his son & mother-in-law,he helped care for, just a couple of weeks before her death)
February 20, 2019
13. Bradley Cooper & Yoga Girl & Death & me
Vulnerability alert: This feels raw as I share some of my own story precipitated by a lady-with-her-big-girl-pants-on-taking-a-road-trip and listening to two very poignant podcast episodes kinda experience. You can hear the meaningful conversations I refer to as well. Check out Bradley Cooper’s interview on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday and check out Yoga Girl’s episode on Death— you can see the exact titles in this episode’s photo. Musical artist responsible for the song referred to is Julien Baker. 🖤 Peace & love— Becky of TDDP
February 9, 2019
12. Part 2– a date with death: a love story
In this episode we explore Jana Buhlmann’s experience of walking beside her partner from stage four cancer diagnosis to his assisted death. This conversation is so deep and wide we are serving it up in two parts. You can find out more about Jana at And you can find her on Instagram and twitter @baldgrrl A big thank you to Jana for giving us insight into the choice of assisted dying.
February 3, 2019
11. Part 1— a date with death: a love story
In this episode we explore Jana Buhlmann’s experience of walking beside her partner from stage four cancer diagnosis to his assisted death. This conversation is so deep and wide we are serving it up in two parts. You can find out more about Jana at And you can find her on Instagram and twitter @baldgrrl A big thank you to Jana for giving us insight into the choice of assisted dying.
February 3, 2019
10. Yoga & Grief: a match made in heaven
Listen to our conversation with Sandy Ayer creator of Yoga for Grief Support. Hear how experiencing her own tragic loss catapulted Sandy into action to create her own gentle answer to providing grief support. And listen closely for the discount code for 20% off of her 8 week online program. We highly recommend engaging in this act of radical self care if you are experiencing loss. You can find out more about the program at and find Yoga for Grief Support on Facebook and Instagram. (And Becky’s original teacher she referred to, Nancy Long’s work can be found at She has a lovely restorative yoga book and cd available)
January 25, 2019
9. ghost stories: love never dies
Have you ever felt a connection or seen or heard something that you feel was communication with someone who had died? We are finding this is a common element in the stories we are collecting. Today, Becky shares her first experience with that phenomenon when three people witnessed a hello from her father a day after his death. Book referenced in the podcast was “Hello from Heaven” and podcast mentioned was WE DON’T DIE. You can find them online. Do you have a story to share? Contact us See you next time!
January 18, 2019
8. So you walk into the New Year and there’s an empath, a medium, a ritual— and no bar . . .
Join us for a chat from the little red shed about how our grief may be standing in the way of welcoming the New Year and a few helpful resources. And here are the links promised: ; ; . It would be most helpful if you would subscribe to this podcast! Thanks!
January 7, 2019
7. Travelling with Grief: a young widow’s story.
On this episode Dawn Picken shares the story of her husband of 10 years sudden illness and tragic death which left her to redefine her life with two young children. Dawn has written a memoir—Love, Loss & Facebook: my year of grief on the run. Listen to how grief led Dawn on a unique journey. You can find Dawn at snd on Instagram and Facebook.
December 23, 2018
6. To Embalm or Not to Embalm: a story of choosing the old fashioned way
DISCLAIMER: This podcast is not by a mortician or an expert in those sciences. This is the story of a family who stepped back in time and cared for their loved ones in their home after their deaths. More and more we hear about the possibility of not having our loved ones embalmed. Clearly, there are times that the circumstances of a death prevent us from having a choice in the matter. That is a given. On this episode you will hear the personal experience of choosing to not have loved ones’ embalmed and having an extended in-home vigil. Hopefully this episode may help to inform you on the topic from a personal perspective. For your reference— the movie spoken about in this piece is Zen and the Art of Dying. You can find it on iTunes. Please follow The Death Dialogues Project on Instagram, Facebook and our blog at Please subscribe to this podcast! See you next time!
December 12, 2018
5. Grief & the Holidays: how to make your experience not suck
Our guest, Stephanie Sprinkel, shares her experience of a less than optimal Thanksgiving and its affect on how she will rethink “celebrations” in the future. She also imparts some beautiful wisdom from her grief experience, including her continuing connection with her deceased husband. You can find Stephanie on Instagram at Surviving the Loss where there are links to her blog as well. You can follow The Death Dialogues Project on Facebook, Instagram &
December 4, 2018
4. Post-Mortem of the debut production of The Death Dialogues Project.
Have a listen if you want to get the vibe of what if was like at the event. Becky shares the “about” the project from the debut and then she and Svenja unpack the evening (including the possible attendance from the other side).
November 27, 2018
3. Traumatic Grief & Healing
In our last podcast, traumatic grief was briefly touched upon. Today we unpack that concept a bit further because, in fact, understanding the dynamic behind why difficult memories revisit us is the first step to healing. Also on this episode, we share a short healing visualisation. As promised, the elephant journal article can be found at: . You can find us on, & . Drop us a line at
November 14, 2018
2. The Wisdom of a Child
A 14 year old talks death, dying & grief. Hear thoughts from a young man who experienced the death of a dear uncle and 3 grandparents within an 18 month period—one death being supported within his home. Within this conversation, several aspects of death and grief are observed.
November 12, 2018
1. Intro to The Death Dialogues Project podcast.
Welcome! Hear a short overview of the who, what, why behind The Death Dialogues Project.
November 8, 2018