Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
075: Bringing Conversations about Death to Life with Kathy Kortes-Miller

075: Bringing Conversations about Death to Life with Kathy Kortes-Miller

We all know that death is a part of life, but it’s the part of life that we, as a society and individuals, often would rather not talk about. And yet, not talking about it isn’t making it go away; and in fact, makes death and dying so much harder for us to process. Kathy Kortes-Miller joins me today to talk about how to bring life into conversations about death. If you’re not a long time listener to the show, you might wonder why we’re talking about death. One of the reasons I do this show is to share a wider range of the human and creative experience than just the Oprah version. I most want you and us all to see that we’re not alone in whatever adversity we’re going through, and you can triumph too. Ready? Let’s do this!

Key Takeaways:

[1:13] Thank you to our sponsor,

[2:13] Charlie is pumped to introduce Kathy Kortes-Miller.

[3:52] How did Kathy slide into a career in death education?

[5:32] How did she feel about death at the early stages of this path?

[7:40] How did we get to this point where death is such a taboo topic to talk about?

[12:35] Charlie shares a story on death in earlier forms of our societies and existence.

[14:06] Why would we want death to become a normative life event?

[17:32] How do we open the door to having conversations about death across generations?

[20:41] What sort of things have people, who are at the end of their lives, told Kathy they wished they had done differently.

[22:28] What are some conversation initiators on how to have a more intentional or celebratory passing?

[27:49] How do we make conversations about death something that’s what we want to do vs. what we have to do?

[31:54] People don’t necessarily know what to do after your passing. They don’t know what rituals you want or what legacy you want to leave behind.

[34:20] Kathy shares a story about a family she worked with whose dad was dying.

[35:57] What’s happening now with the traditional funeral model?

[37:46] Kathy’s ‘one song’ about death and the process of dying.

Mentioned in This Episode:


Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing
Productive Flourishing (formerly the Creative Giant Show) explores how to do the work that matters to become your best self in the world. Host Charlie Gilkey and occasional co-host Angela Wheeler take listeners on a deep dive into the lives of leaders, changemakers, creatives, and entrepreneurs who are thriving in life and business by doing work that matters. Listen in to see how they cultivate meaning, success, and happiness as well as their approach to productivity, business, health, and the challenges (yes, even the deep, dark ones) that show up in their lives.