a last[ing] letter
A Lasting Letter is a letter written to someone you care about, someone who you wish to hear your voice and read your words long into the future. Sometimes referred to as a 'legacy letter,' this letter holds the words that carry one's voice forward in time.
The letter can take many forms: long or short, a memento of a moment or a history of a lifetime, a connection made or missed, an instruction or a confession, a love letter, and everything in between.
Each letter is unique: each voice, each intention is individual.
Everyone has a letter in them.
• • •
While a diagnosis is often an incentive, the fact is we are all mortal.
Writing a letter is a comforting and creative act, focused on the future at a time when so much feels so finite. At a time when there is much gravity, the people with whom I work find the letter-writing process uplifting.
My hope with this work is to bring comfort and fulfillment to both the letter writer and to the letter receiver.
where to start
Start with an email to me.
No need to be clear yet on what you want to say or to whom you are writing. You should only know that you wish to write a letter. I’ve helped write "thank you" letters; "I’m sorry" letters; "I need to tell you something" letters; and so many others. You may not know what your letter will be until we begin. We will figure that out together.
Then, we'll make time in-person or over the phone to talk about the letter you are thinking about. Typically, the first letter-writing conversation will take 60-90 minutes: I'll ask questions, we'll chat, and the letter will start to take shape. Together, we'll edit the letter until we've got the right words and thoughts that make the letter uniquely and truly yours.
My name is Frish Brandt. I am a ‘letter midwife.’
With careful listening, intuitive questions, and heartfelt conversation I will help you find the words that form your letter. Listening is as much a part of my practice as writing.
Last[ing] Letters is the focus of my work which I provide through hospice, healing circles, chaplains, palliative care doctors and others who are interested. I have been practicing and providing this service for over five years, and through that time I’ve completed over 100 letters; and still, each letter has its own unique voice.
thoughtful things people have said about this work
Very few have the capacity for such empathy. Even fewer can translate that into the poetry of the written word.
– Tina K.
Your letter... is a treasure beyond all words... The way you see the world, hear it, imagine it, then craft it so others can step inside and feel your embrace...even when you are not in the room. It is a gift that transcends space and time. It is lasting.
– Dawn G.
While the letter retains my story and voice, it's not something I could have done on my own. You can listen to the heart speak and then distill all that verbal noise into something essential and pithy and meaningful.
Your work with my mother was life changing for us.
– Tara V
I'll never forget the aha moments I had with you when writing the letter to my grandma.... I'm much more patient and compassionate with her now, which is a true gift.
– Dara K.
I don’t know how to thank you for setting me free from the hidden baggage I had kept locked up.
These kind of stories and processes help push the soft, beautiful edges of hospice into the light of those who otherwise just don’t know!
– William, hospice worker
You captured the essence of what I was trying to say… Beautifully written. I felt heard. You made me feel safe and validated.
– Julia H
I wish I had you to work with my mom while she still had her voice and thoughts. Though I know she loved me deeply, it would be lovely to have her thoughts.
I would give anything to have a last communication from each of my parents.
– M. C.