Category: Education:How To

We are all going to die. And someone will have to handle what we leave behind. Odds are good that person will be someone who loved us, someone who will be grieving. Let’s not make it harder for them than it has to be. Let’s make some key decisions now in order to be kinder to those we’ll leave behind. What kind of decisions? Welcome to Dying Kindness, the podcast for people who are going to die someday. Host Cianna Stewart is learning about death and dying, and sharing information and tips along the way. Episodes include practical information, philosophical musings, interviews, and a dose of morbid humor. Because we’re all going die someday and we should learn how to talk about it.

March 1, 2022

18: Choosing Who Will Defend Your Wishes

Selecting the right Health Care Agent is a critical factor in ensuring that we get the kind of care we want when we're critically injured or nearing the end of our lives. Your agent will be responsible for implementing your Advance Healthcare Directive, and (even more) for understanding why you made the decisions you made so they can respond to unanticipated situations. How do you choose the right person? What, exactly, would you be asking them to do?


Review of studies on racial bias in pain perception in NCBI:

February 23, 2022

17: On Wanting To Do What We Love As Long As Possible

Thinking about dying has me thinking about aging. And as I took my aging body on a hike, I decided maybe it's time to get used to using hiking poles—and this had me thinking about what we can do now so that we can keep what we love doing for longer.

February 15, 2022

16:Your Final Resting Place

Do you want to be buried near your parents? Want your children to scatter your ashes at your favorite beach? Would your family visit your memorial tree in a forest?

What kinds of things do you need to take into consideration when you're choosing your final resting place?


Bonus in this episode: An interview with Mike Szymanski, creator of the #DoxieTombstone in the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.

February 1, 2022

15: Final Disposition of Your Body

Burial or Cremation? That question is important, yes, and it's not the only thing that needs to be decided about what will happen with your body after you die. This episode covers some of the practical decisions that need to be made regarding final disposition.

January 18, 2022

14: Getting The Conversation Started

Sure, it's important to talk about death and what we want. But how do you even begin this conversation? What if you're ready to talk but someone else is resistant? And what do we even need to talk about?

In this episode I interview Kate deBartolo from The Conversation Project, and Lisa Pahl and Lori LoCicero from The Death Deck. They share tools and personal stories that can help you get the conversation started, regardless of how comfortable (or uncomfortable) you and your loved ones are with the topic.



January 4, 2022

13: What’s in a Death Binder?

Just what kinds of things would be useful to the people we'll leave behind when we die? What decisions need to be made? What goes into a "Death Binder"?

December 23, 2021

12: Lessons for Living and Dying Well

Presenting three books with good lessons learned from the dying on how to live (and die) well:

  • The Top Five Regrets of the Dying - Bronnie Ware
  • The Four Things That Matter Most - Ira Byock
  • When Breath Becomes Air - Paul Kalanithi

Related links:


Bronnie Ware’s blog post that started it all:


Link to Ira Byock's book page:


Lucy Kalanithi speaks at TEDMED

December 7, 2021

11: From Death Phobic to Death Doula

Karen Reppen describes herself as being once "the most death phobic person on the planet." Now she's on the board of the National End-of-Life Doula Alliance (NEDA) and an advocate for death education. In this interview, she shares what she learned on her journey to overcome her fear of death, what an end-of-life doula does, and thoughts on NEDA's role in the death positivity movement.

November 23, 2021

10: Holidays Can Be Complicated

Logistics are not the only things that complicate death. The holidays can be an emotional time. Here are five ways to help take care of the emotional side of the impact your death will have on those you love.

November 9, 2021

9: What is a Good Death?

We often refer to the idea of a "good death" without really digging in to what that means for us. But being clear about it is critical when it comes to completing an Advance Care Directive.