Joél Simone Anthony
My name is Joél Simone Anthony. I am a licensed funeral director and sacred grief practitioner in Atlanta, Georgia. Originally from Beaufort, South Carolina, I was raised in the heart of Gullah and Geechee culture. Spirituality has always been a huge part of my life and professional approach which is deeply rooted in ancient wisdom passed down from community elders, generation to generation. During my decade of service in the funeral service industry, I fashioned my unique background and professional experiences into a caliber and style of care and comfort that guides countless families toward healing through the exploration of alternative practices designed to help you navigate and heal through your journey with grief. ​It is my life’s work to educate everyone –regardless of faith, race, age, or status – that death, dying and grief are sacred and transformative to our journeys as human beings.
Tanya Ball
Tanya Ball (she/her) is a Michif woman currently living in amiskwacîwâskahikan (Edmonton) in Treaty 6 Territory and Métis Region 4. She is a PhD Student at the Faculty of Native Studies where she researches Michif experiences of death and dying and a co-host for masinahikan iskwêwak: the Book Women Podcast, which is a podcast about Indigenous Storytelling.
Mandy Benoualid
Mandy is the co-founder and editor of TalkDeath, and co-host of the #TalkDeath webseries. She is also the founder and President of the online memorial platform, Keeper. Mandy’s work has appeared in national and international publications, she has been a featured presenter at professional funeral and cemetery conferences and was recently featured as an industry innovator by American Funeral Director Magazine. Mandy works part time as a Funeral Director’s Assistant, and plays music in her free time.
Megan Carmichael
Megan thinks and writes about the intersection of death and daily life for her blog, www.dailylifeanddeath.com, and other publications. Her background in marketing and wealth management led to working in the deathcare industry after the loss ofher mom in 2017 and dad in 2019. She lives in Ventura, CA with her husband and two young children.
Jeremy Cohen
Jeremy Cohen is a PhD candidate in the Religious Studies Department at McMaster University and received his M.A. in 2016 from Concordia University. His work explores contemporary death rituals, technology & Transhumanism. I am interested in the cultural and history context of Transhumanist ideas, and issues surrounding contemporary death practices.
Steacy Easton
Steacy Easton is a writer, and artist from Edmonton, and now living in Hamilton, Ontario. They have shown visual work in New York, Chicago, Hamilton and Toronto, and is in the collection of the library of the National Gallery of Canada. They have written for Macleans, Pitchfork, Spin, The Atlantic, The Walrus, and a number of other publications.
Claire English
Claire English is currently completing course work in the Judaic Studies stream of the PhD Religion at Concordia University. Her research examines the intersections of Disability and Judaic Studies. Her dissertation research will examine the social and cultural dynamics of Jewish Deaf communities in New York City in the period 1880-1940. Other research interest included sensory and material anthropology, and the history of emotions.
    Shelby Forsythia
    Shelby Forsythia is an Intuitive Grief Guide, author, and podcast host. After the death of her mother in 2013, she became a “student of grief” and set out on a lifetime mission to give voice to the oft-misunderstood experience of loss. Through a combination of practical tools and intuitive guidance, she helps grieving people reclaim their power and peace of mind after death, divorce, diagnosis, and major life transitions. Her work has been featured on Huffington Post, Bustle, and The Oprah Magazine.
    Alica Forneret
    Alica Forneret is a facilitator, writer, and Grief Guide who creates spaces for people to explore their grief. She is fiercely committed to making sure that we have more conversations about grief, death, and dying - whether that’s at home, at work, or with strangers on the bus. Alica is a member of the BC Women's Health Foundation’s Young Women's Council, an Associate Board Member of Our House Grief Center, and hosts end-of-life events across The United States and Canada. Alica’s written work has been featured on the pages of popular magazines and books, including (but not limited to) GQ, Modern Loss, Grief Dialogues, Vancouver Magazine, and Kinfolk. And her story and voice have been featured in the NY Times, LA Times, Women’s Health, Psychology Today, CTV News, Grief Out Loud, InStyle, and more.
    Rafaela Ferraz
    Rafaela Ferraz is a a writer of short stories, essays, and a variety of articles on strange, slightly macabre, and often overlooked chapters of Portuguese history. She blogs at rafaelaferraz.com, conducts research on the collection and display of human remains in Portugal on Patreon, and tweets @RafaelaWrites
    Dr. Kami Fletcher
    Dr. Fletcher is an Associate professor of American & African American History at Albright College. Her newest course entitled “African American Deathways and Deathwork” examines African American norms and ideas surrounding death as well as encourages students to see how death intersects with race, class, gender, religion, region. She is the author of “Real Business: Maryland’s First Black Cemetery Journey’s into the Enterprise of Death, 1807-1920”. She is also the co-author of the forthcoming volume Till Death Do Us Part: American Ethnic Cemeteries as Borders Uncrossed (University Press of Mississippi, March 2020). Currently, Dr. Fletcher is working on two manuscripts: The first, co-authored is First 100 Years of Black Undertaking in Baltimore. The second is a co-edited volume, Southern Cemeteries, Imprints of Southern Culture.
    Sarah Giavanio
    Sarah Giavanio works at Safe Passage Urns, a company dedicated to providing the best information for funeral planning and also selling one-of-a-kind cremation urns to memorialize a loved one. Safe Passage Urns is very mindful of the environmental impact we invoke which is why starting in September of 2018 we will be planting a tree for every single urn sold, to help offset our environmental impact.
    Yvonne Heath
    Yvonne Heath is married to her best friend Geordie—a paramedic and all round great guy—and they have three amazing children and are loving life in beautiful Muskoka. She has been a registered nurse since 1988 working in ten different hospitals in the US and Canada in many areas including emergency, intensive care, the delivery room, chemotherapy, palliative care and hospice. Yvonne is the author of Love Your Life to Death, anInspirational Speaker, TV and radio host and social media guru and Founder of the I Just Showed Up movement.
    Ellen Newman
    Ellen Newman is Co-instigator of the Good Green Death Project and a licensed funeral director specializing in green, natural and family-led funeral, burial and end of life care options. She is a graduate (2014) of the Contemplative End of Life Care program at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Toronto and currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Green Burial Society of Canada. Her other work includes hosting/facilitating the Halton Hills Death Café, serving as a member/trainer for the Infant and Pregnancy Loss Doula program of the Home Hospice Association and on the the National Lay Chaplaincy Steering Committee of the Canadian Unitarian Council. She firmly believes that if people do not know what options are available to them, they do not have any. Ellen is committed to working toward change that allows for a more participatory, empowered experience at the end of life.
      Rachel Osolen
      Rachel Osolen is the Social Media Manager and Staff Writer at TalkDeath. She is a seasoned writer with publications in poetry, academia, and short stories. She has a BA in English from Dalhousie University and an MLIS from the University of Alberta where her research focused on Digital Archives and Online Memorials; specifically The Hart Island Project. Her current writing and research focuses on Death Positivity, History, Folklore, and Culture.
      Jill Schock
      Jill Schock received a Master’s Degree in Ethics and Theology from Vanderbilt University and was trained and certified as a Clinical Chaplain, or Spiritual Counselor. She has 10 years of clinical experience working for various hospitals and hospices as a spiritual (but not religious) multi-faith minister.   Jill is a native to Los Angeles, California.  With a benevolent work ethic, her years of clinical experience and unique personal background, Jill is an exceptional guide to those facing end-of-life. 

      Guest Submissions

      Can I write for TalkDeath?

      If you are an academic, reporter, freelance writer, death care worker, or just a general weirdo goth with a story to tell, we want to hear from you.

      We do not publish articles from SEO farms and marketers.* Seriously. Don’t email us.

      *If you offer products or services in the field of death care, please feel free to contact us.

      What types of stories are you looking for?

      We are open to pitches on any number of stories, topics and themes. Some include:

      • Evidence-based articles around timely issues related to death and dying;
      • Perspectives and opinions from/about marginalized and underrepresented voices;
      • “Explainer” articles of historical or cultural significance;
      • Personal narratives, which would appeal to a wide audience.

      Here are some examples of guest submissions that showcase the types of articles we might consider:

      Race & The Funeral Profession: What Jessica Mitford Missed

      Rainbows in the Cemetery: LGBTQ+ Representation on Gravestones

      Michif Storytelling: Connecting Us To the Dead

      Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories and Reopen Protests as Death Denial

      How do I pitch to TalkDeath?

      Before pitching an article or submitting a draft, please consider searching our website for similar topics that have been published (we do welcome different perspectives on the same topic!). Note: If your piece gets accepted, the editorial process could involve revising, restructuring, and/or condensing of your draft.

      1. Submit a pitch in the body of an email. Write a paragraph or two describing a) the topic you’d like to write about and the basic points you want to make; b) any personal or professional experience you have that qualifies you to write about this topic.
      2. You can send us completed drafts as well. If submitting a draft, please send us an email with a Word file or link to a Google Doc file. See our Submission Guidelines for Writers for more information.

      Do you pay for submissions?

      If your article is accepted for publication we’ll discuss specifics with you.

      Contact Us Here