Nannette Mickle’s work life is a surprising and diverse series of next-things. She’s been a candy and cigarette girl, she’s worked in social services providing housing opportunities for unhoused folks. Back in the 90s, she once understudied as Bobby Brady in a notorious live show directed by Jill Soloway. And these days, she sits bedside with dying people, and helps her clients create self-actualized death plans. I wanted to talk with Nannette, because she embraces new work opportunities in her life with so much curiosity and joy, and makes plans to move on if the work fails to compel her. As a bit of a malcontent in my own work life, this conversation was a real salve.
Nannette Mickle is a joyful death doula who embraces mortality as a way to fully experience life. An enthusiastic ballet aficionado and irreverent forever-goth, Nannette dreams of ways to help others navigate towards a more self-guided and actualized end-of-life. Traveling, petting small animals, and sitting bedside with hospice patients are just a few “musts” in her life. Curious about making a death plan? Check out Nannette’s website at welcomedeath.com.
Becoming a death doula; David Bowie’s death; meditation; our cultural denial of and glorification of death; non-linear career paths; the Real Live Brady Bunch, “exercising yes,” or “practicing yes;” when you end up dating your housemate; making lifelong friends and community from your connection to certain workplaces; creating friend community, particularly as queer folks; finding satisfaction in work and being “entertained” by it; trading off more money for work experiences that you enjoy; pink collar jobs; creating balance between work and other aspects of our lives; creating a death plan, end of life celebrations, and legacy projects to cultivate a more meaningful death experience.
Tibetan death and dying practice:
On being driven by our anxiety about death, see Ernest Becker’s The Denial of Death:
(groundbreaking, but certainly dated) and Terror Management Theory:
The Peachy Puffs
The Real Live Brady Bunch
Jill Soloway – the creator of the Real Live Brady Bunch, and more well known as the creator of Transparent and as a writer/producer on lots of critically acclaimed TV shows. Note: Jill is nonbinary and uses “they” pronouns now, and Nannette and I were not aware of this when we recorded the show. We offer our apologies to them for using the wrong pronoun.
San Francisco’s New Dawn Cafe, RIP
Catholic Charities’ Homelessness and Housing services
Walden House San Francisco
San Francisco’s Sparky’s Diner, RIP.
Future Farmers of America
The performance troupe, nonprofit, and more, You’re Going to Die:
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