A LAST[ING] LETTER
A Lasting Letter is a letter written to someone you care about, someone 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.
Your letter can take many forms: long or short, thank you, I love you, I’m sorry, I need to tell you something.
What has surprised me is that while we are focused on the letter and its recipient, the process has proven heartening and enlivening for the letter writer as well.
Each letter is unique: each voice, each intention is individual.
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My name is Frish Brandt. I am a 'letter midwife.'
With careful listening, intuitive questions, and heartfelt conversation together we will find the words that form your letter. Listening is as much a part of my practice as writing.
Last[ing] Letters began as a service provided through hospice, healing circles, chaplains and palliative care doctors and has grown to include anyone who has a lasting letter they wish to write to a loved one.
While a diagnosis is often an incentive, living and loving can be catalyst enough. We are all mortal; some days we are more aware of this than others.
Everyone has a letter in them.
How does the process work?
Start with an email to me. You only need to know that you wish to write a letter – not necessarily who you are writing to or what you wish to say. We'll find your words together.
We'll connect and find a time to talk.
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. I will then share a draft of the letter, we'll refine it and continue until we've got the right words and thoughts that make the letter uniquely and truly yours.
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How much does this service cost?
Money should never stand in the way of a letter.
My service is available on a sliding scale: $75-300 for a letter depending on one's comfort zone. The people who pay for my service allow me to volunteer it to others.
I volunteer my services to hospice and palliative care patients through organizations (e.g. Stanford Health Care, Hospice by the Bay, Commonweal, and others). Referrals come from all directions and are not exclusively health related.
A Conversation and Demonstration with Frish Brandt, Sponsored by UCSF (November 2020)
Why You Need to Make a 'When I Die' File–Before It's Too Late, Time Magazine (August 2019)
Lasting Letters: Leaving a Legacy Behind, KALW Public Radio SF (October 2017)
Creative Jump-in: Lasting Letters with Frish Brandt, Sun Valley Center (March 2016)
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. Frish listens to the heart speak and then distills all that verbal noise into something essential and pithy and meaningful. – Brenda
I don’t know how to thank you for setting me free from the hidden baggage I had kept locked up. – Kyle
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.
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
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. – C.M.
I would give anything to have a last communication from each of my parents. – M. C.