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Rethinking narratives around death and dying

A demonstration "vessel" for the deceased, which has been decorated with flowers and compostable mementos by Return Home on top of a bed of straw.
JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images
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AFP
A demonstration "vessel" for the deceased, which has been decorated with flowers and compostable mementos by Return Home on top of a bed of straw, is pictured during a tour of the funeral home which specializes in human composting in Auburn, Washington on March 14, 2022.

This hour on Disrupted, we hear from three women who are rewriting narratives around death and dying in the U.S. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many of us to confront death head-on. At the same time, we’re also seeing major changes in the death care industry — from the emergence of things like green burials and human composting to the diversification of funeral directors.

GUESTS:

  • Cole Imperi: Founder of the School of American Thanatology and one of America’s leading experts on death, dying and grief
  • Joél Simone Maldonado: Licensed funeral director, also known as The Grave Woman
  • Celine Currier: Co-founder of the Connecticut Death Collective

Disrupted is available as a podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts. Subscribe and never miss an episode!

Meg Dalton is the deputy director of storytelling for Connecticut Public where she provides editorial support for the station’s talk shows and podcasts, including the limited series 'In Absentia'.
Dr. Khalilah L. Brown-Dean is an award-winning scholar at Quinnipiac University, author, and host of 'Disrupted' on Connecticut Public.
Kevin Chang Barnum is a producer for Connecticut Public Radio’s weekly show Disrupted. Kevin grew up in Connecticut and started his radio work at his graduate university’s radio station, KUCI. He has also worked for HRN, a network of food and beverage podcasts.
Wayne Edwards is a freelance producer at Connecticut Public contributing to multi-platform productions, including ‘Disrupted’, ‘Where Art Thou?’, and ‘Cutline in the Community’.

Catie Talarski is Senior Director of Storytelling and Radio Programming at Connecticut Public.