Care Partnering, Death & Dying, Life & Living, Love, Memories

dead mom talking full of grief, wisdom and tenderness

dead mom talking image watercolour


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.

Helpful resources

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.

Give  grief space to breathe: a free one-hour webinar with Mike Good of Together in This and grief coach Kim Adams; includes an emotional awareness worksheet as well as downloadable audio and 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.

See also: 10 normal ways care partners express grief


Grieving the living

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Copyright: photosky99 / 123RF Stock Photo

2 thoughts on “dead mom talking full of grief, wisdom and tenderness”

  1. So sorry for your loss Susan. I looked after my Dad to the end of his journey and truly believe he is always with me. Watching over me and guiding me. I pray you find peace and comfort in the knowledge you did your very best for your Mum. Look to nature for your Mums presence, she isn’t gone, you just can’t see her. God bless. hugs Liz


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