Interview With Lori Zaspel (MSW,LSW, Death Doula + Content Creator)

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In this episode, I spoke with Lori Zaspel, a licensed social worker and co-founder of the Philly Death Doula Collective, which provides emotional, spiritual, and physical support at the end of life. Lori also works as a geriatric social worker, is studying EMDR, and creates really funny videos surrounding grief on TikTok under the handle @phillydeathdoula.

We talked about what drew Lori to taking an academic approach to grief, how she happily talks about:

  • the three societal taboos (death, sex, and money) with humor
  • why shaming and stigmatizing grievers is harmful
  • how grieving people are going to be shamed regardless of how they choose to cope and the only way to really win is to keep existing
  • how people judgements because of their own death anxiety
  • ghosting grievers
  • why we’re told that it’s culturally inappropriate to talk about death and grief (partially because of the lack of control we have as humans)
  • terror management theory (the higher your death anxiety the more likely you are to be conservative)
  • being able to mark one’s grief process by the type of jokes one is making
  • funny grief stories about having a funeral for a kitten
  • and having the forethought to make a cast of your partner’s member before they die.

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