The sweetest words for growing beyond grief

Deb Brandt

Deb Brandt

Certified Funeral Celebrant, Creative Grief Practitioner, Professional Writer and Educator

Celebrant Services

As a certified funeral celebrant, I am a story-catcher; listening for and collecting the stories of a family and their precious loved one. Collaborating with family and funeral directors, I develop highly individualized memorial or celebration of life services that tell the stories of a life well-lived. Together with family members, I remember the one who has died while creating the space for mourning to begin. Service elements may include music, stories, video tributes and poetry, as well as traditional practices.

Creative Grief Practitioner

As a certified creative grief practitioner, I accompany individuals searching for wholehearted living after significant losses. Using writing, painting, collage and other artistic practices, I help clients tap into their own resilience to reconnect with life again.

As a grief educator, I facilitate workshop and class offerings ranging from creating remembering journals to writing to self-care for those who mourn. Most recently, I have offered basic grief and self-care strategies for primary caregivers.

Recent Blog Posts

The Grief Diet

What I've been reviewing lately is how hard it can be to fix meals in a time of loss. After a long work day, I find myself staring into the refrigerator and freezer and noticing delicious and healthy supplies—and still not being able to choose. Sometimes when I...

Grief garden

Digging, chopping, pulling, pushing—shovel, hoe, pitch fork, wheel barrow. Working in my weedy vegetable garden in recent days I began to think about the how much this physical effort is a mirror for grief. Mourning the loss of someone or something seems...

What’s on your Plan B list?

In the months after my mom died (nearly 10 years ago) I participated in a grief support group offered by a local hospice facility. One of the takeaways that has stayed with me across the years it to have a plan in advance. That empowering thought—have a...

What a World!

"What a world! What a world!" – The Wicked Witch of the West In the movie The Wizard of Oz we’ve all watched the as the Tin Man awakens, the monkeys fly, and the Wicked Witch laments "What a World! What a World!" melts. In recent days, in the face of all that seems...

A Place Called Between

In his book Life's Journeys According to Mister Rogers, Fred Rogers writes: "I saw a friend who's a freelance writer and asked him what he was working on. "Nothing right now," he answered. "You know how it is with freelancers. But at times like this I tell myself I'm...

How will you feather your nest?

On my windowsill sits a deep bird nest. Made of mud and straw its original location was in a lean-to barn on my parent's farm. The bird who built the nest took advantage of a hanging roll of barbed wire—high up in the barn, isolated and relatively safe from...

The Stories We Tell

"The man tells his stories so many times that he becomes his stories. They live on after him. And in that way he becomes immortal." - Big Fish Over this past weekend I watched the movie Big Fish. While I won't say anything that might be a spoiler if you haven't seen...

Campfire inspired memories

I love fires; campfires and fires in fireplaces. Some of my fondest memories of childhood include the experiences of fires. I grew up in Girl Scouting—and spent fall weekends camping with my troop where our fire was a key feature of creating "home" away from...

Waiting through grief

I often hear the idea that one should wait a year before making any major decisions after a significant loss. And while well intentioned, this thought often leaves the mourner with an expectation that the one year mark holds some magical opportunity or relief from the...

What is a Funeral Celebrant?

As a funeral celebrant I have been trained and certified to meet the needs of your family after the death of a loved one. I serve families by preparing and providing a funeral service that is personalized to reflect the personality and lifestyle of the deceased. Learn more

Purchase My Book

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Reg: $13.95
Your Price: $10.35

Listen: art and story

Listen to Deb's writing experiences and upcoming opportunities on Indy's Art of the Matter with Sharon Gamble on WFYI Radio.

Click here to listen

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Working with Deb

“When you are grieving someone or something you’ve lost, there isn’t an answer or solution or just the right words to make you feel whole again. Working with Deb was a gift within my grieving. Deb’s gentleness and thoughtful listening was so compassionate.

There was healing kindness within her silence, between and among her words. She followed my lead, guiding me gently toward connection allowing me to celebrate my memories and live fully within the sadness of my loss. She helped me. My heart opened around her in a unique and unguarded manner.

It was with the utmost gratitude and highest respect that I recommend her to anyone who is working to grow within and ultimately beyond grief.”

- Jill


Certification in Creative Grief Support