Close to Death

Close to Death

Close to Death is a podcast that profiles people who spend every day working with the dead and dying. Sound depressing? It isn’t. Sound creepy? It can be! From death doulas to crime scene cleaners, obituary writers to taxidermists, human composting farms to witches who talk to the dead, these death experts have seen it all. In each episode, with the help of comedians and reporters, we’ll hear their stories and find out what they have learned about life by working with death. Hosted by Utkarsh Ambudkar. This is a USG Audio podcast in collaboration with Transmitter Media and Powderkeg.

Episodes

November 24, 2021 34 min

We've all been to a funeral where we've looked around and thought: "[The deceased] would have hated this." So what would it look like if we ditched the stuffy funeral homes, skipped the expensive caskets, and designed our funerals before we died? Death doula Jill Schock helps her clients have end of life celebrations that feel unique to the life they lived. In this episode, she guides writer and producer Greg Heller...

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When someone dies, they always leave things behind, and their loved ones are left to clean up. But sometimes, cleaning up after death means cleaning up a literal biohazardous crime scene. Comedian Mary Beth Barone spends time with people who do that kind of extreme cleanup for a living: crime scene cleaners from Spaulding Decon. They share what they've learned from looking at the messiest parts of death head on. 


Credits:

Josh Bl...

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November 10, 2021 34 min

For years, we’ve been sold on just two ways to deal with a dead body — you either get cremated or you’re caked in makeup and placed in a casket six feet under. But there’s gotta be more options, right? Uninspired with what's on offer, comedian and journalist Francesca Fiorentini went on a tour of how to dispose of a dead body to get some ideas of what she'll do with her eventual corpse. First, she visits Walt Patrick at Her...

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November 3, 2021 28 min

It feels normal to try to preserve someone we've lost. But what does that do for us — and our grief? Comedian Mary Beth Barone seeks the wisdom of someone who makes mementos out of the once living: a very chic, very glamorous taxidermist. For a lot of us, losing a pet is our first introduction to death, and taxidermist Divya Anantharaman helps clients process that grief by turning their well-loved pet into a beautiful and lovin...

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October 27, 2021 29 min

After someone we love dies, it’s hard to get them off our minds — especially if we didn’t get the chance to say everything we needed to. But for some people, the conversation doesn’t die when their loved one does. Comedian and TV writer Jourdain Fisher confronts his fear of witches and visits Lynn Swain of Magik Craft — a woman in his hometown who speaks to the dead… and owns a handful of cauldrons and wands, too.


Credits:

Josh Bloch...

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October 27, 2021 39 min

Greg Heller sets out to discover what actually makes an obit feel like a satisfying account of a person's life. With the guidance of professional obituary writer John Pope, Greg practices the craft by writing his own. 


Credits:

Josh Bloch- For USG Audio

Jessica Grimshaw- For USG Audio

Jennifer Sears- For USG Audio

Tara Frelund- For USG Audio

Utkarsh Ambudkar- Host

Gretta Cohn - Executive Producer

Kesila Childers - Executive Producer

Gre...

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October 9, 2021 1 min

Close to Death is a podcast that profiles people who spend every day working with the dead and dying. Sound depressing? It isn’t. Sound creepy? It can be! From death doulas to crime scene cleaners, obituary writers to taxidermists, human composting farms to witches who talk to the dead, these death experts have seen it all. In each episode, with the help of comedians and reporters, we’ll hear their stories and find out what they ha...

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Mark as Played

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