17 episodes

Our ‘Art of Dying Well’ podcasts aim to make death and dying something we can talk about openly without discomfort or fear. Each month we interview a guest on a key topic, engage in a little ‘death chatter’ before getting the view from the ‘chaplain’s chair’.

The Art of Dying Well The Art of Dying Well

    • Society & Culture

Our ‘Art of Dying Well’ podcasts aim to make death and dying something we can talk about openly without discomfort or fear. Each month we interview a guest on a key topic, engage in a little ‘death chatter’ before getting the view from the ‘chaplain’s chair’.

    Episode 17: We're all going to die!

    Episode 17: We're all going to die!

    OK so the title of today's podcast sounds like a line from a dodgy science fiction film but actually there's a serious point to be made. We've all heard the one about the certainties in life - death and taxes - and today we're talking about the former.

    This podcast focuses on confronting the realities of death and remembering that life is temporary and, at some point, we're all going to die. In Latin, the phrase is memento mori - "remember that you will die".

    Memento mori has preoccupied the minds of artists for centuries and there are many examples for us to look at. To help us get to grips with our mortality through the world of art and culture we're joined by two quite brilliant guests.

    First we chat to Patrick van der Vorst - an entrepreneur, dealer and art expert and former winner on BBC's Dragons Den. Add to this that Patrick's studying to be a Catholic priest in Rome and you have the weath of experience needed to take on this topic.

    Today's 'Death Chatter' is a real treat. In the chair is the marvellous Lynne Hanley. Lynne is an art expert and founder of 'Beyond the Palette' art tours. Packed with personality, she has been described as a ‘sassy raconteuse’ with ‘wonderful insight into paintings’.

    So come with us as we're reminded of our mortality through the paintbrushes and palettes of some of the world's finest painters.

    • 54 min
    Episode 16: Life Interrupting Grief

    Episode 16: Life Interrupting Grief

    The last 'Art of Dying Well' podcast of 2019 sees us focus on the painful subjects of loss and grief at a time of year that can be particularly hard for those of us spending Christmas without a loved one. Simply getting from one day to the next can be a major challenge while all around you are seemingly in party mode.

    Today we hear from former Sky Sports and Blue Peter presenter Simon Thomas who talks about the pain and grief of having to cope with the death of his wife Gemma two years ago.

    Dr Lynn Bassett brings her years of experience in palliative care and chaplaincy to 'The Voice from the Chaplain's Chair', reflecting on just how we can accompany people who are grieving.

    Main interview recorded originally for Premier's Christianity Magazine by Marcus Jones.

    • 1 hr
    Episode 15: Theatre, Medicines and Hospice Care

    Episode 15: Theatre, Medicines and Hospice Care

    In a packed and powerful 'Art of Dying Well' podcast we're bringing you the insight and experiences of three really interesting people.

    First up is the talented actor and writer Harriet Madeley - the main creative force behind a unique play about death and dying called 'The Colours'. It's based on interviews Harriet conducted with palliative care doctors and patients in Welsh seaside hospices and creatively moves through fantasy, memory and reality.

    'Death Chatter' sees long-term friend of the show and palliative care guru Dr Kathryn Mannix join us to discuss medication - the three-step analgesic staircase and, in particular, the 'M' word - morphine.

    We finish by listening to a new 'Voice from the Chaplain's Chair' - that of Dr Lynn Bassett. Lynn has years of experience as a hospital and hospice chaplain and gives us a wonderful spiritual reflection. We also discuss the place of silence at the bedside. Fascinating stuff. Hope you enjoy it!

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Episode 14: Deathbed Etiquette

    Episode 14: Deathbed Etiquette

    Today’s podcast focuses on the launch of a new 'Deathbed Etiquette' resource - a guide to help friends and relatives prepare to be at the deathbed of a dying loved one. Dr Amy Gadoud - a palliative care professional and lecturer in palliative medicine - helps us explore deathbed etiquette. As well as being an expert in the field, she has her own personal experience to share with us.

    'Death Chatter' features the award-winning LBC presenter Shelagh Fogarty who explains that the death conversation isn’t something new, but that we are entering a new phase, turbo-charged by social media.

    Finally, today's 'Voice from the Chaplain’s Chair' belongs to Sr Liz Farmer who offers a reflection on ‘finding the spirit’ - with one of her engaging, illustrative stories.

    • 43 min
    Episode 13: Death, dying and pets

    Episode 13: Death, dying and pets

    Caring and accompanying people along the very human journey of dying lies at the heart of our podcasts - not to mention how we honour and remember our friends and family. Today, however, we're looking at animals and bereavement.

    We start by discussing the difficult task of talking to children about the death of a much-loved pet. Daniella Dos Santos - a veterinary surgeon who is as much at home talking to people as caring for animals - joins us to talk about how the professionals help animals facing death and how to explain what's happening to the grieving owners.

    We then engage in a little 'Death Chatter' with our newest podcast contributors Daniella Ballard and Sophie Reed who talk about their experiences of loss after the death of a pet. Finally we listen to 'The Voice from the Chaplain's Chair' - a reflection from Fr Philip Connor, a Catholic priest in Lancaster who has a dog called Bosco. Bosco brings great comfort to the patients Fr Philip visits in his local hospice.

    • 43 min
    Episode 12: Time to talk about death

    Episode 12: Time to talk about death

    I can’t believe it has almost been a year since the last Art of Dying Well podcast but we’re back talking death and dying and all the issues surrounding this difficult but very human journey.

    Our main interview this month is a really interesting conversation with an actor – the very charming and engaging Greg Wise. If you’ve been watching The Crown on Netflix you’ve probably seen Greg playing Lord Mountbatten. But we’re not talking acting, we’re talking about his sister Clare. Clare died in 2016 after a long, hard battle with cancer and along the way kept an intelligent, witty and moving blog about what she was going through. When she became too sick to go on, Greg finished the story – continuing, in a brutally honest and engaging fashion, what they went through as brother and sister during those hard months.

    ‘The Voice from the Chaplain’s Chair’ is a fascinating chat with a really interesting guy. It’s rare you come across someone who’s so passionate about what they do that it’s not a job it’s a calling. I spoke to hospice chaplain Fr Peter Scott from St Joseph’s Hospice in Hackney.

    • 53 min

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