Freakonomics Radio’s “How to Be Better at Death”

Caitlin Doughty is an articulate, charismatic advocate for funeral and death care reform. This past weekend I finally listened to her Febriuary 2021 interview on the Freakonomics Radio podcast. I was not disappointed.

In this episode you’ll hear Doughty read passages from her 2014 book, “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”. You can play the episode here. Below I’ve shared some notes and thoughts about the episode.

Notes from listening to “How to Be Better at Death”

  • I was reminded that more than 50% of mortuary school graduates are women, which wasn’t the case until fairly recently.
  • It was interesting to hear a description of the different roles in a funeral and crematory business and also exactly what happens at a crematory.
  • 38:50 – They discuss the possibility of having an advocate help you when you’re grieving and I made a note to come back to this.
  • 39:15 – Doughty says, “It’s an exciting time to be in death because our opportunity for reform, and to die better, has almost never been higher.”
  • 48:00 – They talk about why Doughty went to mortuary school and the importance of having the right credentials in order to be more credible in reforming the industry from the inside.

About Freakonomics Radio

Discover the hidden side of everything with Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of the Freakonomics books. Each week, Freakonomics Radio tells you things you always thought you knew (but didn’t) and things you never thought you wanted to know (but do) — from the economics of sleep to how to become great at just about anything. Dubner speaks with Nobel laureates and provocateurs, intellectuals and entrepreneurs, and various other underachievers.