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Contemplating Death And Mortality

Benjamin Davies
While it may be sad to think about the limited time people have to live, philosopher Scott Samuelson says, “by remembering our days are numbered, by remembering we don’t have forever, we're reminded that we’re supposed to make the most of the time we have.”

On this episode of Talk of Iowa, host Charity Nebbe and her guests talk about death.

Scott Samuelson, associate professor of Philosophy and the Humanities at Kirkwood Community College, joins Charity Nebbe to discuss how death has surrounded Iowans in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and what society can learn from the great philosophers about death.

Funeral home director Michael Lensing has spent much of his life helping families and individuals as they travel through loss and grief. Lensing expresses his thoughts about death and how people have adapted funeral services and grieving as the pandemic alters burial norms.

Jazz musician and composer John Rapson is living with terminal cancer. Rapson shares what he’s thinking and what he’s learned from his experiences contemplating his own mortality.


· Scott Samuelson, associate professor of philosophy and the humanities, Kirkwood Community College

· Michael Lensing, co-owner, Lensing Funeral Home & Cremation

· John Rapson, composer, trombonist, pianist and recording artist, University of Iowa


Charity Nebbe is the host of IPR's Talk of Iowa
Matthew was a producer for IPR's River to River and Talk of Iowa