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Don't Be Caught Dead

Author: Catherine Ashton

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Welcome to Don’t Be Caught Dead - a podcast encouraging open conversations about dying and the death of a loved one. I’m your host, Catherine Ashton - Founder of Critical Info - and I’m helping to bring your stories of death back to life. 

Because while you may not be ready to die, at least you can be prepared.  

15 Episodes
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Today, we're joined by Camilla Rowland, CEO of Palliative Care Australia, who brings decades of experience in transforming palliative care practices and perceptions.In today's discussion, we delve deep into the holistic approach of palliative care—how it integrates into our healthcare system and what it means for individuals facing life-limiting conditions. Camilla sheds light on how embracing the realities of death can enhance the quality of life and why early conversations about end-of-life...
Annie Whitlocke is a death doula with a rich history of embracing life’s trials with an open heart.Annie shares her profound journey from a turbulent childhood through to her multiple personal tragedies, including loss of multiple husbands and struggles with miscarriages.These challenges have uniquely equipped her to assist others at the end of their lives. Her story is one of transformation; from pain and isolation to finding her calling in helping others face death with dignity and peace.Ke...
Welcome to another episode of 'Don't Be Caught Dead' where we shine a light on the topic many of us shy away from – death.This week, we're joined by a special guest, Jackie Slater, an authorised marriage and funeral celebrant. Jackie's spent over 40 years working in the funeral industry, and her journey in this industry is as intriguing as it is inspiring.In this episode, Jackie unravels her career journey, from starting as a 'Saturday girl' doing admin work for a funeral director, to becomin...
Do you crave captivating conversation about the things that REALLY matter?Then you can’t go past listening to a seasoned end of life doula with nearly 40 years of experience, like Helen Callanan. Helen is the founder and lead educator at Preparing the Way, an organisation that delivers holistic end-of-life and doula education across Australia and New Zealand. Helen's profound experience and passion for education create a wealth of knowledge that she generously shares with us today.In thi...
This episode focuses on the escalating issue of funeral poverty and debt.I speak with Kieran Worthington and Kevin Hartley, who discuss their mission to provide dignified funerals for those who might not be able to afford one.The conversation begins with a poignant question: where were Kieran and Kevin last year when our friend's children had to crowdfund their father's funeral?As it turns out, they were always there, offering their services to those in need, only we weren't aware of them.Reg...
In this episode, I speak with a pioneer in the death care industry, Zenith Virago. Zenith is the founder and executive officer of the Natural Death Care Centre Charity Australia. She is a death walker, a celebrant, and an educator.Zenith has been empowering people to have healthier, healing bereavement with few or no regrets for over 30 years. Our conversation was enlightening and funny, ranging from the significance of graveyards in England, ceremonies for the LGBTQ community, how to support...
What happens when some family members see dollar signs in death? How do you navigate such a fraught situation?In this episode, we're discussing family ties, estates, and confronting death, a topic many avoid.I'm sharing a personal and painful story about Grace. After her mother Patricia's death, she discovered her sister had allegedly taken $350,000 from Patricia's account. This led to a legal fight put Grace through many challenging situations.This episode isn't just about a financial family...
In the episode of "Don't Be Caught Dead," I had the pleasure of interviewing Arwen Dropmann, a skilled professional organiser with a background in social work.Arwen is a certified social worker and has additional training in grief and loss, disability, chronic illness, hoarding disorder, motivational interviewing, neurodivergent affirming practices, and compassion-focused therapy.We delved into the realm of decluttering, organising, and the emotional connections we have with our belongings, e...
Welcome to another episode of 'Don't Be Caught Dead'! This week, we delve into an incredibly raw and honest conversation with James Robinson. James courageously shares his personal experiences with loss, grief, and the impact of suicide on his family.In this episode, James opens up about the tragic loss of his older brother, Michael, to suicide when they were just teenagers. This loss, which he describes as a 'huge shock', marked the start of a series of bereavements that profoundly affected ...
Have you ever pondered the experience of facing the end of a loved one's life? In this episode, we share a touching story from Susan Bollard, who grappled with the loss of her husband during the height of the Covid lockdown.Susan, the owner of Showbiz Dance Studio, shares her profound journey through the loss of her husband, Phil. It's a story filled with love, loss, and unexpected lessons learnt along the way. Let's dive into the salient points of this extraordinary conversation.Key Learning...
Have you ever pondered over what it's like to confront death each day? Today we offer a captivating chat with Bradley Lett, who was raised in a family that ran a funeral business, a tradition he's upheld for two decades. It's a voyage through the complexities of life, death, and all that lies in between. So, let's delve into the show!Episode Summary:The Privilege of Funeral Directing: Bradley Lett, a veteran Funeral Director, imparts his profound experiences and the honour he carries in assis...
You’ve probably heard of the term ‘doula’ before, often used in the context of those who support birthing mothers. But do you understand the role of a death doula?In this episode, we demystify the often misunderstood role of an end of life doula, a role that Rebecca Lyons embodies with passion and dedication.Rebecca shares her personal journey that led her into the funeral industry and eventually to her current role as a doula and independent funeral director.Learn about the broad and diverse...
In this episode, I'm bringing you a conversation that's both emotional and enlightening. I had the pleasure of reuniting with an old high school friend Libby Neesham, who shared her incredibly personal experiences with the death of her parents, her unique approach to motherhood, and her valuable insights on dealing with grief as someone with neurodiversity.🌹 In this episode:Libby opens up about the different ways she grieved the death of each of her parents and the lessons she learned al...
Today's conversation is one that's close to my heart, and I believe it will touch yours too.I had the incredible opportunity to sit down with my best friend and medical advisor to Critical Info, Dr. Renee Stamation. As an emergency doctor, she faced incredibly challenging life-and-death moments during the tough times of the COVID-19 pandemic.🩺 In this episode:Dr. Stamation shares her firsthand experiences from the frontline, weaving a tale of resilience, compassion, and the emotional toll of ...
Welcome to the trailer for "Don't Be Caught Dead"! 💀I'm excited to give you a glimpse of what's to come in this podcast.This podcast delves into the delicate balance between life and death, the defining moments that shape us, and the conversations we often avoid but need to have. My mission is to change that.I'm Catherine Ashton, the founder of Critical Info, and I'm here to revive stories of death. Because while you may not be ready to die, at least you can be prepared.🌟 Here's a sneak ...
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