Death Knell

Death Knell is a monthly podcast about understanding grief after death. Each month, we interview two people with changing themes—dead parents, long distance, guilt—and try to find the similarities between the two gulfs. Obituaries are told every day. We do the follow up.
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Death Knell



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Aug 18, 2017

It is Death Knell's one year anniversary, and for it, we have a special episode that includes multiple guests from our first season. For Episode 10, we ask just one question: What was the worst of it? No two stories are alike, no two deaths are the same. 

Jul 13, 2017

For this month's episode, we spoke to two artists—musician Scott Ferreter and cartoonist Anders Nilsen. In 2005, Anders suffered the death of his fiancé. In 2013, Scott lost his father. Both artists responded to their grief by creating something—Anders, two books, Scott, a record. We spoke to both of them about how they turned their grieving into something public and what it meant to release that something to the public. 

Scott's music can be found at, and Anders' work can be found at


Apr 13, 2017

This month, for our eighth episode, Death Knell speaks with guests David Buskirk and Mitra Sapienza about the loss of their spouses, Kathy Buskirk and Jason Walker. David and Mitra both lost their partners to cancer, and both became de facto caretakers during the final stages of the illness. David and Mitra's stories sometimes overlap, but each had very different approaches to their grief. 

Mar 14, 2017

On this month's episode, Death Knell visits Oakland resident Gloria to talk about her friend and companion Russell, who died in 2012. Gloria and Russell grew together, Gloria said, and Russell was a constant source of support for her career, her studies, her life and her interests. 
Gloria discusses her plan for grieving, how she reached out to Russell's family and the importance of having something to remember a person by. 

Jan 12, 2017

On this month's episode, Death Knell takes a brief departure and revisits some older material from interview's past. The isn't a lazy clip show, though! This episode showcases three former guests all talking about having conversations with their loved ones after they died, and how those conversations affected their grief.

The conversations happened in dreams, in rituals and through psychics. The conversations happened somewhere else... out there. 

Dec 15, 2016

This month's episode, Holidays, is all about handling the first holiday after the death of a loved one. Our guests are Bryanna Tapia, whose dad died in 2006, and A.R. Vallejos, whose dad died in 2016. 
Bryanna Tapia is the cousin of Death Knell host David Ruiz. When she talks about her father, it is David's uncle, his mother's brother. She and A.R. discuss Thanksgiving and Christmas, and what was expected of them after the death of their dads. How did they participate, did they have anything to be thankful for, and what do they remember most. 

Nov 10, 2016

Mothers Rosanna and Kathleen talk about grieving after the deaths of their young adult daughters and about the international support group Compassionate Friends. 

Oct 7, 2016

Guests Johnathan Doojphibupol and Lauren Lavin talk about losing a roommate and brother to suicide. 

Oct 4, 2016

Guest Ned Buskirk talks about his monthly San Francisco show You're Going to Die and what he's learned about grief after hosting it for years.  

Sep 27, 2016

In the very first episode of Death Knell, host David Ruiz and guest Courtney Brown discuss the grieving process of a dead father and mother.