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interview

Interview With Nadine Menashe of Varsity Grief Squad

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Today my guest is Nadine Menashe, the creator behind the Varsity Grief Squad, one of my favorite accounts on Instagram and also where Nadine makes memes and merch about her dead mom.

In this episode:

Nadine’s mom Svetlana was diagnosed with stage 4 breast, bone, and lung cancer in September 2019. That’s when the grief process started. When she passed away in October 2020, the humor came naturally. It was the only way she was able to communicate what she was feeling

  • Processing grief and loss with funny memes
  • Humor wasn’t always something Nadine used to cope with the hard stuff in life
  • The moment that Nadine started really leaning into humor was at her mom’s funeral
  • A lot of rabbis seem to have a great sense of humor around death
  • The backlash that comes with using dark humor to cope
  • Appreciating the view of death in Judaism
  • Meeting a grieving person where they are

To get in touch, email deathishilarious@gmail.com.

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interview

Interview with author Kathy Benjamin

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Listen to the episode here

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Today my guest is Kathy Benjamin, author of the upcoming book, “It’s Your Funeral,” which aims to help demystify death, decrease your anxiety, and put the fun back in funeral. Every stage of the legacy planning process is considered, from a burial outfit to a funeral theme.  Kathy’s writing has  has received more than 100 million hits across some of the most popular humor and trivia websites in the world, including Mental Floss, Cracked, Grunge, The Smoking Jacket, and Uproxx. Kathy is also the author of Funerals to Die For.

In this episode:

  • What how panic attacks led Kathy to start writing comically about death
  • Using humor and learning everything about death gave her the ability to demystify dying
  • Why death positivity eases anxiety around the topic and gives you more control
  • Why we’re avoidant when it comes to death and dying
  • Getting kids comfortable with death and seeing bodies
  • How Victorians screwed us up when it comes to our relationship with death
  • The many different ways we grieve and mourn our loved ones

For more information about Death Is Hilarious, visit deathishilarious.com To get in touch, email deathishilarious@gmail.com. You can support the podcast by subscribing, becoming a patron at patreon.com/deathishilarious, or by simply sharing the show with your friends and on social media.

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free stuff, events, new episode

The Dystopian Alphabet Book is now available, Trauma Tots is in production, I’m hosting game nights at 5:00 pst Sundays-Thursdays, our first (free!) annual meet-up is almost here, and you can check out my next episode with Kathy Benjamin now before it’s public release next week. Click on the images below to learn more!

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interview

Interview with Mitzi Weiland (LMFT) creator of the podcast Dead Funny Dead Serious

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Listen to the episode here

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Today my guest is Mitzi Weiland, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and creator of the podcast Dead Funny Dead Serious.

In this episode:

  • Mitzi was a bartender and artist before her mother was diagnosed with terminal stage 4 cancer (her father and grandfather also passed away when she was 7). Then she started looking into volunteering at hospices and senior centers (bingo is ruthless) and started to school to be a geriatric mental health specialist.
  • She then took a grief class and learned why she uses humor to deal with her grief (it was very eye opening).
  • Mitzi was raised by a grieving mother and it was never addressed. She was using humor to deflect.
  • Humor is absolutely a healthy coping mechanism- if it’s ONE of your tools.
  • Every tool should be used in moderation. Netflix is great until you start watching it for 24 hours a day and stop going to work. Wine is a great tool until it’s not.
  • Using humor to deflect vs to cope is a fine and personal line
  • Going to local comedy clubs and listening to comedians using the platform to process and cope with loss.
  • Why we have so much death anxiety in American culture (we’re living longer so palliative and deathcare is actually a new concept)
  • The new movement surrounding death positivity and how that’s not the space grieving people are in
  • Grievers are shunned for sharing their feelings
  • We hashtag and label everything so we put everything and everyone in a box. You can be happy, grieving, and angry all at the same time
  • Grief groups are often filled with laughter
  • Turning her mom’s ashes into a lawn gnome
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interview

Interview With Author Leslie Gray Streeter

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Listen to the episode here

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Today my guest is Leslie Gray Streeter, pop culture columnist, journalist, and author of Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words Like “Journey” in the Title

We talked about:

  • Leslie’s book Black Widow: A Sad-Funny Journey Through Grief for People Who Normally Avoid Books with Words Like “Journey” in the Title
  • Making jokes about having to deal with the absurdities that come with your husband dying on your watch
  • The performative “sad-face-head-tilt-sigh” some people give widows
  • How some widows were able to take on 2020 in a very prepared way- isolation and having to do stuff we don’t want to do? Oh we got this. We go with the flow and have a sense of humor about it.
  • Why we feel kind of smug as widows
  • Do we have gallows humor or a desperate coping mechanism?
  • Patton Oswalt’s bit about the Polish Woman of Doom (he’s a widower!)
  • What has happened to us is absurd and absurdism is the foundation of comedy
  • How widowers are often portrayed as hot and widows are portrayed as hags in media and other double standards (this is seen on the show The Bachelor)
  • How widows are often accused of killing their husbands
  • Being an authentic sarcastic and messy widow who eats french fries out of her purse.
  • People who are defensive of our husbands… who didn’t know them
  • The pushback we receive when we don’t react how people want us to react
  • Sex and dating after being widowed
  • People project their own fears of being forgotten onto widows who find love again
  • How having deep relationships with our husbands primes us for wanting a deep connection again. Just because we want to love again passionately doesn’t mean we don’t love our husbands.
  • Our husbands told us they wanted us to find love again if they passed away before we did
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interview

Interview with “Sealion” Bryan Martin

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Listen to the episode here

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Today my guest is Bryan Martin, aka Sea Lion Bryan, who is an animal care and training specialist, widower, and fantastic dancer who can be found on TikTok and Instagram @sealionbryan

We talked about:

  • Being with his partner Clayton for four years. After Bryan’s dad passed away, four months later Clayton got a fungal infection and he had an adverse response to the medication that cause acute liver failure. He became Clayton’s caregiver for the following 8 months until he passed away.
  • It wasn’t until 2020 when Bryan noticed how many people were grieving that he felt it was time to share with more people online.
  • Clayton’s wild sense of humor, how it still informs Bryan’s own humor, and why dead husband jokes are funny
  • Why Deadpool is the patron saint of widows
  • Being ghosted on a date after being literally ghosted by your partner
  • Widows laugh because the world is ridiculous
  • The weird connotation widow/er has (it make it sound like we did it)
  • If you’ve used comedy to cope in other areas of your life, you’ll probably use it to cope with grief too
  • Using reverse psychology on the universe to get what you want
  • The difference between positivity and toxic positivity (something Bryan has been accused of)
  • The beauty of authenticity
  • We don’t talk about preparing for death enough because of shame and fear

To get in touch, email deathishilarious@gmail.com. You can support the podcast by subscribing, becoming a patron at patreon.com/deathishilarious, or by simply sharing the show with your friends and on social media.

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Upcoming Events

Join me as I’ll be speaking live at Storytelling Podcast Week July 21st- 25th! I’ll be part of a powerful panel on The Stories We Wish We Didn’t Have to Tell. Head over to podcastweek.live/storytelling to register and use the code “DIH” for a FREE PASS.

I’m excited to share that I’ll be hosting game nights and chats Sunday-Thursday for the rest of July on Pococha! As a sponsored streamer, it helps me a ton when you watch and interact during the show as well as share on social media. Download the app and be sure to follow me here.

RSVP Here

Listen to my latest episode with Mandy Benoualid here

Today my guest is Mandy Benoualid, the co-founder and editor of the death positive media site and resource TalkDeath, and co-host of the #TalkDeath video series. She is also the founder and President of the online memorial platform and virtual funeral service provider, Keeper, and works with the US Department of Veterans Affairs on the Veterans Legacy Memorial project, memorializing nearly 4 Million American Veterans. Mandy’s work has appeared in national and international publications, she has been a featured presenter at professional funeral and cemetery conferences and was recently featured as an industry innovator by American Funeral Director Magazine.


We talked about:

– Visiting grandma’s grave, it occurred to her how every person has a story in a cemetery that can’t be communicated on a headstone

– How modern deathcare is changing the discussion around death (death positive)

– TalkDeath is a lot of 20-45 year olds who are gawky nerd girls who want to talk about death

– Green burial and how the demand for it has been skyrocketing

– Why sex and death are both taboo topics in western countries

– A funny story about sitting shiva when Mandy’s grandpa died

– Impromptu dancing and roasting grandpa (not literally) during the shiva

– The phrase “celebration of life” and why not everyone appreciates the phrase

– Using humor to shine a light as opposed to deflect

– How grieving becomes a part of your identity when you’ve experienced a traumatic loss

Categories
interview

Interview with Mandy Benoualid from TalkDeath and Keeper Memorial

Hang out with us on TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter

Join us in our Facebook group

Listen to the episode here

Want to skip the commercials? Listen here for just $1

Today my guest is Mandy Benoualid, the co-founder and editor of the death positive media site and resource TalkDeath, and co-host of the #TalkDeath video series. She is also the founder and President of the online memorial platform and virtual funeral service provider, Keeper, and works with the US Department of Veterans Affairs on the Veterans Legacy Memorial project, memorializing nearly 4 Million American Veterans. Mandy’s work has appeared in national and international publications, she has been a featured presenter at professional funeral and cemetery conferences and was recently featured as an industry innovator by American Funeral Director Magazine.

We talked about:

  • Visiting grandma’s grave, it occurred to her how every person has a story in a cemetery that can’t be communicated on a headstone.
  • How modern deathcare is changing the discussion around death (death positive)
  • TalkDeath is a lot of 20-45 year olds who are gawky nerd girls who want to talk about death
  • Green burial and how the demand for it has been skyrocketing
  • Why sex and death are both taboo topics in western countries
  • A funny story about sitting shiva when Mandy’s grandpa died
  • Impromptu dancing and roasting grandpa (not literally) during the shiva
  • The phrase “celebration of life” and why not everyone appreciates the phrase
  • Using humor to shine a light as opposed to deflect
  • How grieving becomes a part of your identity when you’ve experienced a traumatic loss

TalkDeath

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/talkdeathdaily
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/talkdeathdaily/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/talkdeathdaily

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/u/talkdeath

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Qeepr

Keeper Memorials

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/KeeperMemorials

Instagram: https://www.facebook.com/KeeperMemorials

Twitter: https://twitter.com/keepermemorials

Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/u/keepermemorials

To get in touch, email deathishilarious@gmail.com. You can support the podcast by subscribing, becoming a patron at patreon.com/deathishilarious, or by simply sharing the show with your friends and on social media.

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Game Night

I host dark humor and death centric game nights every Sunday-Thursday at 6:00 pacific time on the app Pococha! Win prizes, meet other weirdos, and enjoy big belly laughs.

Tonight we’re playing Stupid Deaths, where you have to guess if the death is true or false

There are two ways to win: guess correctly or have the most interactions on the app! The two winners will receive a sticker or pin from the Death is Hilarious store

Click here to join the game!

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Are You Getting Your Patron Benefits?

Hello my little trauma tots!

I’m checking in today to make sure you’re getting and taking advantage of all your goodies on Patreon.

  • For patrons at the $15 level, you get a personal shoutout on each episode of the show, monthly goodies from the merch store, access to every segment of too hot for grandma, and a personalized acknowledgement in The Dystopian Alphabet Book as well as each upcoming book in the series. You also get all of the goodies in the other tiers! IMPORTANT: Make sure your address is up to date here on Patreon so I can send you your monthly merch. This month’s stickers have been ordered and are en route. I’ll send them out as soon as they arrive- sneak peek below!
  • For Patrons at the $10 level, you get a special birthday shout-out on the show + TikTok, personalized thank you on TikTok, extended uncut episodes (all uncut episodes that will be released in the month of July are available on Patreon now!) You also get all of the goodies in the $1-$5 tiers IMPORTANT: Make sure to email me at deathishilarious@gmail.com or send me a dm on Patreon with your birthday
  • For Patrons at the $5 level, you get digital copies of the Tawny and Sam letters and Early sneak peek of each page of The Dystopian Alphabet Book (as well as each upcoming book in the series), and video versions of the podcast (starting August 2021) You also get all of the goodies in the $1-$3 tiers
  • For Patrons at the $3 level, you get early episode access and replay videos of the weekly live streams (comedy + game nights). You also get all of the goodies in the $1 tier
  • For Patrons at the $1 level, you get commercial free episodes and patreon exclusive posts and updates

If you have any questions or suggestions, I’d love to hear them! Please don’t hesitate to reach out in whatever way is convenient for you (email deathishilarious@gmail.com, dm me on Patreon, or get in touch on Instagram @thatdeathpod). I’m here to help!

-Tawny