Current track



This American Life

738: Good Grief

Grief gets a bad rap as something to avoid. But what happens when you confront it? At this moment of unimaginable loss, stories of people reckoning with grief, and what they learn.

Juan Bernabeu

Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION.

Ira talks with comedian Rob Delany, who suffered the worst kind of loss a parent can endure — the death of his two-year-old son, Henry. Rob describes what his grief has been like and what he’s learned from it. (11 minutes)

Producer Chana Joffe-Walt wondered what it was like for surviving MTA employees coping with the loss of their co-workers due to Covid-19. She met one in particular who’s had a hard time saying goodbye. (12 minutes)

Here’s the memorial video the transit authority in New York City made to remember its workers who died from COVID.

Producer Sean Cole has, unfortunately, experienced something known as “cumulative grief” this year. He writes about the multiple upheavals he’s been dealing  with. (13 minutes)

Producer Bim Adewunmi travels to the site in Minneapolis where George Floyd was murdered by a police officer. It’s become a huge, make-shift memorial, big enough to absorb the grief of all-comers who wish to pay homage. (10 minutes)

One of the 590,000 casualties of Covid-19 this year was Leiah Danielle Jones. She was one of the “long haulers” and she died in March 2021, but not before writing her own obituary. (7 minutes)



More Episodes:

  • 742: The Thing I'm Getting Over
    In this summer when we're trying to recover from everything at once, stories of people trying to define what recovery means for themselves. Chase Friedman was in an accident that... Read more
    Published on: 2021-07-25
  • 436: The Psychopath Test
    We heard about a test that could determine if someone was a psychopath. So, naturally, our staff decided to take it.  Ira explains that when the radio staff decided to... Read more
    Published on: 2021-07-18
  • 741: The Weight of Words
    Words mean things, but some words are especially meaningful. Jennifer Heuer What does God get out of us praising him? Or is it actually for us? (7 minutes) Shamyla always... Read more
    Published on: 2021-07-11
  • 740: There. I Fixed It.
    Solving problems using very extreme measures. Olivia Fields Note: The internet version of this episode contains un-beeped curse words. BEEPED VERSION. Ira Glass talks to Sam Ashner, whose debilitating fear of spiders... Read more
    Published on: 2021-07-04
  • 539: The Leap
    Most of us go from day to day just coasting on the status quo. If it ain’t broke, why fix it—right? But when routines just get too mundane or systems... Read more
    Published on: 2021-06-27
  • 506: Secret Identity
    A bank robber on an undercover mission. A teenage girl with the powers of a tiger. A vigilante seeking vengeance in Ciudad Juarez. All have secret identities. But not all... Read more
    Published on: 2021-06-20
  • 739: Sisters
    Sisters build worlds together, worlds that are just for them. Stories about the bonds between sisters and how they get broken and fixed—or not. Emanuele Berry and her sister. In... Read more
    Published on: 2021-06-13
  • 74: Conventions
    Remember conventions, before the pandemic? When people with one common interest gather in monstrous, fluorescent-lit halls for the weekend. Sometimes they drive each other crazy, sometimes they fall in love.... Read more
    Published on: 2021-06-06