This episode is the first interview by our new Death Dialogues Project co-host, Kate Burns. A hearty welcome goes out to her.
Kate has served as an Equal Employment Opportunity and Title IX Investigator and a large Midwest university for the last four years. In this role, she investigates harassment, discrimination, and sexual violence. Kate has extensive training in trauma informed interviewing and takes much pride in connecting with people on a meaningful level. Kate has a masters degree in forensic science which has proven helpful during interviews and also aided in achieving some unexpected accomplishments. After suddenly losing her mom in 2019, Kate found deep purpose in helping others navigate the processes which are encountered with death. Kate began volunteering with the Green Burial Council in February 2021 before being elected to serve a three year term on the Board of Directors. Kate is also in the process of becoming a death doula through the Going with Grace End of Life Planning program. Becoming part of the Death Dialogues Project has given life to Kate’s desire to connect with people who are experiencing/have experienced loss and has shined light on the need for more conversation around grief and loss.
Here’s what Kameron says about this conversation:
I can’t say that I remember a point in my life where I wasn’t familiar with great loss. My parents met on the cruise ship where my father worked, and my mother managed to convince him to move to Nebraska (he’s from Turkey and was living in Miami at the time, so the deal must have been pretty sweet). Working on a cruise ship meant he was gone for weeks at a time, which familiarized me with absence at an early age. By the time I was in grade school, my parents separated, and it wasn’t too long after that my father wound up in prison (sentenced to life without parole). I was raised only by my mother through middle and high school, which wasn’t an easy job. When I started undergrad at a local university, I decided to live at home despite my rocky relationship with my mother. One morning at the beginning of my second semester of freshmen year, I woke up to find my mother dead in her bedroom. Unexpectedly I found myself completely without parents, and with my entire adult life ahead of me.
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