this is one i really, really want you to hear. especially if you're actively dealing with death...or may someday deal with death. wait. that's everyone. i think.
when i saw BJ Miller deliver his TED talk, "what really matters at the end of life" live in 2015, i wept. openly, in the audience. i had never seen someone so calmly, articulately - so gently - state something that i had felt so deeply but have never been able to put words to.
why are more people not talking about this? it's everywhere:
we are bad at death.
and what's worst: we are BAD at talking about how bad we are at it.
as many of you know, especially if you saw the stage show this past year, i've experienced a lot of loss, death and grief. but in addition to learning how it feels to grieve....i've also learned more than i ever could have imagined about what happens when you do and don't discuss, express, and name certain things.
BJ and his talk about death was one of the more important threads in my life as i navigated the weirdness of dealing with loss, grief, death, anthony, miscarriage....how it all feels so wonky....what it means, and maybe more important, what it can mean, how it can feel, but often doesn't because things get in the way.
how many of you have felt the pangs of grief, death and loss...and felt like this society just isn't built to deal with the human heart-situation that appears?
we are all taught so badly; we are so poorly equipped.
i was so honored that BJ agreed to be interviewed that i almost died of happiness - no pun intended - when he wrote back to a random email from me, and said we could meet up in a recording studio while i was on tour in san francisco.
we did the interview the day before my show at the warfield in may 2019. (i bet many of you were AT that show...and you may have seen BJ there).
here we are, after the podcast recording, going on a walk.
the walk took us by san quentin prison's entrance.
....how 'bout that?
this is one of the more powerful podcasts of the "art of asking everything" series. i hope you listen to it.
without further chat....i present to you:
The Art of Asking Everything Podcast, episode 3.
Featuring guest Dr. BJ Miller: An Expert on Death Talks About Life.
it is OUT now available wherever you get your podcasts.
GO! LISTEN! and SHARE!:
here's my official text for the podcast, which'll live on the website, too:
Why are we so bad at death, dying, dealing with it, talking about it?
Dr. BJ Miller is a palliative care physician who has spent his whole adult life trying to figure that out. His own traumatic experience has informed his ability to know compassion, see the far grander picture, and help people sort out the blurry lines between care, pain and reality. In college, BJ lost both of his feet and one hand in a tragic accident, and despite becoming a triple amputee, he still returned to university and got his medical degree.
Now he's a doctor who helps people deal with dying, and he's got a lot of thoughts on the matter....we talked about art and beauty as therapy, mindfulness, coping skills, and a topic so needed right now: how independence is really an illusion. This is a really great episode for people who may be dealing with a recent loss, or an imminent one. Enjoy....
HOW TO LISTEN, HOW TO SHARE?
this handy linktree has a round-up of how to tune into the podcast on some of the most popular players. we will have the audio embedded on each episode post on my website: http://amandapalmer.net/podcast
and you can listen on the web, or in app on soundcloud without having to create an account:
THE PATRON-ONLY LIVE FOLLOW-UP CHAT...
the follow up chat with elizabeth was INCREDIBLE, and i imgaine this one will be even more so. COME TALK TO ME AND BJ ABOUT DEATH!!!
it is scheduled for this WEDNESDAY, Oct 14th at 7pm NYC/EDT time (that's thursday, Oct 15 at noon my time in new zealand).
i'll be chatting with BJ live, bring your questions, stories, thoughts....and get ready to feel.
NOTE, THIS IS REALLY SOON!! MARK YOUR CALENDARS!!! and i'll send a little reminder post before we start. RSVP here and start leaving questions:
(you'll need to log into patreon to access this webcast as it's patron-only).
i've attached a pdf of the transcript of my conversation with BJ to the patreon post. to view it, you can download it by visiting this patreon post on the web at:
it's a hyperlink at the very bottom of the post with a little paper clip attachment symbol next to it - this is what it looks like from last week's podcast with lenny henry:
WE HAVE A BOOK TO DISCUSS!: A Beginner's Guide to the End - Practical Advice for Living Life and Facing Death. available here: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/A-Beginners-Guide-to-the-End/BJ-Miller/9781501157165
patrons will also get a free excerpt from the book....standby!!!! i'll post that along with the webcast reminder in a couple days. i read the book when it came out...it's really extraordinary. it's very nuts and bolts and extremely helpful for people really coping with actively departing souls. i gave it immediately to two friends who were dealing with dying parents, and feeling lost.
here's the patron-only thread on the shadowbox to discuss the book, the podcast, and, you know, death....
again...the book club is patron-only, and is very casual. we are just pulling it together with a few volunteers. just start chatting and we will get around to finding a good group discussion time for each book when the smoke clears a little.
ENJOY THIS ONE, MY DEARS.
IT'S A GOOD ONE.
a friendly reminder, too, to cap your pledge. this shit is on fire.
p.s. quick ash update: greetings from havelock north, aotearoa. it's raining right now, but it wasn't when i dropped ash off at school today.
spring is exploding...and it was "dress like a pirate" day at school today except that it’s not because ash got the date wrong when he woke up with glee this morning and i didn’t bother to double check - it’s actually on thursday - so today is "dress rehearsal like a pirate day" and o well....
he's getting so big and grown-up, so fast....and here's another one of him from a few days ago....he refused to take off pajamas or put on shoes before heading to “kids book club” in napier at wardini's books. ask me how long i attempted to argue...answer: zero long
------THE NEVER-ENDING AS ALWAYS---------
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1. if you’re a patron, please click through to comment on this post. at the very least, if you’ve read it, indicate that by using the heart symbol. that's always nice for me to see, so i know who's reading.
2. see All the Things (over 100 of them) i've made so far on patreon:
3. JOIN THE SHADOWBOX COMMUNITY FORUM, find your people, and discuss everything: https://forum.theshadowbox.net/
4. new to my music and TOTALLY OVERWHELMED? TAKE A WALK THROUGH AMANDALANDA….we made a basic list of my greatest hits n stuff (at least up until a few years ago, this desperately needs updating) on this lovely page: http://amandalanda.amandapalmer.net/
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