"Death Doesn't Bother Me, Anyway" Pt. 5

December 7, 2014

In the conclusion of the story of the end of Dan Pierotti's life, we hear from his wife Judy just a few weeks after Dan's funeral, last spring. She was working on remembering Dan as he was 20 years ago, and she still is.

When we talked with her this week, Judy said she first listened to the complete, five-part version of Dan's story alone, at home, so she wouldn't have to worry about whether the tears would come. "It was like I was being punched in the gut, hearing Dan’s voice again," she says. "It was hard to hear the difference between when I recorded him two years ago and when Seth came and recorded him. When I hear that voice from the last eight months, I have to stop and think, 'This is not the Dan I want to remember.'"

Seth Jovaag, the independent producer who interviewed Judy and Dan, first approached To the Best of Our Knowledge about doing a piece about green burials. He met Dan and Judy Pierotti while looking for a person to interview who was planning a more environmentally-friendly burial. From the first meeting, Seth was moved by Dan and his stories of working as a Lutheran minister, and working in the civil rights movement with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. We expanded the scope of Seth's story when Judy and Dan agreed to let us tell the story of the end of Dan's life.

"We were both very open to it," Judy says. "It was one of the ways Dan had of giving back. I just think that this is a subject that needs to be discussed in our lives and in our world."

Althought Judy says it's still too painful for her to listen to the full death series, she knows that other people are hearing Dan's story, and that it's helping them. "People that I hardly even know are coming up to me and hugging me on the street, and thanking me for doing this," Judy says. "I can’t go anywhere right now, without someone thanking me."

We're thanking Judy and Dan too, for sharing their story with us, and with you.