MISSOULA — Death is a topic that is often difficult to talk about, and for some rarely ever discussed.
Missoula resident Sarah Bolstad has started a podcast called "I Speak Dead People" in the hopes of opening the door for sharing, for healing, and discussion on a subject that impacts almost all of us deeply.
“This podcast just gives you a better understanding of how to approach that topic, how to approach death, and how to find comfort in it, find comfort in one another," Bolstad explained.
The first of Sarah’s now 16 episodes aired in October of 2020, but the inspiration for it all was the inner-turmoil, growth, and healing she experienced from the loss of her father over seven years ago.
Bolstad says each episode teaches her something new.
“I really get involved with these episodes and these people in these stories, you know after I finish these and talk to my guests on the show, I feel like I know these people now, so I kind of just let it sit with me.”
Her most recent guests, Ryan Simon and Taylor Prideaux, opened up about losing a close friend to suicide while attending Sentinel High School over a decade ago. Simon says his experience on the “I Speak Dead People’ podcast, and the response has been a positive one for him.
“It’s something that our class never really sat together and had a discussion about. Off-the-bat, when she told me she was doing this podcast, I immediately saw the value of it, and then the follow up to it, all of the messages I got on Instagram and social media from other classmates and Sentinel students have been really positive and grateful.”
To this point, all 16 episodes have involved native Montanans, and have covered a variety of losses in a variety of ways. Bolstad says she can see the topics expanding toward other forms of trauma as she hosts more guests.
She hopes her podcast will not only make death a more comfortable topic to discuss, but also to make listeners feel more comfortable about approaching others who may be feeling the effects of the loss of someone they care about.
“I know it sounds cliché, but we’re not alone in all of this stuff, and just because it’s scary to talk about or difficult to ask your friends about, I think this podcast just helps you understand that a little bit more about ourselves and each other," Bolstad told MTN News.
Bolstad says she’ll continue to release an episode of I Speak Dead People about every two weeks, with the next release expected sometime in early April. You can find the I Speak Dead People Podcast on Spotify, any podcast listening app, or by clicking here.