Death: the podcast

New Orleans has a unique relationship to death: we have a ridiculously high murder rate, we party at funerals, and we end up above ground. Death: the podcast tells the stories of personal experiences of death - fear of it, laughing at it, life-changing brushes with it, dealing with lost loved ones, and our own inevitable and unknown heart-stopping moment. Through confronting death we learn what it is to be alive.

Extreme Measures

Extreme Measures
February 20, 2017

In her book Extreme Measures: Finding a Better Path to the End of Life, Dr. Jessica Zitter sheds light on how both patients and their doctors face medical decisions before death is imminent. For patients and loved ones, speaking up and asking questions about medical procedures can make the difference between feeling scared and feeling empowered. For physicians, talking directly to a patient about death is a skill as important as any surgical technique.... Read More »

In the Land of Gray

In the Land of Gray
February 8, 2017

Dr. Judith Schwarz is the Clinical Director of End of Life Choices New York. She specializes in talking with the critically or terminally ill about how they wish to live the remainder of their days. Dr. Schwarz has devoted her career to navigating the gray areas that emerge when death is near. What obstacles do physicians and nurses face when they are enlisted by patients to hasten death? What choices... Read More »

It's Never Too Late

It's Never Too Late
January 30, 2017

When Holly Pruett's father died fifteen years ago, she found a unique way to honor his physical and spiritual presence. Now, as a Certified Life Celebrant, Holly helps others craft personalized rituals to witness, celebrate, and mourn their loved ones and life events, sometimes even years after the fact. In our busy, hurried lives, it is important to slow down, take stock, and practice grief. Join Arian and Holly as they discuss the... Read More »

Still Answering The Call After 100 Years

Still Answering The Call After 100 Years
January 16, 2017

When his beloved grandfather suddenly died of a heart attack, Stephen Sontheimer, the young heir apparent to the Tharp-Sontheimer Funeral Home, was excluded from the rituals associated with the end of his grandfather's life. Eager to follow in the footsteps of his forefathers, Stephen was not deterred from learning the family business and familiarizing himself with death. Since 1962, Stephen has continued the family legacy by helping to enhance the traditional... Read More »

The sculptured mind of Beverly Morris

The sculptured mind of Beverly Morris
January 2, 2017

It's one thing to be recognized as an artist, a yoga instructor, and a successful copywriter, but being a brain cancer survivor takes life to a new level. Beverly Morris is a survivor. She has had three surgeries, four years of chemotherapy, and a lifetime dose of radiation. What she takes away from all of this is a great appreciation of life, and the discipline to say "no" a whole... Read More »

It's All Bonus Time Now

It's All Bonus Time Now
December 19, 2016

Twenty-nine-year-old, Jake Densen's life was like that of any other Los Angeles twenty-something: a blossoming career in the television industry, great friends, and a supportive family. All of that was suddenly put to the test when, in March of 2015, an unusual skin rash led to a diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukemia or AML. In just two weeks, Jake's life went from the carefree enjoyment of cheeseburgers and LA beaches to... Read More »

Did They Have a Good Death?

Did They Have a Good Death?
December 5, 2016

Most of us will eventually reach a point where medical intervention is outmatched by advanced age, illness, or both. It is at this point where meaningful conversations between physicians, patients and their families are crucial. Why then do medical schools and residencies offer their trainees little to no formal guidance on how to facilitate end-of-life conversations? What steps should we all consider taking now to make our end-of-life wishes clear to... Read More »

Allison Durant's Motherless Daughters

Allison Durant's Motherless Daughters
November 21, 2016

Allison Durant’s mother died on the heels of her high school graduation. For years before, Jane had been absent from Allison’s life, mostly in hospitals, fighting a losing battle with lung cancer. Allison’s teenage invincibility gave her the strength to brush her mother’s death aside and throw herself wholeheartedly into her own hectic life. Soon enough Allison was married and had 3 kids. It wasn’t until Allison’s own children entered adolescence that... Read More »

Grief After Stillbirth

Grief After Stillbirth
November 7, 2016

 In 2001, David Hlavsa and his wife, Lisa Holtby, lost their first son, James, at 20 weeks gestation. In 2007, this loss inspired David's first essay, "My First Son, A Pure Memory," which was featured in the "Modern Love" column of the The New York Times.  He later penned the critically-acclaimed memoir, "Walking Distance: Pilgrimage, Parenthood, Grief, and Home Repairs," which chronicles David and Lisa's journey through the Camino de Santiago, infertility,... Read More »

Speaking to the Unspeakable

Speaking to the Unspeakable
October 24, 2016

Growing up on the family rhubarb and pumpkin farm, Shannon Ritscher's life was like that of most small-town teenagers. In 1986, all that changed when Shannon's brother, Steve, killed himself. Devastated by the loss of his son, four years later, Shannon's father David, also took his own life. Despite these set backs, Shannon found a way to move forward. She earned an art degree, married, became a mother, and started the... Read More »

The Living Urn

The Living Urn
October 10, 2016

Co-founders Mark Brewer, Mike Walas and Brandon Patty were on a mission: to create an eco-friendly way of honoring the dead.   After years of working with leading soil scientists and arborists, The Living Urn was born.  With its biodegradable planting systems now available online and in over 250 Funeral Homes nationwide, The Living Urn is transforming the death care industry, one memorial tree at a time. Join Arian’s conversation with Mark... Read More »

Let Him Get the Pretzels

Let Him Get the Pretzels
September 26, 2016

Jill Farbarik and her husband Ray were dining with friends and watching their children play. Jill had no idea this would be her last dinner as Ray's wife, her last night of co-parenting their two daughters, the last night as the matriarch of their happy, healthy family of four. The following morning Jill's husband collided with a tree while skiing. On March 22, 2014, surrounded by his loved ones, Ray Farbarik... Read More »

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