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What is a Good Life? #14
What is a Good Death? with Charlotte Wiedemann
On the 14th episode of the What is a Good Life? podcast I am joined by Charlotte Wiedemann, who is a Journalist and a Death Doula.
Through her journalism work, she is creating greater awareness of death, funeral, and grief issues, and at Ahorn Gruppe, where she currently works, she has helped to amass a following of almost 200k people on TikTok through discussing these themes.
In this episode we discuss our societal difficulties in talking about death, our repression of emotions, beautiful moments within suffering, how we can support people experiencing loss, the aliveness and gratitude for life Charlotte experiences through working with the dead, and how birth, life and death are so deeply intertwined.
Charlotte also shares some profound exercises and thoughts with regards thinking about death to create a better life (see video below).
Paradoxically, I found this discussion around death to be extremely enlivening, and it further enhances my perspective that the more we avoid acknowledging death, the more we fear fully living. This conversation left me with A LOT to contemplate, as I’m sure it will for you too.
The weekly clip from the podcast (2 mins), my weekly reflection (2 mins), the full podcast (51 mins), and the weekly questions all follow below.
1. Weekly Clip from the Podcast
2. My weekly reflection
One of the biggest misconceptions we have with our relationships is that if enough time passes without anybody referencing a grievance, or problem, that it has been dealt with.
Over the last couple of years, between interviewing so many people, working with clients, chatting with friends and strangers, I have been continuously struck by how vividly someone can recall a specific sentence somebody else said, sometimes from decades ago, that still evokes so much emotion in them.
When reading an article by someone who cares for the dying recently, it suggested that people close to their death can often reflect on how they never addressed something from as far back as their 20s or 30s with someone and how they regretted it to that very moment. I’m sure we can all relate to this in some way, regardless of our present age.
We may have been the culprit, and someone didn’t hold us to account, our boundaries may have been breached and we didn’t defend them at the time or are unwilling to be vulnerable in readdressing it now, or both parties may have erred, and we just didn’t have the skills to address it to set things right at the time.
However, I don’t believe we get away with anything in our relationships even if the relationships remain intact. They collect residue and fractures as we move through life. And if we continue to let things fester, we all know the experience of a relationship (friendship, familial, partner, etc.) never quite getting back on solid ground. The unwillingness of one or both parties to simply name it ensures it will subtlety haunt the relationship until someone does.
While there may be no expiry date on some of these grievances or pain, there is also no expiry date with regards the opportunity to set it right, and to experience the clearing of the air that comes with it.
Is anyone in particular coming to mind?
(Check out the video above for a helpful exercise in cleansing relationships)
3. Full Episode - What is a Good Death? with Charlotte Wiedemann - What is a Good Life? Ep. #14
4. This week’s Questions
Who would you like to have at your deathbed that presently would not be there due to your relationship’s current standing? What could you do to change that?
What are three things you’d like to be able to say about your life on your deathbed?
I am a Coach based in Berlin, via Dublin, Ireland. I left behind a 15-year career in Capital Markets after I became extremely curious around what life, myself, and existence are all about.
I create corporate programs for companies to foster greater psychological safety, trust and purpose (click here for reference). While I also work with high-performing, individual clients who have hit their material goals and are trying to understand what comes after performance.