Entries by Deb Brandt

Letting go language

There’s something about the idea of “letting go.” People often say things to those who mourn gauging somehow for them whether or not they are progressing after their major life loss. They say things that reflect their own measuring of the speed they perceive someone should be moving forward or letting go. As in, Have […]

Power Outage

A thunderstorm blew through our area last week taking with it the power lines behind our neighbor’s house. The lights went out and stayed out. All night and into the next day. Being without electrical power reminded me of the kind of powerlessness that comes with a loss. After a death has occurred, after the […]

Beyond stages to process

We’ve all heard them; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance. The stages of grief Elizabeth Kübler Ross developed through her studies in the 1960s of those who were dying. Without a doubt, Ross influenced and continues to influence our understanding of death and dying. Eventually Kübler-Ross also applied her research to grief. In the opening chapter […]

Cigar boxes

For some not-quite-known reason, I’ve had a penchant for cigar boxes. While living in San Antonio a friend took me to a local cigar shop where I found I could purchase empty cigar boxes. The boxes were an inexpensive treat—most were wood with unique little latches. They have dove-tailed corners and of course are printed […]

Be a life observer

There is a cupboard in my home office filled with journals dating back to my college days. If I were to randomly pull one out, I know I would read about the weather, books I was reading, quotes from things I’d seen and some things I wrote about which now seem unimportant. I might also […]

Adult Orphan

Someone today asked me about pictures of my young self. Photos from my childhood—the years when I was smallest—are actually missing in action. Even though my garage holds boxes from my mom’s closet full of photos and home movies, the ones representing the early sixties are not there. In fact, I don’t know where they […]

What sustains you?

What are the things you do, every day, on weekends, when you are weary and need inspiration? What are those particular activities that support you? Does it look like sharing a meal with a friend or spending time with a paintbrush? Is it being in your spiritual community; attending church, meditating with others, practicing yoga? […]

Are we right for each other?

Working with a life coach—or in my case, a creative grief coach—is a very personal process. Your loss or losses may have left you feeling particularly vulnerable. Life itself may feel uncertain. And, in the pain you are experiencing you may not be sure how to recover your sense of self. Grief may be clouding […]

Journaling: being a life observer

Were someone to read my journals across the years they might discover detailed descriptions of the weather, gardening developments, the process of housebreaking a puppy and other minutia of life. While journaling might not make for exciting reading, it has been the soil in which I’ve composted my observation and writing skills. The practice of […]

Foam Finger Celebrant

At a recent networking event I introduced myself as a funeral celebrant. The person I introduced myself to said; “Does that mean you wave a foam finger in celebrating the person who died?” As it turns out the foam finger points to the one thing a funeral is about: telling the story of a life. […]