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Farewelling: The Podcast
23 minutes | Mar 17, 2020
Minisode: Bucket List Basics for Busy People
Farewelling founder Karen Bussen asks licensed therapist Grace Lin why a bucket list is important, what it means, and how we should create one that combines big goals and daily dreams with our true values as people and members of a community. Should a couple have their own individual bucket lists? How often should we review our list? And how can we use bucket list thinking to be more connected to the people in our lives?Karen shares details from her own bucket list (hint: Benicio del Toro!), heads out to the streets of New York City to ask strangers about their lists, and takes Grace Lin through a delightful lightning round of “Abso-bucket-lutely or No-bucket-way”... Do you have a bucket list? Is it purely made up of places you want to see, or does it have other elements--such as running a marathon or learning a new skill? Please tell us all about it on social media and use the hashtag #livingmybucket and tag us @myfarewelling. You may just inspire others!To read more, visit us at MyFarewelling.com.
18 minutes | Mar 10, 2020
Minisode: When a Child Dies - Coping and Community
Farewelling co-founders Karen Bussen and Elizabeth Karansky sit down with Adam Rabinovitch, Executive Director of COPE Foundation, a non-profit grief and healing organization dedicated to helping parents and families living with the loss of a child.Adam offers advice on navigating loss, finding community, and why he thinks of grief not in stages, but in waves. He shares a personal story, and tells us how we can be supportive if we know someone who has lost a child or sibling. Liz opens up about her experiences as a funeral director working with families to plan for a child who has died.The COPE Foundation offers a variety of services and resources to families who’ve lost a child, including Camp Erin, a summer camp and regular schedule of events that bring families together to share, heal, and even celebrate.To read more, visit us at MyFarewelling.com. If you’d like to speak to someone from the COPE Foundation, you can email email@example.com or call 516-832-2673.
27 minutes | Mar 3, 2020
The Two Trishes: Best Friends on Loss and Living to the Fullest
What is like to lose a spouse? How have attitudes around death changed over the past decades? In this upbeat but heartfelt episode, Karen and Liz host Liz’s mom and her best friend (both of whom are named Trish!) for a conversation filled with laughter, wisdom, and real talk about end of life attitudes. Liz’s mom explains why she doesn’t fear death and how she feels about her daughter being a funeral director. The other Trish talks about moving on after a loss and wonders what she’ll look like in the next world. Both women tell us what they want for their own farewellings, and what three items they’d pack for the afterlife (hint: shoes and handbags!). A lighting round reveals their feelings about everything from open caskets to telling jokes at funerals and whether it’s cool to play rock and roll music at a farewelling. They share the lesson that life has taught them--to treat yourself well and enjoy the ride!During the conversation, Liz’s mom touches on how she felt when she first learned her daughter wanted to become a funeral director. If you’d like to listen to Liz’s whole story, check out this episode that features her journey toward finding her passion in life...helping others through death.The two Trishes really aren’t into making jewelry out of your loved one’s ashes, but if you’d like to know more about that, visit us at MyFarewelling.com. If you’re inspired to make your own plan, download our free Farewelling Worksheets here.We’d really love it if you’d join our community. Farewelling is a movement to celebrate a beautiful life, beautifully, and it’s all happening! Click the icons above to follow us on Instagram and Facebook.
17 minutes | Feb 25, 2020
Minisode: Final Fashion - You're Dead. What Are You Wearing?
If you had a choice, would you want to specify what you’d wear for all eternity? Have you ever had to choose funeral clothing for a loved one? Tradition often dictates how a person who has died is dressed or shrouded for their funeral. But more and more, we may want to take charge of what reflects our style, and even our values. Liz and Karen talk eco-friendly options, interesting accessories, how funeral professionals often double as fashion stylists, and why it’s important to leave clear instructions for your loved ones.Like what you hear? We’d be mighty grateful if you’d review us on Apple podcasts and maybe send a link to someone you think might find the show helpful or interesting. If you’d like to know more about final fashion and choosing funeral clothing (including eco-friendly options), visit us at MyFarewelling.com. And hey, f you’re inspired to make your own plan, download our free Farewelling Worksheets here.
22 minutes | Feb 18, 2020
Legacy and Life After Life: Writer and Educator Erica Cantley
Farewelling founder Karen Bussen and Erica Cantley, educator, writer, and New York food industry insider, talk about celebrating the life of each individual in a personal and beautiful way, and why a potluck farewelling just isn’t right for either of them (hint: it’s a control thing). Erica tells us how she came to write her upcoming book, Teaching Hamlet as My Father Died, and explains what she’d do if she only had three weeks left to live. They touch on themes of legacy and remembrance, and what it means to be immortal.To find out more and see some extra content, visit us at MyFarewelling.com. If you’re inspired to make your own plan, download our free Farewelling Worksheets here. Erica, who works as a maitre d’ in a fancy New York restaurant, would love to answer any questions you may have for her, so feel free to write us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get them to her!
12 minutes | Feb 11, 2020
Minisode: Real Talk and Taking Control with Author Sallie Tisdale
Farewelling founder Karen Bussen and Sallie Tisdale, palliative care nurse, Buddhist, and author of the revolutionary guidebook, “Advice for Future Corpses and Those Who Love Them” speak frankly about how planning for end of life and funeral details is a gift. Sallie gets real about the idea of dying at home, why she doesn’t like the term “death with dignity” and why she thinks it’s crazy that at one of the most singular moments of our human experience, we are so reluctant to give instructions that would help us and our loved ones. Note: this conversation includes suicide, assisted death, and other topics that may be sensitive, so please use discretion if you or someone you’re listening with might find them difficult.If you’d like to hear more from Sallie Tisdale, check out Part 1 of her conversation with Karen here.Sallie Tisdale is an award-winning author of nine books, including “Advice for Future Corpses and Those Who Love Them,”.To read more, visit us at MyFarewelling.com. If you’re inspired to make your own plan, download our free Farewelling Worksheets here.
31 minutes | Feb 4, 2020
Redesigning Death: Dr. BJ Miller and Shoshana Berger
Everything we do in life down to the smallest detail is affected by design. But our end of life experience has been largely overlooked, leaving most of us confused, disappointed, and even upset by what we don’t know and what we can’t control. Farewelling founder Karen Bussen sits down with two innovators in the space--Shoshana Berger and Dr. BJ Miller--co-authors of A Beginner’s Guide to the End: Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death, to talk about how we might think about, and share, our wishes for a more personal approach. Along the way, they look at how to honor our senses and how some of the simplest things are what make life worth living. They each share the one thing they’d change about our attitudes toward death. As a bonus, Karen asks them some personal questions about what they imagine for their own farewellings.For more behind the scenes photos and info, visit our show page at MyFarewelling.com. Check out their book here.Please talk to us! We’d love to see you @myfarewelling on Instagram and Facebook. Share part of your Farewelling Worksheet or ask us a question using #myfarewelling. Come on over and join the movement and the community!
17 minutes | Jan 28, 2020
Minisode: Farewelling Fête - Brunch Edition!
What do you get when you invite an ensemble of fabulous women to toast and talk about a topic that touches us all: death and dying? Well, that’s exactly what we did. You’ll find the delightful results in your ears: Lively conversation and fascinating insights--from moms, wives, daughters, and working women--about all things end-of-life (and living well in this moment!). At this first-ever Farewelling Fête, our own Funeral Guru Elizabeth Karansky gifted each woman with a personalizable Farewelling Worksheet, and Karen invited them into a portable podcast room to chat about broaching end-of-life planning discussions with aging parents (“What? You think I’m dying? Is that why we’re having this conversation?”); why even responsible grown-ups (some of whom are actually lawyers) don’t have wills; and the challenges of navigating age-old and changing cultural practices around funerals and grief. How can you personalize when your tradition doesn’t encourage that?If you’d like to read more about talking to parents about death and dying, we’ve got a helpful article here. And if you’d like to start a Farewelling Worksheet for them or for yourself, right here’s where to get them (they’re free!). Please talk to us! We’d love to see you @myfarewelling on Instagram and Facebook. Share part of your Farewelling Worksheet or ask us a question using #myfarewelling. Com on over and join the movement and the community!
33 minutes | Jan 21, 2020
Joe Fusaro Is Loving Every Moment!
We welcome Hysteria Radio’s Joseph Fusaro for a funny--and frank--conversation about his experience with mental illness, drugs and a post-breakup suicide attempt, and how coming through it all has shifted his perspective on living (ummm, he’s obsessed with it!). They chat “mushroom suit” burials, the FBI body farm, and the difficulty of saying farewell to a pet. Joe encourages us all to remember good times with loved ones while they are still here and to do what you love, not necessarily what others would love for you to do.Joe is a musician and a poet, too. To read more about Joe and his work, and to check out his rockin’ Farewelling Playlist come on over to the Farewelling site.
16 minutes | Jan 14, 2020
Minisode: Pet Farewelling 101 - When A Beloved Pet Dies
If you think it’s uncomfortable dealing with death among humans, it’s even more awkward sharing the grief we feel when we lose a dog, cat, bunny, or other cherished pet. Karen and funeral director Elizabeth Karansky talk to an expert on the topic--therapist and animal activist Jamie Gleicher, who herself is the mother to “five fur babies,” four of whom are rescue animals and three of whom are “tri-pawed.” Gleicher teaches us about the liberating power of radical acceptance, and tells the harrowing story of losing her first pet, Sam, and who she called first when it happened. We talk how to create loving memories of our pets (pawprint tattoos are one option!), and learn about one amazing pet cemetery. Liz gives us some solid advice for how to help a friend who is grieving a pet. Karen goes on the street to talk to some young people about losing a pet, and they talk about a beautiful, helpful poem that is meant to comfort those who are hurting from the loss of a dear animal companion.To learn more about Pet Farewelling and what to do when a pet dies, check out this article. To see photos of Karen, Liz, and Jamie in studio, visit us here If you have a question or a comment for Jamie Gleicher about Pet Farewelling or grieving a pet, write us an email at info@myfarewelling, or catch up with us on social media @myfarewelling. If you’d like, include a photo of your sweet pet with their name and how you remember them. We might share it with the world and keep their story flourishing!
16 minutes | Jan 9, 2020
Minisode: The Farewelling Launch Party (Part 2)
Guests at the Farewelling Launch Party in Manhattan become guests on Farewelling: The Podcast! The team at editaud.io opens a special recording session right in the middle of the celebration, and the conversation is fascinating. Regular folks from all walks of life grab the mic and talk about how they view death and dying, whether their families were open (or not!) about the topic, and how they’ve dealt with grief in their own lives. Is it okay to have a dress code (or a costume party!) at a funeral? What’s the right thing to say to someone who is grieving? What do you do if a child asks you about death? And what makes a good life, anyway?This Bonus Mini is Part 2 from The Farewelling Launch Party. Check out Part 1 if you haven’t already! If you’d like to give a listen to the booty-shaking Farewelling Launch Party Playlist, it’s right here! Join us on the website to learn more about the party or to start your own Farewelling Worksheet. If you like the podcast, please leave a review to help others find us!
24 minutes | Jan 7, 2020
The Sharp End Of Life: Extreme Climber Dierdre Wolownick
Dierdre Wolownick is just one of those remarkable people who decided to do something seemingly impossible (you know, learn to speak eight languages, create an actual orchestra, start running marathons at age 55, climb Yosemite’s El Capitan at age 66), and then they just do it, no matter what it takes. Why she’s not in a Nike ad, we’re not sure. We talk to Dierdre about the adventure that has been her life, how she raised two fearless children (one of whom, Alex Honnold, happens to climb the world’s most imposing rock faces without safety gear!), and why she thinks making a will is something every parent should do right now. She shares her adventures and her philosophy for living a life without limits, and inspires us to take the next step toward our dreams, no matter where we are on our own journey. As we begin the new year, and the new decade, we can all use her brand of resilience, moxy and downright awesomeness. To see photos of Karen and Dierdre (and the strawberry cake) in California, and to learn more about Dierdre’s paintings and her book, “The Sharp End of Life: A Mother’s Story,” visit us at myfarewelling.com. If you have a question or a comment for Dierdre, write us an email at info@myfarewelling, or catch up with us on social media @myfarewelling. We’d love to hear from you, especially if you’re living your own bucket list! #livingmybucket
5 minutes | Jan 2, 2020
Bonus Featured Clip: Kara Swisher Wants a Viking Funeral!
When Farewelling host Karen Bussen finds herself face-to-face in New York City with one of her heroes, tech business journalist and all-around dynamo Kara Swisher, Karen is delighted to find out that she shares something very specific in common with the legendary media maven--their Farewelling vision is strikingly similar (although Kara’s involves a bit more Marie Kondo)! After you listen to Kara’s description of the spectacular sendoff she imagines (and has budgeted for), including flaming arrows and a huge disco party, you can go back and listen to Episode 5 of Farewelling: The Podcast (at about 12:20 into the show) where Karen asks Farewelling’s funeral guru about whether her own Viking farewelling plan is legal or not. To learn more about Kara Swisher’s work as one of America’s pre-eminent tech journalists, check out the Recode site on Vox.com. If you liked this featured clip, please rate and subscribe, and check out our other episodes wherever you get your podcasts. While we’re making wishes, we wish you’d follow us on social media @myfarewelling! We’re trying to build a community of cool people who know that thinking just a bit about planning for end of life is part of living now with intention and joy. Tell us whether you’d want a Viking funeral--or if not, what you do want for yourself! Once you figure it out, share your wishes with your loved ones in your Farewelling Worksheet--it’s easy and free to download!
15 minutes | Dec 31, 2019
Minisode: Living to the Last - Author Sallie Tisdale Gets Curious About Death.
Farewelling founder Karen Bussen has a lively conversation with the brilliant Sallie Tisdale, palliative care nurse, Buddhist, and author of the revolutionary guidebook, “Advice for Future Corpses and Those Who Love Them.” Sallie offers her special brand of uplifting straight talk—how to practice accepting help when you need it, how to choose a healthcare proxy badass, leaving emotional baggage behind when a loved one is dying, and what’s on her own surprisingly delightful death-bed playlist (hint: there’s comedy). Sallie Tisdale is an award-winning author of nine books, including Advice for Future Corpses and Those Who Love Them.To read more, visit the Farewelling site.
34 minutes | Dec 24, 2019
Yep, She's A Funeral Director: Elizabeth Karansky
Farewelling founder Karen Bussen talks to Farewelling’s own Funeral Guru, Elizabeth Meyer Karansky. Liz, the author of a heartfelt memoir about her journey titled “Good Mourning,” shares how her Upper East Side family reacted when she told them she wanted to be a funeral director, and tells the story of her father’s unique funeral/farewelling (hint: there was dancing and she might have met her husband there). Liz tackles questions like “Is a Viking Funeral legal?” She tells us what it’s like to hang out with embalmers, and she answers Karen’s queries about what type of farewelling Liz wants for herself. To read more about Liz’s inspiring story, check out her memoir, ''Good Mourning''.Yes, Liz is a funeral director and an author. But she’s also a Thanatology Fellow, which means she’s an expert in grief studies as well. If you’d like to read some of her tips for dealing with grief, come on over to MyFarewelling.com.
14 minutes | Dec 17, 2019
Minisode: Partying with Funeral Directors - Inside the NFDA Conference
On the first night of the 2019 NFDA conference in Chicago, the organizers throw a huge Blues Brothers-themed bash with Chicago-style hot dogs and pizza, a cash bar, and a 14-piece dance band, plus a replica of the police car from the movie. Farewelling CEO Karen Busen and Funeral Guru Elizabeth Karansky greet funeral directors, industry pros, and mortuary science students as they come to party, network and let loose on the dance floor! Karen learns what a “cemetarian” is and Liz asks an embalmer what she wants for her own farewelling. They talk personalization, how long grief lasts, and why rituals to celebrate a life are important. Come on over here if you want to see more from the festivities, including Liz and Karen wearing sunglasses in a dark ballroom! If you like the podcast, please share with a friend or leave a review to help others find us!
15 minutes | Dec 12, 2019
Minisode: The Farewelling Launch Party (Part 1)
On a chilly night in November, Farewelling: The Podcast sets up shop in the middle of the launch party in Manhattan’s Financial District. In Part 1 of this minisode, guests line up for a chance to head into the recording booth, put on headphones, and dive into podcasting...about death and dying! They answer questions about everything related to farewelling, and how they imagine it for themselves. The surprising answers involve dog statues and mashed potato bars, eco-friendly funerals, plus tips on how to leave clues for folks to find later, and what’s scary about dying. This Bonus Mini is Part 1 from The Farewelling Launch Party. Keep an eye out for Part 2 soon! Join us at the Farewelling site to learn more or to fill out your own Farewelling Worksheet.
28 minutes | Dec 10, 2019
Death And Stories: New York Times Obituary Writer Neil Genzlinger
Farewelling founder Karen Bussen asks New York Times Obituary Writer (and three-time Moth Storytelling Champion) Neil Genzlinger about how writing stories recapping other people’s lives has changed his own perspective on mortality, how he feels about “irreverent” personal tributes, and what the similarities between a great obit and a successful Moth story are (hint: there are quite a few!). Neil encourages us all to do a mind-blowing thought exercise in self-reflection...using just the facts.
16 minutes | Dec 3, 2019
Minisode: Therapist Grace Lin Says Thinking About Your Own Death is Awesome!
Farewelling founder Karen Bussen invites therapist Grace Y. Lin to tell us why we should make a little room in our lives for a conversation about death and dying. Turns out, it’s a gift to your family and it helps you live more mindfully right now. Grace gives us strategies for taking control of our own narrative (at least the parts we can control!). She helps us make a mantra to remind us of what’s most important in life, and how we’d live if we knew for certain our time was limited.Grace Y. Lin is a Licensed Behavorial Therapist practicing in New York. To read more of her inspiring work or to start your own Farewelling Worksheet, visit us at the Farewelling site.
31 minutes | Nov 26, 2019
Why is Mo Rocca So Obsessed With Obituaries?
Multi-talented CBS Sunday Morning correspondent, humorist, author and podcast host Mo Rocca joins Farewelling Founder Karen Bussen in the studio for a delightful chat about his latest book, “Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving,” and the new season of the podcast that inspired the book, also titled “Mobituaries.” They talk about facing death beautifully, why Marlene Dietrich was such a patriot, and what’s on Mo’s own bucket list (hint: it involves gymnastics).Mo Rocca is an award-winning writer, humorist, correspondent, podcast host, public radio superstar, and author of “Mobituaries: Great Lives Worth Reliving. To find out more, visit the Farewelling site.
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