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Remembering a Life Podcast

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When a loved one dies, honoring their memory is one of the most meaningful ways to ensure their legacy lives on. Join host Holly Ignatowski and end-of-life experts for thoughtful and meaningful discussions about ways to remember a life, grieve and support others. New episodes are released the second Wednesday of each month.

When confronted with loss, the benefits of engaging in meaningful activities and experiences that help to express grief are often overlooked. We are never taught how to grieve; however, there are ways to work through the emotional turmoil that often coincides with loss. Catherine Tyink and Christine Kortbein invite us to reimagine our grief, using creative ways to move forward after a loss.

Author Colet Abedi is well-known as an author of contemporary romance novels and young adult fiction, so she surprised even herself when she was drawn to write a sci-fi trilogy following her father's death. Inspired by discussions she had with her father during his final days, the first in the trilogy, Breed, brings to life her father's vision of how all beings in the animal kingdom are interconnected. Learn more about the unique bond shared by Colet and her father and how this powerful story of life, loss and the very soul of our existence was born.

When her father passed away in 2006, Linda Cohen’s busy life as a mother, wife, and entrepreneur came to a screeching halt. She took a spiritual sabbatical to work through her grief, and she came out of it resolved to embark upon a project: perform one thousand acts of kindness "mitzvahs" to honor her father’s memory.

When we hear the term “doula,” we probably most often think of a birth doula – someone who helps bring new life into the world. However, increasingly, doulas are also helping people through their final days. Our guest, Marggie Hatala, is one of approximately 400 certified end-of-life doulas in the United States. Marggie has been an end-of-life doula for six years, providing families with in-home end-of-life support prior to and throughout the dying experience.

After losing both of her parents at a young age, grief expert Claire Bidwell Smith was drawn to helping others navigate their grief. A therapist in private practice for over a decade, she has counseled thousands of people and written three books. In this episode Claire reflects on the role anxiety has played in her grief journey and how we can identify and manage our own anxiety following a loss.

Not long ago, green funerals were a relatively foreign concept, but, increasingly, families are choosing this eco-friendly approach when laying a loved one to rest. Guests Bob Prout and Julia Prout from Prout Funeral Home in Verona, New Jersey, share how green funerals can be a meaningful option for anyone wanting to say goodbye in a beautiful, natural setting while also reducing their footprint.

While gathering guidelines have prevented thousands of families from having in-person funerals or memorial services, virtual memorials have given many the opportunity to support each other, say goodbye and begin to mourn. Guests Barry Koch and Jason Zamer from TGBeyond share how technology has helped to fill a void for so many families who are grieving the death of a loved one during the pandemic.

COVID-19: A Year of Loss (Part One)

Anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one during the pandemic understands the profound ways in which it has affected their ability to say goodbye and begin to grieve. Gathering restrictions and isolation have complicated grief for many. Dr. Sara Murphy helps us find ways to honor the lives of our loved ones, support others who are grieving and find comfort on our own grief journeys.

Talking to a child about death can be challenging. Whether a child has recently experienced the death of a family member, friend or even a beloved pet, adults are often unsure where to start when speaking with children about their loss. In this episode, children’s book authors Lacie Brueckner and Katherine Pendergast offer suggestions for talking with children about loss in meaningful ways.

The death of a loved one is one of life's most difficult experiences, and when a loved one dies during the COVID-19 pandemic, regardless of the cause of death, beginning the grief journey can be more complex due to physical distancing and gathering restrictions. Dr. Sara Murphy, a death educator, certified thanatologist and suicidologist discusses the realities of grief during the pandemic.