Available now wherever you get your podcasts!
Sept. 6, 2022

4: The Death of Her

4:  The Death of Her

In a super sized episode, Kyle McMahon discusses the final days through the final moments with his Mom before pancreatic cancer took her life.

Then, Kyle talks with Dr. John Goodill, Chief for the section of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in Department of Medicine at ChristianaCare, about what Palliative and Hospice care. 

Finally, Kyle talks with Death Doula and holistic death care professional Karen Karnatz about what a death doula is and what they do.


In a super sized episode 4 of Death, Grief and Other Sh*t We Don't Discuss, Kyle McMahon discusses the final days through the final moments with his Mom before pancreatic cancer took her life.

Then, Kyle talks with Dr. John Goodill, Chief for the section of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in Department of Medicine at ChristianaCare, about what Palliative and Hospice care are, their differences, what to ask for yourself or a loved one and more. 

Finally, Kyle talks with Death Doula and holistic death care professional Karen Karnatz about what a death doula is and what they do, what her two decades in death care has taught her and how she sees death as beautiful as life.


"You Are My Sunshine"
Performed by Kyle McMahon
Written by Jimmie Davis
Peer International Corporation (BMI)
Copyright © 1967. All Rights Reserved.

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John Goodill, M.D. Profile Photo

John Goodill, M.D.

Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Education and Outreach at ChristianaCare

Dr. John Goodill is the Chief for the section of Hospice and Palliative Medicine in Department of Medicine at ChristianaCare. He started and now participates on the inpatient Palliative Care consult service. He is the Director of Supportive and Palliative Care Education and Outreach at ChristianaCare and has been a key figure in advancing Palliative Care at CCHS and across the state.

He has also been integral in the passage and implementation of Delaware Medical Orders for Scope of Treatment (DMOST) and is the current state representative to the National Physician Orders for Life Sustaining Treatment (POLST) Program. He is currently Co-Chair of the ChristianaCare Ethics Committee and Chair of MSD Ethics Committee.

He is the past president of the Delaware Quality of Life Coalition (DQOLC). Dr. Goodill also participates on the Addiction Action Committee (AAC), a state-wide group tasked with trying to decrease the opioid abuse problem in the state. He represents the Medical Society of Delaware on this committee.

Dr. Goodill completed his internal medicine residency at ChristianaCare. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Pulmonary Medicine and Hospice and Palliative Medicine. He has been on the medical staff at ChristianaCare since 1987 as a pulmonary specialist and more recently as a palliative care specialist.

Karen Karnatz Profile Photo

Karen Karnatz

Holistic Death Care Professional / Death Doula

In 1997, I enrolled in Mortuary College and began my embalming apprenticeship. I have devoted the last 23 years to death, dying and bereavement, and am an expert in the realm of death care.

I have the receipts to back it up; I have worked as a funeral director, embalmer, cemetery manager, cemetery broker and crematory manager. I am always honored when I am asked to use my skills to assist my community - I grieve and support by working. I stay in touch with the needs of my community and my death care peers by never losing sight of where I came from, and continue to work with families in funeral home and cemetery settings.

In 2005, I became a certified Celebrant through the InSight Institute based in Oklahoma City. Through their training, I learned to officiate funerals and soon after graduating, I understood that was the thing I was meant to do. I have assisted thousands of families during my tenure in death care, and have created over 100 funerals and weddings. Not only do I enjoy writing, but I also love public speaking.

If you look online or your local bookstore, it is easier than ever to see death care professionals educating the public on “good death” practices. Leaders like Caitlin Doughty and Alua Arthur are inspiring a new generation of death care providers. Like them, my passion is sharing the knowledge I have gained over the last 20 years, and helping others to be active participants in the death and dying process.

In January of 2021, I decided that my next step was to focus on grieving, as we are going to be doing a lot of that after the pandemic leaves us in shambles. I enrolled in the University of Wisconsin Certificate Program to become a Grief Support Specialist and earned this certificate in March of 2021. Fire Under the Night Sky was a surprise; the outline became my final project for the course.
I had thought my project would be something to use at the funeral home to better help the families we serve grieve their loss. Instead, I realized that I had my own grieving to do, and I needed a structure to guide me through it. In talking to my therapist, I realized that little deaths are everywhere, and we need to acknowledge and grieve them all as they happen.

I care about doing all death better, and I want everyone else to care about it, too. Death is broad; it is not just people that die, but ideas and how we identify ourselves. That means we need to talk openly about the losses we experience and how we grieve. There is a sea change coming. We can point to the influx of self-help books on ritual and guided journals to know that people are ready to start addressing this part of themselves. I also see it on social media. I recently congratulated an influencer on Instagram, as she detailed a funeral she held for her married self, as she was in the middle of a divorce. I saw this as confirmation that ceremony is making a comeback and I am here for it!

Fire Under the Night Sky contributes to the growing search for the ritual and ceremony we have lost as we moved away from organized religion. Writing and speaking is my art form. Fire Under the Night Sky is my second completed work, and my first published book.