Rachel Matlow’s short audio documentary “Dead Mom Talking” is amongst the most beautiful conversations I’ve ever heard: raw, honest, touching, tender, funny, and filled with love, grief, wisdom, magic, dignity and longing.
I began weeping before I even started listening, and I wept the whole way through the fantastic fifteen-minute piece. If you choose to play it, I highly recommend arming yourself with tissues beforehand.
The concept behind the work, first aired on CBC’s Sunday Edition with Michael Enright on Mother’s Day 2016, is extraordinary.
Matlow, a producer at CBC’s cultural radio show Q, recorded conversations between herself and her dying mother over a seven-week period in 2015.
A little less than a year after Elaine’s death, and based on this instruction: “if you want to talk to me when I’m dead, go to the bench,” Rachel created what I can only describe as a stunning work of audio art from the recordings.
Despite my tears, I was filled with a sense of hope and deep human connection after listening to Matlow’s documentary. I strongly believe we are able to feel the presence of those we love after they are gone, and maybe even speak to them on benches, or bridges, or when surrounded by the amazing beauty of nature.
I take comfort in that.
Note: audio and video recordings can also be powerful care partnering tools; I talk more about the why’s and how’s of that here.
Here are some excellent resources on grief and grieving for dementia care partners:
Grief, loss and bereavement: a comprehensive Alzheimer’s Society piece covering various aspects of the grieving process from several perspectives; includes a downloadable PDF.
Open discussion on grief: Mike and I and grief coach Kim Adams share our thoughts and those of listeners in a half hour chat to help you cope with grief. Join us the first Tuesday of each month for similar thought-provoking and helpful conversations.
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