Sept. 22, 2021

Zenith Virago sees death as our birthright

Zenith Virago sees death as our birthright

What do you think will happen when you die?

Do you contemplate your own death? Or the death of your loved ones; maybe your partner or even your kids?

It might sound weird for me to ask those questions, but why? Death is the most natural part of life. We’re all going to die at some stage. It should be one of the most familiar parts of our society, yet for whatever reason we shield ourselves from death.

We tell our children lies about the dog running away. We put blankets and sheets over bodies at the hospital. We allow private companies to take our loved ones away and bury or cremate them for us, thus separating us from experiencing that natural process.

My guest today, Zenith Virago, is a 'deathwalker', or 'death doula'. She works with people who are dying, dead, or bereaved and she helps to usher them through the process of dying; both the philosophical and emotional elements as well as the practical and legal options of what we can do in those situations.

In this conversation we cover a lot of things, including how the medical system classifies death as a failure and the influence that this view has on our society. Ee talk about the language around having a 'battle' or 'fight' with death as if we’re fighting Nature and separate from it.

We talk about the patriarchy and how we live in a world run by boys, not real men and women, and the influence of commercialisation of the death industry and how it disconnects us from the process and emotions that we go through when we’re around death in a natural way.

We talk about her experiences as a child and the small moments that have added up over time to make her stand up for who she is and what she believes in.

And, like so many things, we talk about how we can question the status quo and take responsibility of and accountability for what happens in our life, including navigating death!