Kathryn Mannix: How to Die Well

Episode Summary

Prepare for your own death—and live life more fully in the meantime.

Episode Notes

Does talking about death freak you out? No wonder, it's something many of us avoid thinking about and prefer pretending it's not there. But it's an important topic, and if we can allow ourselves to sit with the truth that life will eventually end, it becomes a beautiful call to appreciate our lives and the people in them. 

And this is why palliative care physician Kathryn Mannix wrote her book, With the End in Mind: Dying, Death, and Wisdom in an Age of Denial Having witnessed death many thousands of times, Kathryn has come to a view that there's usually little to fear and much to prepare for.

In this episode, Kathryn will help you understand what the human organism goes through as death approaches so that you can be less afraid of the process itself. She'll share how to prepare for the end of your life—both practically and mentally—as well as what you can do if you find yourself on the other side, supporting a loved one approaching the end of theirs.

Books recommended by Kathryn:

- Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End, by Atul Gawande

- Waiting for the Last Bus: Reflections on Life and Death, by Richard Holloway

Books recommended by Caitlin and Ben:

- Spoiler Alert: You're Gonna Die, by Korttany Finn and Jacquie Purcell

- When Breath Becomes Air, by Paul Kalanithi

- On Death and Dying, by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

Try Blinkist for free for 14 days by going to, tapping on Try Blinkist at the top right, and entering the code MANNIX.

Let us know what you thought of this episode, or just come say hi on Twitter! Find Caitlin at @caitlinschiller
[3], Ben at @bsto [4]. Simplify is produced by Caitlin Schiller, Ben Schuman-Stoler, Ines Bläsius, and Marta Medvešek. Thanks to Luiza S. Carvalho for audio engineering chops and Odysseas Constantinou for music.