7 episodios

Exploring how we think, feel and talk about death.

Talking about dying and death can make us feel uncomfortable, awkward or embarrassed as we’re not always sure what to say and when.

Through this podcast, you’ll hear why and how people start talking about dying and death and if they didn’t, what they wish they might have said - and the impact this has had on their lives, and on the lives of those they love.

About Death Sam Meikle

    • Cultura y sociedad

Exploring how we think, feel and talk about death.

Talking about dying and death can make us feel uncomfortable, awkward or embarrassed as we’re not always sure what to say and when.

Through this podcast, you’ll hear why and how people start talking about dying and death and if they didn’t, what they wish they might have said - and the impact this has had on their lives, and on the lives of those they love.

    Nik's story: avoiding "it"

    Nik's story: avoiding "it"

    Are you comfortable thinking, feeling and talking about death? Nik most certainly hasn't been. He describes himself as "a stereotypical man", not wanting to expose weakness or to cry. Death has been a topic that Nik has actively avoided for most of his life. In our conversation Nik courageously and openly explores how he and his Mum are now starting to talk about dying and death after her recent diagnosis. We talk about what’s important to Nik and his Mum, and how we each have an opportunity to make more of the life that we have now.

    Welcome to Nik’s story.

    Hosted by: Sam Meikle

    Produced by: Spark the Difference



    Here’s what Nik share in this conversation:

    00:09  These conversations are all real and can sometimes be a bit raw. Remember, you can always pause and take a break for a bit.

    03:59  Growing up Nik first learned about death from Herbie the Fish

    06:08  What Nik knows now about death: "as much as I should, more than I want to"

    08:12  How Nik's life was turned upside down after his Dad died, because Nik was a “stereotypical male"

    11:59 Nik now thinks about death in very practical terms: “how am I going to make things better?”

    15:54  A change in prognosis

    21:27  How the last moments of someone’s life can be what we’re left with

    24:09  How Nik will approach conversations with his Mum in the coming months

    28:59  What a good death looks like to Nik

    31:18  How Nik explores his thoughts and feelings about his own death

    36:27  Accelerating the return of all of our energy back into the world

    38:42  Talking to friends and colleagues about death

    42:51  Nik’s first funeral was exactly like you see it on TV

    45:36  Final thoughts: these conversations need to happen and also, seize the day.

    A note on looking after ourselves: these conversations are all real and can feel a little raw. If you’re struggling with the content that we’re talking about, please seek support. This might be from a trusted family member or friend. The Samaritans Team are always available to talk and you can contact them on 116 123.

    • 46 min
    The story of four friends: chatting about death over dinner

    The story of four friends: chatting about death over dinner

    Would you host a dinner party (with prosecco!) to talk about death? Well, Anne would - and did, bringing three of her friends together to talk about death over dinner. Listen to how the four fabulous friends - Anne, Lindsay, Maxine and Wendy - talk about how they think, feel and talk about death. With friendships that span decades of joy and heartache, these women have grown babies and families, carers and lives together. And now, they’re sharing their experiences, beliefs and fears about death.

    Welcome the Fab Four's story.

    Hosted by: Sam Meikle

    Produced by: Spark the Difference



    Show notes

    Here’s what the Fab Four share in this conversation: 

    00:09  These conversations are all real and can sometimes be a bit raw. You can always pause and take a break for a bit.

    03:00  Meet the Fab Four: Lindsay, Anne, Maxine and Wendy

    09:51  Different experiences of death growing up: a father dying when you're 13; feeling a void as you never had grandparents; and never really being up close and personal with death

    23:16  Being a young Mum: how fear of not being there for her children meant one friend didn’t go to two funerals

    27:37  Funerals can feel horrible: why would you want to go and upset a whole lot people?

    29:10  How do you start talking to your parents about planning their funerals when they’re from a generation where they don’t talk about it?

    33:54  Music at your funeral: what would you pick?

    34:43  The Order of Service Scrapbook

    36:39  When famous people die, are they “real” people? Where were you when Princess Diana died?

    42:21  Thinking about your lifespan as a ruler

    49:21  Remembering the first time the friends did Last Offices

    54:18  Walking in front of a hearse: it's so important to know that actually other people give a damn and will act in a way that is respectful

    56:12  Would you be buried or cremated?

    59:46  What are you like when you go through a graveyard?

    1:03:51  Final thoughts: this has been a very comforting and important conversation.



    A note on looking after ourselves: these conversations are all real and can feel a little raw. If you’re struggling with the content that we’re talking about, please seek support. This might be from a trusted family member or friend. The Samaritans Team are always available to talk and you can contact them on 116 123. 

    • 1h 11 min
    Chris' story: getting on, not moving on

    Chris' story: getting on, not moving on

    Rather than moving on after a loved one died, what if you thought about getting on? That's how Chris has been thinking about life after his late wife, Kate, died in 2016. Chris and Kate always believed that whatever cards you've been dealt in life, you have to play them as best you can. For them, that meant having some difficult conversations earlier than they could have ever imagined. But talking about death meant they knew what was important to each about living and dying, as well as what life for Chris might look like after Kate died.

    Welcome to Chris' story.

    Hosted by: Sam Meikle

    Produced by: Spark the Difference



    Show notes

    Here’s what Chris shares in this conversation: 

    00:09  These conversations are all real and can sometimes be a bit raw. You can always pause and take a break for a bit.

    04:12  Remembering how Chris' family came together for each other when his Granddad died 

    07:02  There will always be elements of grief, sadness and reflection, but also happiness for the times you had with them

    09:48  We're all different humans and there's no one right way to think, feel or talk about death 

    11:30  Chris reflects that preparing for a death when you know it's going to happen, can be easier than a sudden death 

    14:04  Chris remembers listening to Kate talk about death through her work as a doctor, before she was ill 

    15:56  The first conversation Chris had with Kate about her plans for death 

    17:58  How having a dark sense of humour about death helped Chris and Kate

    18:54  Nine times of out ten, conversations about death were started by Kate 

    21:13  Chris shares some ideas for starting to talk about death, such as: "have you got a will?"

    26:19  Highly recommended: having a Bucket List to help you focus on doing things that are important to you 

    30:19  How Chris' Bucket List helps him think about life now 

    33:13  Each of us can have an impact on other people's lives

    35:36  The #hellomynameis campaign: it’s about two humans beings talking to each other 

    39:00  Life after death: getting on rather than moving on 

    45:16  You might only get one chance to have that conversation. So make sure you have that conversation.



    A note on looking after ourselves: these conversations are all real and can feel a little raw. If you’re struggling with the content that we’re talking about, please seek support. This might be from a trusted family member or friend. The Samaritans Team are always available to talk and you can contact them on 116 123. 

    • 46 min
    Amir's story: a last act of giving

    Amir's story: a last act of giving

    What if you thought of your death as your last act of giving? Not a financial gift, but a gift of supporting the people you're leaving behind to be as ready and prepared as they can be to live their best lives. That's the perspective of Amir, a young Dad who’s recently had a health scare (and is doing really well now). Amir has started to explore the legacy he wants to leave for his four boys - and the influence that’s having on how he wants to live life now. 

    Welcome to Amir’s story.



    Hosted by: Sam Meikle

    Produced by: Spark the Difference



    Here’s what Amir shares in our conversation: 

    00:09 - These conversations are all real and can sometimes be a bit raw. Remember, you can always pause and take a break for a bit. 

    03:45 Amir’s first experience of a loved one dying was when he was 36 and his gran passed away from dementia. 

    08:02 How Amir and his son talk about death 

    10:55 The big conclusion Amir has arrived at for his own death: an ultimate act of empathy, compassion and courage. 

    12:54 It’s easier to leave than be left  

    19:33 What a good death looks like to Amir

    22:24 Ideas on starting a conversation about death and dying

    25:15 The roles that fear and courage can play in these conversations

    29:15 How journalling might support you to start exploring what you think and feel about death

    33:33 How the stoic philosophers talk about death (and who the stoic philosophers are!)

    37:04 Flipping the frame from “I” to really putting a lot of love and generosity into the people around you

    40:33 The two sides to death: our own death and the death of another.



    A note on looking after ourselves: these conversations are all real and can feel a little raw. If you’re struggling with the content that we’re talking about, please seek support. This might be from a trusted family member or friend. The Samaritans Team are always available to talk and you can contact them on 116 123. 

    • 43 min
    Sara’s story: clowning in a children's hospital

    Sara’s story: clowning in a children's hospital

    Why volunteer as a clown in a children's hospital? Sara currently works in the NHS. She helps NHS teams improve how they organise and deliver care. Before that Sara volunteered with the Red Cross as a clown in a children's hospital. For four years, Sara chose to bring joy and laughter to some of the darkest moments of people’s lives. In our conversation, we talk about what these experiences taught Sara about life - and how she now thinks, feels and talks about death. Welcome to Sara’s story. 

    Hosted by: Sam Meikle

    Produced by: Spark the Difference



    Here’s what Sara shares in this conversation: 

    00:09  These conversations are all real and can sometimes be a bit raw. Remember, you can always pause and take a break for a bit. 

    03:26  The start of Sara’s clowning journey: creating connections and breaking down barriers 

    09:20  Feedback: the most rewarding and the most dangerous moments of clowning 

    10:54  The power of (appropriate!) hugs 

    12:59  What it’s like to stand outside the hospital door of a really sick child 

    17:46  Integrating CoCo the Clown with Sara the human 

    22:06  Titti’s story: an incredible, curious and very sick boy 

    28:47  The experience of Sara’s grandmother’s death 

    34:28  Looking forward: being more present and doing things that matter to people you love 

    36:41  Sara’s advice for talking to a loved one about death and dying 

    41:48  Sara’s ideas about starting “the conversation" with her Mum 

    49:52  Closing thoughts: isn’t it incredible? We can use death as an opportunity to live a more meaningful life. 



    A note on looking after ourselves: these conversations are all real and can feel a little raw. If you’re struggling with the content that we’re talking about, please seek support. This might be from a trusted family member or friend. The Samaritans Team are always available to talk and you can contact them on 116 123. 

    • 51 min
    Sam’s story: a podcast about death

    Sam’s story: a podcast about death

    Why start a podcast about death? Sam has been thinking about - or rather - avoiding thinking, feeling and talking about death and dying for a while. She avoided it because she often felt uncomfortable, awkward and embarrassed. Sam worried about upsetting others as she didn't know what to say and when. Listening to other people’s experiences, Sam realised that she’s not alone.

    Sam created this podcast as a way of sharing how and why people talk about dying and death. What makes them start? Why sometimes people don't start - and if they didn’t, what they wish they might have said.

    Join Sam on her journey to exploring out how we think, feel and talk about death.


    Hosted by: Sam Meikle

    Produced by: Spark the Difference



    Here’s what Sam shares in this conversation: 

    00:09 - These conversations are all real and can sometimes be a bit raw. Remember, you can always pause and take a break for a bit. 

    01:15 - Welcome to the podcast! What’s inspired this podcast? 

    02:27 - Memories from childhood: all the things that could kill Sam, including the sun 

    04:58 - Sam's regret of not being there for a friend and not starting a conversation that mattered 

    07:34 - The elephant in the room for patients, families and staff: how to talk about “it”? 

    09:35 - A conversation that Sam started early, with her Dad 

    11:45 - How this conversation lead to a remarkable shift in Sam's relationship with her Dad 

    13:05 - The beginning of a journey figuring out how we think, feel and talk about death 

    16:27 - The first of two changes Sam would like to see in the world: fewer missed conversations and more conversations about what matters, earlier on 

    17:25 - The second change Sam would like to see: how we live. What if we took the time and space to figure out what was important to us - about living well and dying well? 



    A note on looking after ourselves: these conversations are all real and can feel a little raw. If you’re struggling with the content that we’re talking about, please seek support. This might be from a trusted family member or friend. The Samaritans Team are always available to talk and you can contact them on 116 123. 

    • 19 min

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