Podcasts about grief and bereavement
In the last five years, the popularity of podcasts has grown exponentially. With a wealth of different genres to choose from, covering almost every single possible topic possible, it should come as no surprise then, that there are a number of different podcasts available that dedicate their time as well as research into the subject of death and dying. As a funeral plan provider, we understand that it is important to talk about death and dying, so we’ve decided to take a look at some of the best podcasts available based on this topic.
Comedian and writer Cariad Lloyd hosts Griefcast, launched in 2016 and winner of multiple different awards, including earlier this year winning Podcast of the Year at the British Podcast Awards. On the podcast, Lloyd (inspired to do the podcast after having lost her own father suddenly when she was just 15) invites guests (everyone from Robert Webb, Sara Pascoe to Adam Buxton) to talk about the death of people close to them as well as how they coped with the grief and bereavement. The results vary from episode to episode, sometimes it’s incredibly sad, other times it is completely uplifting. Regardless, the podcast series always remains captivating.
This American Life – Life After Death
If you are any sort of podcasts, it is almost certainly the case that you have heard of This American Life, one of the leading pioneers. In this particular episode, (a 2 Act episode) it is focused on two individuals experience of death and dying. The first regards a person talking about what it is like having to live with the fact of being someone’s cause (accidentally) of their death, the latter returns to the struggle of a veteran returning from war, and being the person he was before. Essentially, this episode focuses on people’s guilt due to the role they played in other people’s deaths, even if others would agree it was not their fault. It is an interesting and unusual perspective on death and dying that is rarely covered.
Fresh Air – ‘Death and After In Iraq’: Memoir Of A Mortuary
Fresh Air is one of the most popular and long-running podcasts in the USA, covering a whole host of themes and interviews with people from all walks of life. In this particular episode, arguably one of the best interviewers of all time, Terry Gross, interviews ex-Marine Corps Mortuary Affairs office in Iraq, Jessica Goodell, about her experience and the memoir she wrote about being in the Mortuary Affairs platoon. It is a moving and absorbing episode about her memories on being on the unit which was responsible for recovering as well as processing the remains of soldiers who died. Widely considered to be one of the most haunting and powerful episodes of Fresh Air in its 30-year history (Terry Gross has stated it is one of her favourite episodes of all time), it is a story about death and dying that you are unlikely to forget any time soon, and well worth listening to.
Radiolab – When I Am Dead
This is an hour-long podcast of Radiolab about death that is divided into four sections. The first is all about the story of Duncan MacDougall’s, a physician who carried out a groundbreaking 1907 experiment about the weight of the soul. The second features a short story read by the Arrested Development actor Jeffrey Tambor, Sum: 40 Tales From the Afterlife by David Eagleman. Part 3 looks at examining questions about everything to do with life and death with author and researcher Gary Greenberg and John Try, focusing on primarily what happens physiologically when we die. Then, the fourth part takes on a whole new perspective of death that we can almost certainly say you would not be expecting.
CBC Ideas – Death Becomes Us
This forms part of the CBC Ideas series and this podcast takes a look at the history of our relationship to death and dying. It starts with a look at how we started to push ourselves away (both emotionally, and physically) from the subject of death in the 19th and 20th centuries. Then the episode traces the incremental rise of Death Cafe’s in recent years, as well as other types of death awareness, where essentially death enters our consciousness again and therefore ‘death becomes us’. An absorbing conversation about death and dying.
Death, Sex and Money
This podcast hosted by Anna Sale covers topics that are considered to left out of a normal polite conversation. One of the most recent episodes of the podcast takes a look at Alzheimer’s. Comedian Chris Garcia lost his father last year, and he has now decided to turn his story of grief and bereavement into a project with other comedians. This episode provides you with a pilot of the series he will be producing.
Hardcore History – Ghost of the Osftont
it isn’t often the case that we hear a lot about the battle for Stalingrad or the Eastern Front, therefore if you are looking for a fresh take on dying, and of war, this series is for you. A haunting series that covers in gr3at detail the conflict on the Eastern front between the Soviet Union and Germans in the Second World War. This series isn’t for the faint-hearted, as it takes a gruelling look at the brutality that was involved in this conflict.