Ask a Mortician Grief Talk

Real Talk.  Grief Talk.

Poor deathlings, we’ve come a long way since the Victorian era, where widows wore veils for a designated time and families kept symbols on their front doors so everyone would know where they were in the grieving process.

This episode features Jena Friedman, super New York comedienne. Here’s her fancy comedienne bio.

Jena Friedman is a comedian, writer, actor and filmmaker living in New York. She is currently a writer for Late Show with David Letterman. Her work has also been featured in New York Magazine, Newsweek, Glamour, Salon, Gawker, Current TV, The Huffington Post, Funny or Die,, Time Out New York and on Comedy Central.

The thumbnail makes me look like I’m being fettered by YouTube.  No censorship!  Death for all!

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  • Kat.

    Dear Caitlin,
    thank you for another interesting episode! Every week I’m checking your website for updates because there is just simply no one else that approaches death as natural and wonderful as you do. Maybe one day and marvellous question about it pops up in my mind. But for now I’d like to say : Thank you so much and PLEASE keep on making videos! 🙂

  • Milwauken

    Can corpses sit up suddenly?

  • lyss8

    Superfantastic info – thanks!

  • Hahaha, you are very good! Very informative and hilarious.
    Hmm, I’m going to start thinking about this a lot more and when I come up with a great question I’ll write back. I totally agree with much of your philosophy as I understand it. Thanks for your important work. Keep up the good work.

  • Dave

    Caitlin, thanks for this video in particular. We very recently had a baby daughter who died a few days after being born. While it’s a given that dumb shit will be said (“bummer” comes to mind), it sucks when people don’t acknowledge it at all. Sometimes they’ll avoid you completely, which just compounds the grief with ostracism.

    The truth of it is that no one wants to talk about dead babies. Can’t blame them. It sucks. But suck it up, we need to talk about it; to know that our baby was real and that other people know.

    Hahaha @ the wee urn. We got a regular sized one but with a teeny tiny zip lock bag in it. I started calling her “dime-bag” in my head.

  • brin366

    I regret terribly, when I was young and ignorant, told a young woman who miscarried twins, “You can always get pregnant again.”

    Years later when my husband died in an accident I heard,
    “Well at least he’ll always be young.”
    “That was over a year and half ago and you’re still sad?”

    Now I tell people, “I’ve been thinking of you”, which doesn’t put them on the spot of “How are you?”.

  • Obreewan

    Was there ever a moment in your career that you encountered something so awful and horrendous relating to death that you second guessed your profession? I was always fascinated with becoming a coroner but the thought of seeing abused or murdered children was always a huge struggle. I’m passionate about justice and finding answers and helping grieving families but I thought the profession would either callous or break me. Have you ever had similar thoughts/doubts?

  • Deborah

    Thank you for this – I had see it when it originally aired – my best friend and co-worker lost her baby today and I want to be there for her in the best way possible. Thank you for this – truly.

  • AnaC

    Your “how are you” question just reminded me of something. A classmate lost her son during child birth and while we saw each other about a year later, I asked how she was doing. Automatically she responded with “I’m fine”. I said yes, but up here (pointed towards head). She told me I was the only person who asked how SHE was, mentally and emotionally and being sincere. Everyone else asked because they thought it should be asked, not because they’re really interested to hear the truth.