‘Til Death Do Us Part

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Listen to “‘Til Death Do Us Part”

It’s possible I have a problem. Have you ever noticed how many HowSounds feature stories where death is a theme? It must be approaching ten. Is that a lot? And guess what this episode is about.

Not too long ago, an email came to me from Heather Radke. In it, Heather talked about the death of someone she did a story on while she was a student of mine at the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. “It’s a strange loss, his death,” she wrote, “one that’s hard to describe to others. We all spend so much time with our Salt subjects and yet they don’t fit in any traditional definition of friendship.”

Soon after, I learned that Sara Archambault had a similar experience. Sara, too, was a student of mine and, like Heather, a character in her story had passed away. From what I could gather from their emails, both were attempting to figure out what they should be feeling and how exactly they should respond. At issue was their relationship to these people. A character in a documentary story is not a friend — or are they?

Hear what Heather and Sara have to say on this edition of HowSound. And, as a gift for slogging through another HowSound about death and dying, I’m featuring two stories rather than one. Of course, one of them is about…..

You should check out Sara’s movie — Street Fighting Man — as well as the foundation she works for that supports documentary film projects. While you’re at it, zip on over to the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, that’s where Heather works when she’s not producing radio.

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