Nov 24, 2017
Cass Midgley talks with 3 former guests of this podcast on the subjects of Death, Depression and Suicide.
My first guest is Zoe from episode 120 going by the same pseudonym she used back then. Today's episode came out of a desire to conduct follow up shows with former guests to see how their journey is going. Zoe's husband of 12 years committed suicide this summer and she wanted to come on and talk about it. I believe talking about it (and everything for that matter) is how we heal as a species. Zoe has not been shy about sharing her pain with friends. Unfortunately, her husband was shy about it and he's no longer with us. As a side note, I would like to say that the community of people connected through this podcast has really turned out to be one of the most amazing and surprising outgrowths of doing this. I got to meet Zoe and her now deceased husband, Phillip and their two children in December of last year. Unfortunately I didn't get to spend as much time as I would've liked to with them, especially now, knowing that it would be the last time I'd ever engage with Phillip. Ernest Becker, author of The Denial of Death, writes that “to live fully is to live with an awareness of the rumble of terror that underlies everything.” We can't help but be more present, love more assertively, be less selfish and have a better attitude of gratitude if we walk around aware of our own impending death and that of everyone around us. We also might get more comfortable talking about it. Hell, getting honest about what it means to be human would help us talk about every elephant in the room--sex, mental health, suicide, insecurities. Phillip, Zoe's husband, never spoke a word to anyone about his depression or suicidal thoughts. No one knew he was in his own personal hell. And this is common in suicides. So let's talk about it. Here's a clip from Sarah Silverman on expanding the talkaboutable.
My second interview is with Mark Stephens from episode 121, and Stephen Barry from episode 139 who happens to be the guy behind the Barry Orchestra, whose music I've used for a lot of the segues on the podcast in the last year. Bob Pondillo was not a part of these interviews. Mark Stephens is a police officer who deals with suicide frequently in his work, and Stephen is a black, gay, atheist man living in the south who has battled with depression and suicidal thoughts since was a boy.
I'll end these opening comments with a quote pulled from Jennifer Michael Hecht's book, "Stay: A History of Suicide and the Philosophies Against It."
“None of us can truly know what
we mean to other people, and none of us can know what our future
self will experience. History and philosophy ask us to remember
these mysteries, to look around at friends, family, humanity, at
the surprises life brings — the endless possibilities that living
offers — and to persevere. There is love and insight to live for,
bright moments to cherish, and even the possibility of happiness,
and the chance of helping someone else through his or her own
troubles. Know that people, through history and today, understand
how much courage it takes to stay. Bear witness to the night side
of being human and the bravery it entails, and wait for the sun. If
we meditate on the record of human wisdom we may find there reason
enough to persist and find our way back to happiness. The first
step is to consider the arguments and evidence and choose to stay.
After that, anything may happen. First, choose to stay.”
― Jennifer Michael Hecht,
I taped these conversations in November 2017. We interview people you don’t know, about a subject no one wants to talk about. We hope to encourage people in the process of deconstructing their faith and help curb the loneliness that accompanies it. We think the world is a better place when more people live by sight, not by faith. Please subscribe to our podcast, and leave a review wherever you listen to podcasts. Also, you can support us monetarily in two easy ways: you can pledge one dollar per episode or more through Patreon; that’s www.patreon.com/eapodcast, or leave a lump-sum donation through PayPal at our website, www.everyonesagnostic.com. The smallest contribution is greatly appreciated.
"Towering Mountain of Ignorance" intro by Hank Green https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3v3S82TuxU
Intro bumper "Never Know" by Jack Johnson
The segue music on this episode is 1-800 by Logic
Thanks for listening and be a yes-sayer to what is.
If you'd like to reach out to Zoe, her email is firstname.lastname@example.org