Curated by Aimee Craig, creator of Who Died?
Aimee Craig is the creator and host of Who Died?, a podcast that recognizes the importance of talking about our dead loved ones. Here, she presents a collection of podcasts about dying, death, and the vast range of grief experiences.
My dad died suddenly when I was 24 and I felt very alone. No one close to me had experienced something similar, my friends didn’t know how to talk to me about it, and I was desperate to connect with people who had some experience with deep, deep sadness and the realities of grieving. Reading memoirs and watching films gave me the start of the connection I was seeking.
And while the culture seems to be shifting slowly to acknowledge that yes, death happens and yes, feeling sad is normal, it can still be challenging to find people who are interested in talking about it. Luckily, in the last few years there have been a number of podcasts that have created space to explore death and grief and the wide range of experiences and emotions that follow a death. And while I still love memoirs, I appreciate being able to hear someone’s voice and emotion as they talk about their experience.
The only thing I know for sure about grieving is that every person does it differently. The collection of shows I’ve curated covers a wide array of formats and themes. Some are funny, others are serious, but they all offer opportunities to feel connected around a fundamentally human experience.
It can be hard to find space to talk about our dead loved ones. Facebook posts on death anniversaries and birthdays are one thing, but to find space to really talk about your person and feel heard can be rare. This podcast creates space to share our dead people with others and receive the recognition that they mattered and our grief matters.
Julie: The Unwinding of the Miracle
Julie Yip-Williams wanted to document her death from Stage IV colon cancer. Through a posthumous memoir and this accompanying podcast, we have the honor of a beautiful, heartbreaking peek into a woman’s experience of dying and the complicated feelings that experience contains.
Terrible, Thanks for Asking
Nora McInerny experienced her share of death, including a miscarriage, the death of her father and the death of her husband all within weeks of each other. On Terrible, Thanks for Asking Nora creates space for people to share authentically about the worst days of their lives. This isn’t all heavy feelings though–Nora is funny and she recognizing that humor can be part of grief too. Nora’s story is interwoven with the stories of her guests, so I recommend starting with Semper Fi.
Grief Out Loud
Grief Out Loud is a production of The Dougy Center which provides support for grieving children and their families. The episodes explore a range of topics related to grief through personal stories and conversations with bereavement professionals. Always platitude and cliché-free!
MILK Podcast (Season 2)
The MILK Podcast (mothers I’d like to know) is hosted by Mallory Kasdan. Mallory engages in fascinating conversations with all kinds of mothers including writers, actors, psychologists, and funeral directors. Season 2 is titled, “The Loss Season” and explores a range of grief and loss experiences.
Death in the Afternoon
Hosted by members of the Order of the Good Death, this podcast covers topics related to dying including wills, funerals, and haunted houses.
Death: The Podcast
“If we are open to exploring death, we create greater potential to experience life.” Death: The Podcast invites individuals to share about their personal experiences of death.
Cariad Lloyd’s dad died when she was 15 years old and it took many years for her to express what she had gone through. On Griefcast she talks with comedians about their experiences of death and grief–adding a dose of humor to the topic.
In this eight-part series, producer Sam Sabin explores her relationship with her estranged father after his death.
Death, Sex and Money
While not strictly about death, Anna Sales’s Death, Sex & Money podcast does invite interviewees to share about “the things we think about a lot and need to talk about more.” One of my favorite episodes is an interview with Caleb Wilde, a sixth-generation funeral director. Caleb gained national attention for speaking out honestly about the difficult and emotionally draining parts of his work.
Want to create your own collection of shows that dovetails with your area of interest? Add shows to your Smart Folder on RadioPublic, then inform the Podcast Librarian of your collection: firstname.lastname@example.org