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The Death Dialogues Project

Author: The Death Dialogues Project

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Conversations from the little red shed about death, dying & the aftermath. Help us bring the topic of DEATH out of the closet. You can find out more about our project at, & .
25 Episodes
25. Down to Earth Dying

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. Send in a voice message:
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 byclose 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:www.ToDieForbook.comFB: To Die For book To.Die.Forbook Send in a voice message:
23. The Accidental Episode

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. Send in a voice message:
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: An eclectic life When you order the book, if it says sold out— continue with the process and the book will arrive within 7-10 days. Send in a voice message:
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. Send in a voice message:
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 called The Cruising Kiwis. Send in a voice message:
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. Send in a voice message:
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) on Insta@GuidedbyGrief on TwitterJoin Lisa’s PRIVATE Guided by Grief Facebook group (The Guide Tribe) where you’ll find other loving, supportive, understanding and compassionate folks. Send in a voice message:
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: Send in a voice message:
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 Send in a voice message:
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