Ep. 83 Caitlin Doughty: The Young Mortician

Learn how Caitlin Doughty is changing the funeral industry one funeral at a time.

PodcastDoughty

 

 

In this episode I share an interview with Caitlin Doughty, a progressive young funeral director in Los Angeles and the founder of the Order of the Good Death and the popular YouTube series Ask a Mortician.

ANNOUNCMENTS:

Suicideblog_On April 10th  an 8-part series will begin on this podcast titled Suicide: Surviving the Aftermath. Each episode will focus on my own personal journey of healing after my father’s suicide death.

I will share my process of learning about my Dad and the factors in his life that led to his death, while also portraying the grief and guilt I suffered as a survivor of suicide. My goal is to share hope with those who are currently on this journey of grief.

suicide lifelineFor anyone who is currently experiencing a crisis and feeling hopeless the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline provides free and confidential support 24/7.

Call 1-800-273-8255 or Text HELLO to 741-741.

Click here to talk to someone now.

supportonpatreon-e1412764908776You can help support this podcast and the End-of-Life University Interview Series by making a small monthly donation at www.Patreon.com/eolu. To thank you for your donation I’ll promote your end-of-life related website, business, or organization on this podcast. Thank you to my newest supporter: Adrianne Berry and thanks to all of the patrons who have offered your support over the past year!

THE YOUNG MORTICIAN:

Caitlin_Doughty_in_red_Caitlin Doughty works as a funeral director/mortician in Los Angeles and is in the process of opening her own alternative funeral service, Undertaking LA, to help people handle their own . Caitlin has created the popular webseries Ask a Mortician, which has 33,500 subscribers and she founded The Order of the Good Death, a web-based membership site dedicated to bringing the realistic discussion of death back into popular culture.

In this interview you will learn:

  • why we need to make death a part of our lives
  • how to take a step toward accepting mortality by planning for a natural burial
  • ways to overcome our fear of death

Caitlin Doughty attended the University of Chicago, where she graduated in medieval history. After graduation, Caitlin moved to California, where she began to apply to crematories in an attempt to put into practice her theoretical interest in death. Her first job in the funeral industry was as a crematory operator, burning bodies by day and reading Ernest Becker by night. Since then, she has worked as a funeral arranger, a body-van transport driver, and returned to Cypress College for her second degree, in mortuary science.

Currently she works as a licensed funeral director/mortician in Los Angeles and is in the process of opening her own alternative funeral service, Undertaking LA, to help people help themselves (handle a corpse).

The Order of the Good Death was founded in 2011 with the goal of bringing the realistic discussion of death back into popular culture. Caitlin’s webseries “Ask a Mortician” and the Order website have led to features on National Public Radio, BBC, the Huffington Post, Vice, the LA Times, Jezebel.com, Forbes, Bust Magazine, and Salon.

doughtyeternityCaitlin’s first book, Smoke Gets in Your Eyes: And Other Lessons from the Crematory, is a New York Times bestseller and will be discussed in this interview.

She has now also authored a second book, which will soon be released: From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death. 

You can order her books on Amazon.com or find them in bookstores everywhere.

Tune in every Monday for a new episode of the podcast! Until next week remember:

Face Your Fear.                  BE Ready.                   Love Your Life.

karen-signature

 

Ep. 65 Changing the Perspective on Death: Highlights from Death Expo 2016

meaningchangede

 

 

In this episode Dr. Karen Wyatt shares her favorite “take-aways” from the 12 presentations of the recent Death Expo event. If you missed Death Expo you can still purchase the recordings from the event for just $36 (which is a great price for 12 hours of education.)  Go to this link to learn more. The speakers she highlights are:

Enjoy these highlights! If you feel inspired, consider purchasing the Collection!

Also visit the Patreon.com/eolu page if you’d like to become a supporter! As always:

Face Your Fears.                   BE Ready.                     Love Your Life.

Ep. 46 Art and the End-of-Life with Irina Jordan

Join Dr. Karen Wyatt and her guest Irina Jordan, Founder and Owner of ARTISURN, an online marketplace for handcrafted cremation urns, jewelry and keepsakes made by talented artisans. We will discuss the role of the creative arts in remembering our loved ones or beloved pets at the end-of-life and in healing grief. According to Irina Jordan, ARTISURN craftsmen are sensitive to the deep emotional component required in creating sacred objects and we will learn how they do this work. In this interview you will discover:

  • how cremation urns are created and measured
  • why a handmade cremation urn is preferred
  • how cremation jewelry is made, using ashes fused with glass
  • stories of grief healing through sacred art

Learn more about Irina’s work at www.artisurn.com

You can download and print Irina’s gift: Coloring Through Grief – a beautiful adult coloring book – at this link:  http://tinyurl.com/artisurn  You’ll receive a promo code for a 10% discount you can use on any Artisurn handmade cremation urn.

Thanks for tuning in! Remember to support this podcast and the EOLU interview series at www.patreon.com/eolu !! Thanks to Irina Jordan and Artisurn for their support of EOLU!!

Ep. 37 Creating a Support Community as an End-of-Life Worker

 

Today Dr. Karen Wyatt discusses some ideas for building a support community for end-of-life workers and people interested in death and dying. Working in this field can be rather lonely at times as our society still fears and avoids the subject of death. But we need a network of support around us in order to do this challenging work. So here are some ideas for creating our own community of support:

  • Attend a Death Cafe. Learn more and out if there is a Death Cafe in your area by searching the Death Cafe website: www.DeathCafe.com
  • If there is no face-to-face Death Cafe in your area consider calling in by telephone to the Virtual Death Cafe, which generally meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month. Learn more at www.eoluniversity.com/death-cafe
  • Start your own Death Cafe. If you feel inclined to become a Death Cafe host (no specific training is required) you might want to start your own and truly benefit your community. Get completes Guidelines for starting a Death Cafe at www.DeathCafe.com/how
  • Use Social Media sites to get connected with others:
    • On Facebook search for these pages or public groups (then “Like” the page or ask to become a member of the group): Slow Medicine, Afterlife Awareness, Death Cafe, Death Midwifery in Canada, End-of-Life University, Death Expo
    • Linked-In: search for groups based on interests such as Hospice, Palliative Care, Chaplain Services, Grief, End-of-Life
    • Twitter: follow hashtags like #EOL #hpm #eolchat #dwd #eolcare #funeralplanning #deathcafe #hospice (depending on your interests)
  • Start a death and dying Meetup Group. You can create your own curriculum for a meetup (unlike Death Cafe that has no agenda) and include films, speakers, panel discussions, field trips. Go to www.Meetup.com to see if there is already a meetup in your area or to start one of your own.
  • Teach a class in your community. Consider teaching a death and dying class at a local community college if you have the credentials for it, or offer a class at your local senior or community center. Read this blog for some tips for teaching such a course HERE.
  • Join an organization. I highly recommend that you look into joining the National Home Funeral Alliance, which offers free registration, monthly conference calls and an annual face-to-face conference. You don’t have to be a home funeral guide to join and you will find many, many like-minded people there! Learn more about the NHFA at www.homefuneralalliance.org
  • Listen to educational interviews like this podcast or the interviews on the End-of-Life University Seminar Series. Click HERE to subscribe to the podcast and HERE to sign up for the seminar series.

Remember to support EOLU at patreon.com/eolu, tune in every Monday for a new episode, and leave your comments and reviews!

Face Your Fears.      BE Ready.      Love Your Life.

Ep. 31 March End of Month Update on the End-of-Life with Dr. Karen Wyatt

Dr. Karen Wyatt discusses what’s new and noteworthy in the end-of-life arena this month:

  • Medscape article reveals that 1/3 of all people in the US with advance directives actually request more medical intervention at the end-of-life, rather than choosing to limit medical intervention; question: What is “futile” care?
  • Helsinki, Finland project allows young people to live at low cost within senior living centers in exchange for interacting with the elderly residents
  • PEACH program in Toronto provides mobile palliative care to the homeless
  • France has a “deep sleep bill” allowing terminal sedation that has passed the lower house of parliament
  • National Geographic article shows interesting death customs of Torajan people of Indonesia
  • Demonstration project for curative care occurring simultaneously with hospice care may be doomed because criteria for participation is too narrow and numbers are too small
  • Video game “That Dragon, Cancer” has been released
  • Stanford Letter Project is an interesting resource for creating advance directives in the form of a letter to physician, family members
  • Parting.com has an interactive map that shows funeral costs in each state of the US; discussion about living funerals
  • Tribute to 13 yo Delaney Clements who died this week and left us with a beautiful , joyful video expressing her wishes for her funeral

Ep. 28 Action Steps for Improving End-of-Life Care in Your Community with Karen Wyatt MD

Click here to get the handout for this talk!

Today Dr. Karen Wyatt discusses several “Action Steps” you can take in your own community to help improve end-of-life care. Change begins with the individual and if you want to ensure that your own dying is handled with respect and dignity then you should start now to help implement change. This podcast offers tangible steps you can take–some are easy, some will require a lot more effort–to get your community talking about and making changes in how death and dying are managed. Some of the tips include:

  • Starting a Death Cafe
  • Creating an End-of-Life Book Club
  • Presenting a film series on the end-of-life
  • Volunteering for hospice
  • Teaching a death and dying class
  • Hosting a Death Over Dinner event
  • Facilitating a 5 Wishes workshop

Get the handout for this talk at http://tinyurl.com/eolaction

Ep. 15 Home Funerals and Natural Burials with Merilynne Rush, RN

This interview with home funeral guide Merilynne Rush, RN will discuss after-death options for home funerals and natural burial.

You will learn:
-What options are available for home funeral or visitation after death
-How to plan a “green” or natural burial
-State regulations regarding burial
-Why “Death Cafes” are sweeping the country and how to join or lead one

This interview with home funeral guide Merilynne Rush, RN will discuss after-death options for home funerals and natural burial.

You will learn:
-What options are available for home funeral or visitation after death
-How to plan a “green” or natural burial
-State regulations regarding burial
-Why “Death Cafes” are sweeping the country and how to join or lead one