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Sunday 30 July 2023

Breaking Taboos on Death, Grief, and Loss: The Jennifer Stritch Interview


Welcome to another episode of The Glam Reaper Podcast! This week, your host, Jennifer, welcomes an exceptional guest who shares not only her name but also a deep interest in understanding the complexities of loss, grief, and death. Meet Jennifer Moran Stritch, a leading light in the field of grief research at the Technological University of the Shannon: Midlands Midwest.

First up, Jennifer walks us through her personal journey. From her early interests and experiences to her current position as the Primary Principal Investigator of the Loss and Grief Research Group, we'll get an insightful glimpse into the path that led her to become an expert in this field.

Then, we dive into something that is often overlooked in schools—the all-important conversation surrounding loss, grief, and death. Why is it that these vital subjects don't make it to the classroom discussion often enough? Listen as Jennifer shares her perspective on this crucial issue and emphasizes the importance of breaking the silence around these ‘taboos’ in schools.

And, as we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic dramatically shifted the world's perspective on many things, including how we view death. Our two Jennifers delve into this significant shift and explore how the global health crisis has changed our collective understanding and experience of death.

Finally, we cap off this episode with a fascinating look at the evolution of how people perceive death. How have our views changed from the past to the present? What can we learn from these changes? 

Don't miss out on this intriguing discussion! Join us on this journey as we continue to demystify death and provide a safe space for these essential conversations. Whether you're a faithful follower or a new listener, this episode of The Glam Reaper Podcast is sure to provide valuable insights and foster a deeper understanding of life's ultimate inevitability—death.

- Get to know more about Jennifer Moran Stritch’s background and journey
- Why students don't talk enough about loss, grief, and death
- The importance of talking about loss, grief, and death in schools
- How COVID drastically changed the way people view death
- The evolution of people’s perspective on death: Past vs. Present

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Thursday 20 July 2023

Hope, Resilience, and Death: A Candid Conversation with Dr. Kathryn Mannix


In this heartwarming episode of The Glam Reaper Podcast, your host Jennifer Muldowney sits down with the amazing Dr. Kathryn Mannix, author of the insightful and thought-provoking book 'With The End In Mind.' Together, they delve into the profound wisdom of dying and death that the book captures.

Dr. Mannix's contributions to the realm of palliative care extend far beyond authorship. She is recognized for initiating the first Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) clinic exclusively dedicated to palliative care patients, potentially a global first. She has also created a 'CBT First Aid' training module designed to empower her fellow healthcare professionals and help them up-skill and improve patient care. 

The topic of death often invokes fear and apprehension. However, Dr. Mannix's extensive experience in caring for the dying suggests an alternative perspective, one that portrays death as less frightening and more peaceful than generally perceived. This episode highlights the reasons behind the common fear of dying and discuss potential ways to alleviate such anxieties. 

But today's discussion is not just about death and the fears that people associate with it. It’s also a conversation of hope and resilience, as Dr. Mannix also tells stories from her years in palliative care that highlight these qualities. These narratives are proof that love and hope can flourish even in the most challenging circumstances. 

Stream this episode and join us for this insightful and inspirational discussion on hope, resilience, and death.

- Dr. Mannix’s book, With the End in Mind, which reacquaints us with the universal, but deeply personal, process of dying
- Her 30-year career in palliative care and her life’s journey
- How Dr. Katherine's experience in palliative care reveals that the process of dying can be less frightening and more peaceful
- Why most people fear dying
- The beauty of human resilience: Dr. Kathryn’s stories from dark places of hope and love

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Thursday 13 July 2023

Tom Anderson: A Day in the Life of a Funeral Director


Ever wondered what it’s like to be a funeral director? In this brand-new episode of The Glam Reaper podcast, host Jennifer walks us through a day in the life of a funeral director along with her special guest, Tom Anderson.

Tom has been in the industry as a funeral director since the year 1980. Since then, he has worked at and owned a funeral home before selling it in 2013. He also started the blog, Funeral Director Daily, focusing on death care, funeral service, cremation, and related subjects and serving as a free source of news and information on the funeral care business. 

Tune in as Jennifer and Tom talk about important matters in the funeral industry, what it means to be a funeral director and how the recent innovations in the funeral industry are helping save the environment.

Hit the play button for more scientific but interesting facts that revolve around life and death! Enjoy!

- Tom’s background and how he became a funeral director
- An overview of Tom’s blog, Funeral Director Daily and the different topics it covers
- Tom’s thoughts about cremation and how it can help the environment
- An overview of the responsibilities of a funeral director

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Wednesday 12 July 2023

Healing Tails: Louise Griffey's Approach to Pet Loss


Welcome to another soul-stirring episode of The Glam Reaper podcast! This time, our host, Jennifer, invites us into a heart-to-heart conversation with Louise Griffey, the founder of Light After Loss. 

Louise isn't just your typical guest - she's an Advanced Grief Recovery Method Specialist specializing in helping individuals grieving the loss of a pet. With her journey marked by the end of a significant relationship and the loss of her beloved pets, she found solace and purpose in The Grief Recovery Method®. Her experience is a compelling exploration of grief, recovery, and the strength of the human spirit.

This episode of The Glam Reaper is a profound conversation that underscores the power of empathy, compassion, and resilience in the healing process. Here, Louise's dedication to assisting others through their grief, whether it concerns a human or a pet, shines brightly. This is not just a conversation; it's an invitation to understand the power of healing.

Join Jennifer and Louise for an inspiring and insightful episode that offers a fresh perspective on loss, love, and the journey towards recovery.


- Louise’s journey through life that led her to found Light After Loss
- How does the Grief Recovery Method work? 
- The therapeutic benefits of the Pet Loss Support program
- Different ways to overcome pet loss

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Monday 3 July 2023

Funeral Community Workers Mental Health Crisis

When faced with a problem or something unpleasant, does anyone else’s mind go to worst-case scenario or down a rabbit hole of ‘what if’? This can be applied to grief, but it can also apply to some of the situations we, in the funeral community, face on a daily and monthly basis. We must protect our own minds and spirits if we are to best serve others. 

There is a way out or a way to save ourselves from this pit of a rabbit hole and it is called ‘scheduled worry time’. The strategy has even been portrayed in popular media in the TV show ‘Shrinking’. It essentially entails setting aside 15 minutes daily to truly immerse oneself in sadness, worry, or unpleasant feelings. It is actively sitting with these horridly intense and debilitating feelings for a set period of time that may otherwise come and go throughout the day.

In the Irish language, instead of simply saying "I am sad," we say “Tá Brón Orm” which is sadness is on me. As Pádraig Ó Tuama, the poet notes, "Something else will be on me another time, and that's a good thing to recognize." Having the 15 minutes of scheduled worry or grieving time means it has a place in our day, our week and it acknowledges the feeling we are feeling any way but usually in an erratic and debilitating way. ‘Sadness is on me’ is an Irish way of acknowledging the feeling but knowing that in another time something else will be ‘on me’ so 15 minutes of letting sadness or worry ‘be on us’ but that it is temporary and only here until tomorrow’s 15 minutes. 

It is not clear cut of course, grief and anxiety rarely are, but having these 15 minutes where you can truly let go and then put it back in its worry box until the next day, allows you to healthily deal with it daily without letting it control you. There are also different types of this. For me, I allow myself certain activities for a few weeks or a month – such as not going to the gym or going to bed at 8pm if that’s what I feel my brain and body need and then once that time is up, I must resume ‘normal’ behaviours and routines. The 15 minutes will look different to everyone and is even mentioned on the UK’s NHS website. It is a proven cognitive behavioural therapy.

So let us honour our emotions, knowing that they come and go like waves and that they are an important part of the human experience.

I spoke on May 16 last at the Funeral Professionals Peer Support Meeting on Zoom about the topic of mental health in our community. Read more on this topic here CANA Self Care I also chatted with Barbara Kemmis of CANA about this issue on my podcast – The Glam Reaper. Grieving is essential and that includes our own. Look after yourselves.

Sunday 2 July 2023

Flameless Cremation: A Change for the Better with Ed Gazvoda


Ever heard of flameless cremation? If you haven’t yet, it’s about time you did! Welcome to another episode of the Glam Reaper Podcast, where host Jennifer talks about life, love, loss, and funerals. 

Today’s special guest is Ed Gazvoda, president of Fireless Cremation and co-inventor of aquamation 2.0 for humans, pets and labs. In this intriguing episode, Ed gives us an overview of fireless cremation–what it is and all the processes involved. Delve into a real eye-opener as Ed takes us on a deep dive into the science of alkaline hydrolysis and some of the legalities involved in the process.  

Curious to know how this form of cremation differs from the usual one you know? Hit the play button and jump right in! 


- A little background about Ed and how he started his business

- More information about alkaline hydrolysis and its legal bases

- The difference between fireless cremation and regular cremation

- All about fireless cremation and the processes involved

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