Podcast on death, love, grief and hope launched by Mark Longley

A new podcast about death and the complex journey of grief has been launched by Mark Longley, the father of murdered teenager Emily Longley.

Death: A podcast about love, grief & hope, developed by Newshub, is about the journey people go on after losing someone.

It's also about how people can help those who are grieving.

Mark, the managing editor of Newshub digital, told The AM Show that the podcast began as something he was keen to look into, but morphed into a larger project he hopes will help people as they deal with grief.

"The idea started as just a little story, because I'm a journalist and there were a few things that I thought were interesting about the process and I wanted to examine those, and it kind of morphed into this podcast now, which is a great thing.

"I just wanted to do something that got people talking about death, it is still one of the social taboos but it is going to happen to all of us."

The podcast is informed by Mark's own experience with grief, having lost his daughter Emily in 2011 when she was murdered in the United Kingdom.

"I just thought that's impossible, she was over in New Zealand the week before, it can't be, it can't be her. I got on a flight and thought I am going to get to England and I am going to go there and it won't be her, it will just be a big mistake."

He said it wasn't until he saw his daughter and touched her face that he truly realised what had happened.

"It was just seeing her lying there on this bed, with this white sheet over her, and she just looked like she was asleep. I went in and I just touched her face and it was cold, and that was the moment it hit me.

"It was the most horrific moment, and I thought, I really thought, I am not going to get through this."

But he did. Eight years on, Emily is still part of Mark's life.

He wanted the podcast to reflect the fact that there is a ray of light and way through the darkness, hence the podcast also focusses on an aspect of hope.

Within the podcast's three chapters, Mark talks to people reflecting on their own experiences of grief, such as someone who lost their father to suicide and another whose grandmother passed 20 years ago, but whose loss is still keenly felt.

He said while there are clear emergency plans for people when disasters, like earthquakes, strike, when someone dies "we are not prepared for that".

"Emotionally, there is no plan."

He believes "closure is crap" but people can help support others who have lost loved ones through small - but still significant - actions or a simple, "I am sorry".

"The best thing you can do is to just be there for someone and let them know you are there for them. That might just be going around making them a cup of tea."

Mark said the notion of "don't die with the dead" was important and, while he initially thought it was a bizarre saying, it's now something he believes in.

"There comes a point or a series of points when I think I am not going to die myself, whether it is emotionally or physically, I am actually going to reinvest in my life."

Death: A podcast about love, grief and hope is available on RovaiTunesSpotifySoundCloud, and all major podcast platforms.

See more at newshub.co.nz/podcasts

Newshub.