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Season 2 #11 Liam McCarthy

This is part 5 (and the last!) of the mini-series of 'Who will look after me when I get old' and we are discussing death. My guest is Liam McCarthy, a death doula (also known as an end of life doula). Liam is based in Youghal, Co. Cork and is a civil celebrant for weddings, baby naming ceremonies and funerals.

We discuss what a death doula does, how our relationship with death has changed and why we need to be able to talk about death and grief more openly, for both practical and emotional reasons. We also discus funeral options, budgeting and the benefits of planning ahead for our own deaths and funerals.

This was a really informative and also very enjoyable conversation, with quite a few laughs along the way, despite the topic.

Episode Transcript:

Margaret O Connor 0:10 Welcome to season two of the Are Kids For Me podcast. I will continue to speak to people in a range of different circumstances about their personal and/or professional experience of answering this question. Thank you so much for your positive feedback on season one, and I really hope you find these episodes useful. Margaret O Connor 0:31 My guest today is Liam McCarthy. Liam is based in Youghal, County Cork and is a civil celebrant for weddings, baby naming ceremonies and funerals. He has a love of ritual and ceremony and respects all traditions and beliefs, including nonbelief. Liam is also a death doula. Today we discuss what a death doula is, how our relationship with death has changed, and why we need to be able to talk about death and grief more openly for both practical and emotional reasons. We also discuss funeral options, budgeting and the benefits of planning ahead for our own deaths and funerals. This was a really informative and also enjoyable conversation with quite a few laughs along the way, despite the topic. Margaret O Connor 1:11 So Liam, I'm delighted to talk to you today. Thanks very much for taking the time. Liam McCarthy 1:15 Hi Margaret. Margaret O Connor 1:17 So we're here.. kind of rounding off for our topic of who's going to look after us when we get old. And we're kind of arriving at the end of that topic which is looking at the end of life and death issues. So you have a few different titles but end of life doula or death doula is one of them. So would you would you be able to tell us what that is in case people don't know? Liam McCarthy 1:42 Okay, so a death doula, traditionally every Parish, every community had the person who was sent for when somebody was dying. The.. you they might have been the Keener or the person that would lay out the dead, the person who understood what was happening, the process that was happening. I, my title would be a doula, but a lot of the community now would refer to us as EOL doula, which is end of life doula, not using that big bad word. Margaret O Connor 2:29 Yes, Liam McCarthy 2:30 You know, which is, you know, which is death, you know, but like, we, we shouldn't be afraid of death. Because, as I say, death is all around us. It's even, even in our own lives, we think our life is permanent. But like, our grandparents pass on, our parents pass on, our aunts, uncles, friends and friends, parents and like, if we think about it, it is always along our life. You know. And then, of course, you know, new people come into our lives along the way, and then they leave our lives, because then they might get a job or whatever. So they're gone out of our lives, and that in its own way is a death too, it's a change. You know, and in all of that, there is grief. You know, and that's where we're really at, you know, so, Margaret O Connor 3:51 Do you think we're different in Ireland, because a few people have mentioned this, that, you know, we're quite, almost secretive about death, or that there's some kind of taboo about talking about it, is that particular to us or is that everybody do you think? Liam McCarthy 4:07 It would be.. It wouldn't be particular to us, it would be a more modern thing. Because as I say, like, you know, death always happened at home, until you know, maybe 70/80 years ago, when it started happening in hospitals and when somebody did die, they were brought home and there were if they weren't at home when they died, they were brought home. The were waked at home, possibly on the kitchen table. All the neighbors came in around, they all rallied around the family. For those days, the family wouldn't have to cook or anything, all of that was done. And it wasn't that you had to send out for it, the word went out that Mary had died. And all the neighbors came in, and they all had their own, you know, one one person was, was good at baking, another person was good at organizing parking, another person was good at something else, and they just went, and they did what needed to be done. Do you know and but now, the funeral director will go and collect the remains at the hospital and take them to the funeral home. So that that has all been moved from our home. You know, and maybe we're a little bit poorer, for that. Margaret O Connor 5:59 Okay..We can have less, almost less interaction with death. Liam McCarthy 6:03 Less interaction with death, and, and then that maybe puts a bit of fear in us. You know, it puts fear in us. Firstly, you know, facing our own death from the point of view that we are no, we're no longer going to be there, but also from the point of view of, well, you know, what, what's going to happen? Who's going to do this and who's going to do that? And who's going to do the other? You know, that's all an issue as well. You know, I would be a great proponent, and this is a lot of what end of life doulas would do, sitting down and talking about death. You've heard of the concept of death café? Margaret O Connor 6:52 Yes, yes. Liam McCarthy 6:53 Yeah. So like, there is nothing to be afraid of, sit down, cup of tea, a bit of cake and talk about death. It's a it's a lovely idea. But also in, in just the practical things of actually planning. You know, do I do I want a church funeral? Or do I want to civil funeral? Do I I want this reading? Do I want that music? Do I want to be kept at home? Do I want to be cremated? Margaret O Connor 7:31 They are such personal choices. Obviously (laughter). I'm even thinking Geez, I don't know the answer like to half of those questions. So then how would somebody else know for me? Margaret O Connor 7:45 You know, that's, that's the thing. And, and, like the, it's nice to control it, to think that you can have some little bit of control. Margaret O Connor 8:00 Absolutely. Liam McCarthy 8:01 On these things. And okay, you might not have the final say. But as far as you're concerned, you'll have you'll have had the final say, you have you've planned it out. You have it. You have it done. And most most families, you know, children, nephews, nieces, friends or whatever will follow those wishes, if they are actually there. Yes. Yeah. Because it takes away the whole issue of well, actually, she she'd rather that or he'd rather this, you know, so it gets rid of all of that, you know. Margaret O Connor 8:42 At a time that is usually challenging enough anyway, nevermind having to sort all that. Liam McCarthy 8:47 Yeah. Yeah, indeed. Margaret O Connor 8:49 So, when, would you normally get involved or when would somebody call you? Liam McCarthy 8:54 I could be called in at any point along a person's life. I could be called in because somebody might be experiencing grief of a parent or a significant other. And I would be helping to get around that. A lot of people would go through that and possibly through that and say I don't want this to happen when my time comes. And then they will come along and they will look up somebody like me and sit down with me. Sometimes it's when they've been to the doctor and the doctor has sat them down and had the chat. You know, like, I know, doctors are great, and all of that. Some sometimes the bedside manner mightn't be great. Yeah. And news can be landed without the entire implications being gone through. Margaret O Connor 9:08 Yeah, you know, as well, you know, people don't always have the time to go through everything or follow up maybe in the way that they might like, like, yeah, yeah, Liam McCarthy 10:34 Yeah. And, you know, so, like I can be brought in at that stage or somebody who has a significant person in their life who has had that experience could call me in to help them in order to help their significant person in their life. You know, so it's huge the area where, where I can be involved, you know, Margaret O Connor 11:12 And the focus there is those discussions and plans and options for a person? Liam McCarthy 11:18 Yeah, yeah. Like, a lot of time as well, people will want to maybe, maybe talk about their life. And their history. Do you know, and that's all part of it, as well, you know, trying to make sense of where they've come from, to this point on. It's basically about sitting and giving time for the person to talk. And, you know, put this out there. Margaret O Connor 11:58 It sounds lovely. Like, I have to say, I didn't know it was a thing up until very recently (laughter). But it sounds lovely, it sounds a really lovely thing. To be able to give somebody that care and attention and time to do that. Liam McCarthy 12:14 Yeah. It is. Like, we would be complimentary to the to the hospice movement, insofar as the hospice movement are dealing with the, with the actual physical bits and pieces, and, you know, while dressing wounds may be needing to be dressed, and all of that painkiller pain relief be given and all of that, and that's, that's their field, and they're great at it. Yeah. And an end of life doula will never impose on that side. But then there is the whole, you know, how am I facing myself up for this? For this journey really, I suppose, you know, you know, like, I suppose growing up, we were always kind of certain that maybe, maybe there was an afterlife. Yes. And that that was, but you know, look, today, that's not as certain as it used to be. You know, but yet, most people have a feeling that there is something more than just us. Lots of people will call that mother nature. You know, other people will call it God. And I, it's not for me, to say it's God, or its mother nature. Or it's star dust. You know, it's, it's all of them. And it's none of them. You know, and it's, it's just about bringing peace, you know, and acceptance. You know, and yeah, like, we've, we've all had experiences. You know, we, we might feel that it's something out there or it could be something in our heads that we put a construct on. Yeah, you know, but look, either way, if it gives comfort. Yeah. You know, that's, that's the important thing. You know, and it's very, very important to be aware of that with a capital T which gives meaning to life, whatever that is. Margaret O Connor 15:05 Yes, yeah. Liam McCarthy 15:07 Okay, it could be Mother Nature, it could be God. It could be. It could be Allah, it could be Budda, it could be any of those.. mother wind. You know, as long as you can experience that as love, that's the important thing. Margaret O Connor 15:30 Ok..So those things are kind of put into focus, I guess if if we if we feel we need to make these kinds of..not quite decisions, but you know, get some clarity on those things. for ourselves. Yeah, yeah. Okay. Yeah, would it be part of your job to be there kind of when the person actually dies? Liam McCarthy 15:51 Yeah, I am a funeral celebrant. I was.. a number of years ago, I went and did a bit of training in that side of things. Because I felt that where where people as I said while ago about, you know, some people, you know, God is is very important to their life, and that's fine. Other people, God isn't so important. And it might be Mother Nature is important to them. Or maybe they feel that there is nothing beyond the big switch switch it off, and that's it. You know, but whichever way, to me, it's important to celebrate the life lived, rather than what I would have maybe interpreted that the life should have been, yes, you know, so that, you know, like, if, if, if I'm, if I'm performing a funeral ceremony, and somebody wants to bring as, as a memento of the person's life, maybe a can of beer or cigarettes, if that's what if that's what reminds that person of their loved one, it's not for me to say you can't do that. You know, I, I did a funeral recently. And the family..actually, the person gone had said that they wanted the laughing policeman song played, and he, his wish was for cremation. And he wanted 'smoke gets in your eyes' when the when the curtains were closed. And the other thing that he had stipulated was that he wanted 'always look on the bright side of life' as the final piece of music on the day. Yes. And he didn't want the cleaned up version, he wanted the original Monty Python version you know. Margaret O Connor 18:28 That is quite a popular funeral song apparently, I've I've heard that somewhere else. Yeah, yeah. Liam McCarthy 18:33 Yeah. And, like, the thing about it is, like, who am I to criticize his choice of music? You know, that was that was that was him. You know, you know, I wouldn't be for saying, oh, you must have religious music. And, you know, on that again, if that's what they want, I have no problem with religious music (laughter). But the focus has to be on the life lived. And it has to be on the family left behind. And if if the person that's gone, if if this is the message that they want to leave their to their loved ones, you know, that's the important, that's the important message to get across. You know. Margaret O Connor 19:40 And, and what are the options now, because again, I don't really know about this, like, so for funerals, I suppose traditionally, it was a church. Liam McCarthy 19:49 Traditionally it would be church, or meeting house or your synagogue or whatever, you know, church or chapel.. so that those options are are there. From a non from a civil point of view, a funeral can be held in a funeral home or in a person's own home. Now, a lot of the time, families will, will feel that, that family home is too small to accommodate a crowd and therefore, you know, maybe the likes of a funeral home, or that would be acceptable. A lot of the crematoria have what they call special space or sacred space which can also host a funeral. I have I've heard of funerals happening in Connolly Hall in Dublin. And I know there was one held in the Cork Mart building in Fermoy. Margaret O Connor 21:13 Oh wow. Liam McCarthy 21:16 Now it is possible to have a funeral in a hotel or, or a community hall or a community center or that but lots of lots of hotels and that mightn't be quite so... they would need to be spoken with (laughter). And, you know, a lot of them would think the idea of bringing bringing a coffin into a into a function room in a hotel might not be the right thing to do. Margaret O Connor 21:55 So so it is it is possible to have a funeral that does not involve a church element at all if you don't want to yeah, Liam McCarthy 22:03 Yeah. The local GAA Hall, the local Rugby Club, if they're prepared to. Yeah. Margaret O Connor 22:10 Okay. You know, and and then you can still be buried in a graveyard (laughter)? Liam McCarthy 22:18 Yes. Okay. Yeah, yeah. You can actually be buried in your own in your own property as well. But I would, I would suggest if that's what you want to do, to get on plan it well in advance and clear it with the council, because they would be they would be looking at it from the point of view of if the grave going to be near a water source or something like that. Do you know, but generally, you can be buried in your own property. Big problem with that is if your successors want to sell on. What do they do with Uncle whoever out the back? But, you know, Margaret O Connor 23:16 Okay (laughter). Okay, again, I didn't know that! Liam McCarthy 23:18 Yeah, but it is possible. Margaret O Connor 23:21 And I think Karen was mentioning that there are rules around scattering ashes that maybe people aren't familiar with, are there conditions? Liam McCarthy 23:30 Generally in a public space, there isn't no. Now, if you want your ashes scattered in the local in the goalpost of the local GAA club, obviously, that's private property. So you need to get permission from from the GAA club or the rugby club or whatever, you know. If scattering ashes on a beach or or scattering ashes, you know, that that's not a problem. Generally. What is a problem is if you decide to bury your ashes, at home, right, and then you're you're selling up and moving on, and you want to take the ashes with you. You actually have to get an exhumation order to exhume the ashes once they're buried. Now you can put them in a shrine in the garden once they're once they're above ground, and you can take down the shrine and move it. But if you bury the ashes, they're regarded as as the same as any remains that are buried. Margaret O Connor 23:39 Right..Okay, good to know (laughter) There's uh, yeah, that's interesting. Yeah. I can't remember if you used that term but I've seen is it.. this idea of eco burials or..? Liam McCarthy 25:16 Green burials and eco burials and that yeah, that's where, where the the remains aren't aren't embalmed. Margaret O Connor 25:30 Oh right. Okay. Liam McCarthy 25:33 And usually unpolished timber is used in the, in the coffin. So that basically you're not introducing chemicals or poisons into the ground. There is a green burial site in down in Wexford I think it is. That's the only as far as I'm aware, that's the only totally woodland natural burial ground. A lot of council graveyards now are coming to the thing of having having a part of the cemetery set aside as a green or eco burial site. Some, some people will go for shrouded burials and not use a coffin at all in those circumstances, you know. Margaret O Connor 26:42 Ok... is it wicker? Liam McCarthy 26:43 Wicker, yeah, yeah. That's that is that is an option that's used and that can be used in any cemetery. Okay. The wicker it's just another another form of, of wrapping, I suppose you know. Margaret O Connor 27:10 Yeah...I suppose you know, bringing two taboos together, the cost of funerals (laughter). Again, it's not something that's maybe talked about here. I'm struck, because I've been at home a bit more lately, watching TV during the day on some of the British channels, they've loads of ads for, like, planning for, like savings, and insurance and crematorium plans and stuff like that, you don't have that here that I'm aware of. Liam McCarthy 27:39 We do actually do it here. Margaret O Connor 27:41 Oh ok! Liam McCarthy 27:43 Most undertaker's will will do a pre pre pre pay option. Okay. The other option then is is to go to go to your local undertaker and discuss with them and they will say to you, it's going to cost x. So 5,000..7000 whatever, just take a figure out of it. So what quite a lot of people will do is they'll go to their local credit union and now they may put in, you know, 100 a month until they get to that level. And that's there they know that that's there for The undertaker. Yeah, it can be expensive. And undertaker's would be generally encouraged now that before the funeral happens, that the family are aware of the cost. Because you it would wouldn't be fair on the family to you know, to go for the dearest option inadvertently. Margaret O Connor 29:13 Yeah. Yeah, Liam McCarthy 29:14 You know, like the funeral directors, they work by a code. Basically look, you know, this is going to cost you whatever you know. And do you know then at least the family know. But, again, getting back to the whole thing about planning, wouldn't it be a lot better if the family weren't put in that situation? And you go and you talk to your undertaker, or you talk to the likes of me, or you you know somebody that will do that intermediary work for you? Or do you know, because like any any undertaker you can walk into them. Well, maybe not at the moment because of COVID. But under normal circumstances, you can walk in any day and you can talk to the to them. And you can say, look, what is this going to cost my family when my time comes. And you can make arrangements for it, as I say, some undertaker's they will have a prepaid paid plan, where you can actually pay them the amount, they will put in an extra bit to allow for inflation. And I think generally, like, we'll say, the way they work is that, that that price might hold for 10 years. And in 10 years time, you just go back, you look at what it's costing, and you might add a little bit more to take it for the next 10 years. Or you go to your credit union, Yeah. And you, you say, look, I need to have 7,500, there for, in the event of, you're putting so much a week or so much, maybe you have it, you put it in your account, and you mark that in a special account, you know, for that and then you know, the family aren't going to be landed with this huge bill. You know, and like you always have the thing, like you going to any undertaker, they will be able to show you a coffin that will cost maybe 1,000 and they can show you a coffin that can cost 20,000. And if you're planning for yourself, you'll be quite happy to go into one for the thousand (laughter) because you know where it's going. Whereas if you were planning for Dearly Beloved, or if you were in the situation of being bereaved, and you're going in and you're, you know, picking on, you know, Auntie Mary, or mammy or whatever, and you go for the one that's costing 17/18/20 thousand.. And, and Margaret O Connor 29:44 Yeah.. Liam McCarthy 30:56 Yeah. ..I I know, a lot of people if they realized the price of the coffin they were put into, they would be spinning inside (laughter). You know, but, look, that's what it's all about. It's all about pre- thinking. Margaret O Connor 32:45 Yeah, absolutely. Liam McCarthy 32:47 And not being afraid to talk about death you know. Margaret O Connor 32:51 Yeah absolutely... Liam McCarthy 32:51 You know we, we meet death an awful lot more than we realize, along our journey in life. Maybe if we weren't afraid to, to realize that we're meeting death along the way we mightn't be afraid of him..or her (laughter) as the case may be, you know so. Margaret O Connor 33:21 That's really, really interesting. And I know I say this a lot but it's like, every little thing is its own world. So like, this is its own world of information and terms and options. And so I suppose it's always better to be informed to know what your options are I think. Liam McCarthy 33:37 It is, it is definitely, definitely. And like it is a pity that the village in inverted commas, that the village mentality that was there, isn't there now, you know, where all the neighbors came in and, you know, that was so.. it took so much off the family. Yeah, you know, you know, when, like, you would have had a carpenter would have made the coffin. Three or four strong, strong lads would go and dig the grave. You know, the people that were good at baking baked goods, and, you know, and that was all, that was all done without the family needing to ask. Margaret O Connor 34:32 Yeah to show support, I think it probably it does still happen in some areas, but not as much, or maybe not as automatically as it used to. Liam McCarthy 34:40 Yeah, not as automatically I suppose. Margaret O Connor 34:43 Okay. And really again, and you know, this is a theme that has come up a lot like these issues are relevant to everyone. So whether you have children of your own or not, Liam McCarthy 34:53 Oh totally, Margaret O Connor 34:55 These decisions still will have to be made and are maybe just complicated differently whether you already have children or not, I guess really.. Liam McCarthy 35:03 Yeah. Yeah. And like a lot of people, you know, they, they won't necessarily want to discuss issues around death with those that they are closest to. Because they will feel that they don't want to upset them. Okay. Now whether that's your children, whether it's your nephews, nieces, your significant partner you know, a lot of people won't want to burden them, with maybe fears that they have themselves, you know, or issues may be around, you know, what's happening and what's going to happen at the end. Yeah, you know, am I going to I going to be afraid? Am I you know, is it going to be painful you know, and all of these things, and they won't want to talk to the, to their to their nearest and dearest, do you know, as I said, significant other or their children or nephews, nieces, whatever, you know, so somebody that they can.. somebody that's a little step sideways of that, they'll talk to. I remember a while back I was talking with with a woman who knew she was dying. Her family.. this was back before doctors were were inclined to tell all to the patient. The family had told her that she had a hernia. And like she said to me, you know, look, I know, I'm dying. I know what I have. I have cancer. And that's it. And, you know, and we had a great chat. And, like, I spoke with the family, maybe about a month after our funeral. And family said to me, well, at least she never realized you know, what she what was happening you know. And like she did (laughter). It was kind of in maybe October, November. And she had said to me that she she would live to see Christmas. But she wouldn't be she wouldn't live much beyond that. And she died in early January. Margaret O Connor 35:14 Oh, wow. Okay, Liam McCarthy 35:58 You know, and then, and the family never, never realized, yeah, that she actually had figured the whole thing out. You know, and that was that that incident actually happened before I was a doula, you know, (laughter). Margaret O Connor 38:15 I'm assuming the family were well intended but it isn't dealing with the reality is it.. It's not like pretending she doesn't know or her telling or her not telling them she knows.. it's, yeah, Liam McCarthy 38:29 Yeah. But look, you know, it was her way of dealing with it. And a lot of people even today, they will know it themselves, the doctor will tell them, you know, you have six months to live, and they don't want to, unburden all of that on their significant other. You know, and maybe it's something that needs to be negotiated between the person that's dying and their family, or their loved ones or their significant others or whatever. You know, that whole process of, of letting them know, dealing with and dealing with it and facing facing it. You know, and this is where the death doula or end of life doula comes, comes in. Do you know? Basically, we hold space to allow the person to express what they want to express and how they want to express it. Margaret O Connor 39:32 Fantastic. Okay, so I guess, again, just showing the the range of options or range of supports available, so whether it's maybe linking in whether it is, you know, linking in with the funeral director or whatever it is, but there's information available, it's not something that people have to do by themselves, you know, the planning and the information on that is there and support is there Liam McCarthy 39:57 And support is there to help people through that planning. Of course, like we all have, you know, we think about what's what's going to happen to the 5 euro in my pocket when I'm gone. (laughter) And we don't think about what's going to happen me. Yes, absolutely in the run up to it or what will happen me when I'm gone? But we have no problem going to the solicitor about the five euro in my pocket? That's where we are. That's the field that we're in and holding space for the person. Margaret O Connor 40:42 And just to clarify, so somebody could go to you and do the planning. They don't have to had a diagnosis. They don't have to have anything, but just to put the plan in place and have the discussion. They could do that. Liam McCarthy 40:53 Yeah. And have the discussion. And if they want, if they want me to help have the discussion with the family, I'm available for that, as well. So I, I'm not just saying me, all doulas, that's that's what we do, you know, we are there in that space. And to help with the grieving process afterwards. And maybe the grieving process beforehand, because, obviously, if, if, if I was to be given a diagnosis in the morning, I would be grieving for my plans I had for the next five years. Yeah, I would I would be grieving those because I wasn't going to be around to have those. So that grief, that grief has to be held as well. Margaret O Connor 40:53 Yeah, and I think I do still think we're pretty good at the the funeral parts, but I see it, I suppose in my work, my general counseling work, it's after that, after the funeral, and after the three days or whatever it is. Yeah. It's almost like you're expected or people feel that oh, yeah, you should kind of get over it... don't be crying you know three months later or whatever, which is completely unnatural to expect.. Liam McCarthy 42:18 Yes yeah it is completely unnatural. There are seven steps of grief. It's an it says it's here, here, here. And you know, you're, you're following a straight line. Yeah, yeah, but it's not, it's more like a ball of wool. You know, it folds back on itself. And all of that, you know, and, like, I say, really, grief is you never fully get over grief. But you learn to live the new reality. Yeah, yeah, that has been created by that passing. You know, like, you'll, you'll always have trigger moments that will trigger a grief will trigger the grief that you have had for your mother, or your father, and they might be different trigger points. And you'll, you'll grieve a friend, you know, on a different trigger point as well. It's just that they will get probably get well, the hope is that they get a little bit further apart. You know, and that's but you know, you will for the rest of your life, there will be trigger points that will trigger that grief. Margaret O Connor 43:48 And I think just normalizing that because it's a bit like what you said with the sanitizing it, you know, you're expected to kind of be over it in a week and not be upsetting other people are being a bit 'hysterical', if you're being emotional, which is really really not helpful. So support with that is very important. Margaret O Connor 44:04 Yes, that's, that's another field and that I do, now at the moment, we can't do it because of Covid, but I hold grief circles where people are, much like the death café idea where you come in, and you can sit down amongst friends. Now, obviously, if there's something major, it needs to be referred to the likes of yourself, you know, but just for peer to peer support. Yeah, a cup of tea and a bit of cake and a chat. You know, and obviously, if does, you know, a major issue, it needs to be referred to but Margaret O Connor 44:51 Yeah, but space I think is really what you're saying, creating space to allow these things and yeah, help them work through, it has to be worked through. Liam McCarthy 45:00 Yes, you know, and it is totally natural, to to be upset. And you allow that space, you know. And like it can't, it can't be over after a months mourning. Margaret O Connor 45:16 God no. Well it really, it sounds like an amazing service that you offer and really, really important. So thank you so much for.. I'm after learning another load of information so thank you for that. Liam McCarthy 45:31 (Laughter) What struck me a couple of times, like if you listen back, we are talking about death, and grieving and all of that. If you listen back to us, we've laughed quite a lot. Margaret O Connor 45:45 Yeah that is true (laughter) Liam McCarthy 45:47 Yeah, and you know, so in the midst of of grief and being somber, there is laughter. Margaret O Connor 45:56 And, again, I suppose my poor partner is used to me saying very strange things, but I've been very excited to talk to you. So like, all week, I was like, oh, I'm talking to, I'm talking to the death doula on Friday. He's like, oh, Jesus, you know.. Liam McCarthy 46:12 (laughter) Margaret O Connor 46:11 But yes, absolutely. Really, really interesting. So it's lovely to be able to do that and bring that quality. So. So thank you very, very much. I really appreciate that. Is there anything you think we've missed or anything you would like to add? Liam McCarthy 46:27 No, I think we, I think we've done quite a good job. I think we have, and a most enjoyable chat. Margaret O Connor 46:38 Brilliant, thanks a million. Liam McCarthy 46:39 Okay, thank you. Margaret O Connor 46:47 Thanks very much to my guests for taking part and to you for listening. I would love to hear your feedback and any suggestions for other topics you would like to see covered in this series. I would also love to build a community of like minded people, so please follow the Are Kids For Me pages on Facebook and Instagram if you want to find out more on this topic. I look forward to hearing from you and watch out for the next episode coming soon. Transcribed by

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