Colin Campbell is an author who knows a lot about grief. When Colin and his family were hit by a drunk and high driver that killed his two children, his life was sent into a whirlwind of grief, pain, and isolation. This grief led him to write “Finding the Words: Working Through Profound Loss with Hope and Purpose” to help us understand what it takes to accompany people in their grieving process. His personal experiences has helped him to navigate the human tendencies that we all face when we experience loss or in our efforts to accompany others through their pain and grief.
In this Interview on the School for Good Living Podcast, Colin joins me to talk about confronting pain to help us have good living. In this interview, we discuss the profound losses that we face in life and some techniques we can use more quickly and fully get to places of peace, joy, and love. We also discuss some of the hardest parts of helping others who are grieving and finding the words to help them through it. Colin believes that we can all find common ground in the ways that we grieve despite the individual ways that we all find to avoid it. Ultimately, this conversation with Colin can help us to navigate being with others who are grieving and how to open ourselves to others when we are the ones in that position.
“A lot of the trouble in the world comes from avoiding pain.”
This week on the School for Good Living Podcast:
- Understanding profound loss
- Colin’s motivation to write Finding the Words and the crash that killed his children
- Accompanying people in their grief
- Deciding to say yes when our pain guides us to say no
- How to be a friend to someone in grief
- Taking action on pain and grief
Colin Campbell [00:00:00] Once we lose someone who is central to our identity, it rocks our meaning and purpose. Life means seems meaningless and purposeless when we lose someone who’s really integral to our identity. And it takes a while. It takes an active, I think, active pursuit of meaning to get back.
Brilliant Miller [00:00:19] Hi, I’m Brilliant, your host for this show. I know that I’m incredibly blessed. As the son of self-made billionaires, I’ve seen the high price some people pay for success and I’ve learned that money really can’t buy happiness. But I’ve also had the good fortune to learn directly from many of the world’s leading teachers. If you are ready to be, do, have, and give more, this podcast is for you. The fact is, if you love someone, you will lose someone or they will lose you. So says my guest today, Colin Campbell. Colin has written a book called Finding the Words: Working Through Profound Loss with Hope and Purpose. Colin explains that love and loss are inextricably linked, that grief is a universal human experience, that we all feel the pain of loss that we’re taught about love from the day we’re born. And yet death and grief are kept shrouded in mystery. Colin wrote this book in the hopes of making grief less frightening, mysterious, and lonely. For those of us who suddenly find themselves on this difficult journey. I was interested to read this book because I am interested in the question What does it mean to live a good life and how can we do it? And grief is something that we don’t want to face. We hope we never do. When we do, we often don’t have a road map for it. We don’t have a model of how to do this in a healthy way, an effective way, that kind of thing. But I discovered Colin’s book. I began reading it and I was deeply moved. I found myself moved to tears on more than one occasion. And I believe that whether you are currently in grief, whether you’re grieving, whether you are not, or whether you love someone who is. This book can be helpful, is full of practices and ideas to help you not only make sense of, but to move forward in life, to engage deeply with life, and maybe even to find meaning and purpose on the other side or alongside a grace that you might be expressing. So with that, I hope you find something valuable, something meaningful. In this conversation with my new friend Colin Campbell, you can learn more about Colin and his work at ColinCampbellAuthor.com or you can find him on Instagram at Colin Campbell, writer on Instagram. So with that, please enjoy and I hope you benefit from this conversation. Colin, welcome to the School for Good Living.
Colin Campbell [00:02:49] Thank you. Thank you for having me.
Brilliant Miller [00:02:51] Will you tell me, please? What is life about?
Colin Campbell [00:02:57] Well, I think part of life for me is, you know, the search for purpose and meaning. I think that’s really I think that because that in turn, in my mind, leads to happiness, leads to fulfillment, leads to a sense of joy. Yeah. Okay.
Brilliant Miller [00:03:17] We’re going to talk a lot more about this, but I thought maybe a good place to just open this conversation is, if you will, please, will you tell me about your children? Will you tell me about Ruby and Heart?
Colin Campbell [00:03:27] Yeah. Thank you for asking. So, Ruby. Or should I just say the background of where they’re at right now, the fact that they were killed? Sure. That’s something I should be leading with. In case your listeners are going to get shocked by the reveal. But so Ruby was killed when she was 17 and Heart was killed, and she was 14, in 2019. We were struck by a drunk and high driver. So describing them as describing them when they were 17 and 14. And they were pretty spectacular kids. You know, I like to say that every parent thinks their kid was the greatest, but actually, mine were the greatest, actually, objectively. But no, they were. They were incredibly kind. That was the first word that comes to mind when thinking about Ruby and Heart. But Ruby was like a clown. He was like a class clown with a heart. He was always down for making a joke and creating a wonderfully ridiculous and hilarious character. So he was like he was an amazingly gifted performer. He would just launch into his character’s full body and would have all of his friends in stitches, kind of nonstop, kind of too much, actually, like at the dinner table, like, stop it heart. Just eat your food like a regular person, not like a character. But he was hilarious, but always, always kind. Always interested in being helpful to other people, which is really beautiful. And Ruby was an amazing artist. She discovered it kind of late in life. Her artwork. She wouldn’t do much art as a young kid, but around 15, she kind of discovered she struggled with OCD and depression and suicidality. And in sort of her darker moments, she discovered art as a way of processing her feelings. And that was sort of like a lifeline for her. And she really just seized on it and then loved it. And she was an autodidact. She would just absorb lessons from the Internet and then go, you know, So she discovered watercolors. And then something was amazing and pencil drawing and crayons and colored pencils and ink and paint. And so it was wonderful to see her artistic self explode animation to she created animation sequences and so inspired. I like to talk about her. The main character that she was developing was a Jewish lesbian vampire who fights Nazis, and she was so thrilled at the idea of a Jewish vampire because of course, the classic idea is that a vampire and you put a cross up and they go to the cross and she’s like, That wouldn’t happen to a Jewish vampire. They don’t care about a cross. She loved that idea.
Brilliant Miller [00:06:14] And as you said, they were killed in a crash, that you were in the vehicle.
Colin Campbell [00:06:19] And you’re wasting.
Brilliant Miller [00:06:20] Your wife, Gail, as I understand.
Colin Campbell [00:06:22] Yes. Yes. We’re both in the front seat. Yeah. What happened? Well, we were going to Joshua Tree. And for those of you who don’t know, we live in Los Angeles, and Joshua Tree is a very sweet little town in the high desert, about two and a half hours east of Los Angeles. And it’s right next to Joshua Tree National Park, which is enormous, the size of Rhode Island, the size of this park. It’s enormous and spectacular with amazing rock formations. So fun, too, to scramble up. And we had been scrambling up them for years, years and years, all four of us. We loved it. And that’s all we have left. Scramble up these rocks and we’ve just climbed these amazing rocks. And we were on our way to that town and we were struck by a driver who was, I said, drunk and high and speeding, going 40 miles an hour above the freeway speed limit. And we were T-boned. So in that scenario, you know, seatbelts don’t really actually help you when you’re T-boned, because the force of impact is so powerful that you know, you’re killed in the backseat. Yeah. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:07:30] And as you mentioned, so you’ve written a book where you share very honestly, very raw rawly of your experience of that night and the subsequent journey of grief. This book finding the words working through profound loss with hope and purpose. And I’ll tell you, I have not lost a I lost a father 14 years ago, but I certainly have not experienced a profound loss like you have. And you I read the entire book. I cried multiple times. I’m grateful to you for writing it and thank you. There’s so many distinctions and actions and practices and rituals and so forth, but I’m getting maybe a little out of myself there. I’m wondering if maybe we can start with this idea of profound loss. I thought your.
[00:08:16] Explanation of what that is is a very powerful book. Will you tell me, please, what is profound loss?
Colin Campbell [00:08:23] Yeah. Yeah. Thank you for pointing that out, because I think a lot of people, you know, I reacted to your statement. You lost your father, But it’s not a profound loss. And I was going to jump right in and say, Well, wait a minute, it could be. And so I think there’s a lot of comparisons of losses. You know, I think people just naturally say, oh, your losses are more profound than mine or I don’t I’m not allowed to grieve. And I really believe that what’s a profound loss is one that you define as profound. You, the griever. You’re the one that knows how important this creature was to you. Right. And so any loss can be a profound loss, if it’s profound to the person who’s grieving, if it really rocks their sense of identity. So, you know, even a pet, I think a lot of people with pets, they feel like they’re not allowed to grieve, you know, because it’s, quote unquote, just a pet. But if that pet is a central part of your identity, you know, it’s part of how you define yourself is the relation to your pet. And then the pet dies. That’s a that’s a blow to your identity. That’s a profound loss. Absolutely. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:09:26] That idea and I think I’m so fascinated, you know, as a coach, one who trains coaches, one who receives coaching, that identity to me is one of these things that we often live without really thinking a lot about. It’s almost like the skin. Right. It’s there. It keeps everything. And we couldn’t live without it. But we don’t think about it until it’s been somehow traumatized or violated or whatever. And this distinction of profound loss is something that causes us to, like, reorganize, to have to reorganize our identity.
Colin Campbell [00:10:02] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:10:03] That’s pretty remarkable. And so I’m grateful to you for explaining that. But let me ask more broadly, who did you write this for and what did you hope it would do for them?
Colin Campbell [00:10:15] Yeah. Yeah, I think I wrote it for a couple of different groups of people to varying degrees. So I think I started writing it for myself. I started writing it so I could just process my own loss. It was so overwhelming and so confusing. And then when I found when I started to write about it, it helped me organize my thoughts about it and helped me to literally be allowed to live alongside it in a different way. But I also very much wrote it for other people in grief who were struggling with specifically how to find community in grief, but also just in general, struggling with grief. I found that it was in a lot of grief groups, circles, and many times people in the circle would say things like, Oh, you’re going to lose most of your friends and family to grief because they’re going to abandon you. And it was such it was so prevalent. So many people said that and it was so shocking to me and my wife, Gail. The idea of losing our community on top of Ruby and Heart seemed like a heartbreak beyond their already broken hearts. And we could see that these other people in grief were really struggling with that. Really. It was really embittering and isolating. And Gail and I thought to ourselves, We don’t want to lose our friends and family also. We need them like we need them to help us. And maybe because we have a theater background or we’re just, I don’t know, comfortable reaching out to people, but we found ourselves proactively reaching out to our community in a very specific way to help them help us. And a sort of a light bulb went off in my mind, thinking this could be something that I could give to other people in grieving who maybe were struggling with isolation. We were struggling with ways in which they can find the words to express their own grief and also their own grief needs. Hence the title Find the words. It’s actually about the grief, griever. Find their own words, not people comforting readers. So, that was another reason why I wrote the book. And then. And then. Finally, I also wrote it because I felt like as a culture, the messages that I received from the larger culture about grief felt so wrong and off to me. Now that I am a griever, I have said so many misconceptions about grief. To my mind, I thought the grief was, you know, you go away all by yourself in a corner feeling really, really sad. And then after some certain amount of time passes, you’re fixed and you come back to society. And suddenly I realize that’s not at all. That’s actually the opposite. Because you don’t go away and get better. You need to be you need don’t need to be, but it helps to get better in community in order to process my grief, I felt the need to discuss it with friends and family. And so the idea that maybe we could upend some cultural misconceptions about grief also animated my desire to write the book. Hmm.
Brilliant Miller [00:13:24] What are some of the other misconceptions? What are some of the other things that we either get wrong or we just don’t understand about grief and the grieving process?
Colin Campbell [00:13:32] Yeah. Well, I think one important thing is that people who are, you know, faced with the challenge of helping other people who are in grief. I think there’s a there’s the thought of, like, what can I say to these people that’s going to comfort them, that’s going to take away their pain. Right. How am I going to make them feel better? And it feels such an overwhelming thing. What words can I say to fix this? But actually, that’s not what grieves need from their community. They don’t need to be fixed. They don’t need their pain taken away. They need their pain to be accompanied. They need to be in community with people who are willing to stay with them in their grief and loss and allow them to feel and express their pain, not get it taken away.
Brilliant Miller [00:14:14] Yeah, that’s one of the points in the book where I cried. I was so deeply moved is what you shared about. And I know you mentioned the doctor’s name, but after the crash, when it was clear your children had died. Mm-hmm. There was – it sounded like you and Gail had a very powerful experience with this very empathetic doctor. Will you sit? Will you share that?
Colin Campbell [00:14:37] Yeah, absolutely. So this is mainly the this is the first hours after the car crash that killed Ruby Heart. And so we’re in shock and, you know, almost unable to process what’s happening to us right in the moment. But I did notice a lot of people once we got to the hospital. So so basically, in my mind, Ruby and Heart were killed on impact. But they were they were CPR conducted and then they were whisked away in ambulances. And then ultimately Heart was flown to a second hospital with a picture unit, a pediatric intensive care unit, as it attempted to keep them alive. But so we were then taken to a hospital as well. We were taking the same hospital that Ruby was that her body was in, because we, of course, were also hurt in the crash. And I got the feeling that everybody was tiptoeing around us and didn’t want to tell us the truth, what was actually happening. And there was even I spotted a social worker. I knew this person was a social worker, and yet they avoided us. They did not want to come and tell us the news. Wow. I didn’t know. I was thinking like, Wait, isn’t that your job? Like, I No. Part of my brain knows that Ruby’s dead. I saw her. I held her hand. Why? They gave her CPR for 20 minutes. There was no breathing. There was no pulse. I know she’s dead, but nobody’s telling me that. It was such a surreal thing. And then finally, a doctor came forward and told us that, in fact, Ruby had died and that we needed to leave immediately and go to the other hospital to get to Heart. And he didn’t say to say goodbye to Heart Institute to go now and releasing you even though you still have his injuries, I would normally keep you. And so part of us together are like, wait a minute, why is he doing that? It’s because heart is dying, but no one’s saying. And then we get to the second hospital and the intake people don’t tell us. And there’s a social worker who doesn’t tell us, you know, that’s their job. And finally, this doctor, doctor, educator, I believe that’s how she pronounces her name. She came in and she sat us down and she said the truth, that that of course, we knew that Ruby was dead and that heart had died of three life ending injuries. So there was no way to help save him. Like he had three separate injuries, all of which were killing him. So we killed him. And he she said they’re keeping him alive on life support long enough for us to say goodbye, and then they’re going to have to pull the plug. But we shouldn’t use the word face, should phrase, shouldn’t use the word pull the plug. But then she said, Tell me about Ruby and Heart. And that was this extraordinary moment, because instead of backing away from our pain and just leaving us alone, she sat with us and leaned in and invited us to share our agony and pain. And that was such an amazingly brave moment. And it also taught me how valuable it is. Words how words are so valuable in that moment. Instead of wailing impotently, we had suddenly a task. We could talk about our beautiful children to this woman who wanted to hear about them. And it was such a beautiful way to handle the most excruciating moment of my life. Wow.
Brilliant Miller [00:17:49] Yeah, that is such a powerful lesson. One, you know, for coaches, certainly anyone who’s in the healing or serving arts of recognizing that people don’t need to be fixed, what is the pain doesn’t need to be remedial. It’s not your job necessarily to remove it, but to just be with what is.
Colin Campbell [00:18:11] Mhm.
Brilliant Miller [00:18:11] You know that. And then also this reality of many people, they just don’t know what to say. I think they don’t know how to act. And then what you just said about sharing when you did, you know this doctor that asks you the question and gives you this opening to, to act. And, and I love this sentence in your book, the surest path out of despair is by transforming our pain and loss into physical action.
Colin Campbell [00:18:37] Mm-hmm.
Brilliant Miller [00:18:37] And the fact that then you are able in that moment, that physical action is to talk, is to share. Yeah. And then this thing, too. And it’s right in the title of the book. So finding the words where you talk about when so many people thinking they were doing well, showing you love or compassion or whatever, saying there are no words, there are no words like over and over. You heard that?
Colin Campbell [00:18:57] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:18:57] Right. But if you please talk about this. But how with that accent actually does is create a gulf. Right. Mhm.
Colin Campbell [00:19:06] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:19:06] Because if there are no words there’s no point in talking and then there’s no connection and so forth. So you just share a little bit about because I wouldn’t have experienced that. I would have expected that.
Colin Campbell [00:19:15] Yeah. Yeah. I certainly didn’t expect it. So. So I do want to preface that some people in grief do. I’ve heard back from people who agree with me notes and say, Well, actually I like it when people said there are no words and every griever has their own experience with different phrases and things that, you know, set them off. And I don’t want to shame people who are trying. Right. All these people that said these phrases to me, they I understood where it came from. They came from a place of love. They’re trying to say basically that the anguish that I that’s that I’m feeling, that there’s no words that are adequate to express their love for me and the devastation that has been wrought upon me. And so so that sort of comes from a beautiful place, a place of trying to be empathetic and connecting. And so and I appreciated them in that moment. I never shamed anybody for saying that phrase to me. However, after about 100, literally 100 people have said it to me over and over again, I suddenly start to wonder about it. I was like, Wait a minute, what’s happening here? When they say this phrase? And usually it was the end of the conversation, you know, there are no words, you know, hand over the heart, a sad nod and then goodbye, goodbye. And actually I was like, wait a minute, I want words. I need words. I need words. Because otherwise, how am I going to process this? How am I going to understand what’s happening to me and how am I going to not feel terribly alone if everybody is saying there are no words? Goodbye. Good luck to you. And so suddenly became an emblem for me of everything that’s wrong with how we treat grief. Because I think it, you know, at some point, somehow all these adults learn this phrase, right? Nobody sat down and taught us that this is what you do, right? Someone loses their children or even two children. Well, definitely just say there are no words and get out. You know, what are you going to say? Right. But actually, you know, this doctor found the words by just asking us a simple question. You know, it was even a question. Was it the statement? You know, you know, Tell me about Ruby and Heart. Tell me about your grief, essentially. Right. It’s a beautiful opening. Yeah. So. So I would hope that we could find openings for dialog. And the words don’t have to be perfect. We’re not looking for the right words to solve anything, to fix anything. We’re just. We just need to talk about what’s happening in order to understand it. Yeah. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:21:40] And part of what really impressed me about your book is the lesson that you shared. And it came up in a few forms at different times about asking for what you want. Telling people you know what you needed or what you wanted. And there’s a few versions of that. But were you? Maybe the opening to that conversation is maybe it’s the grief spill. Will you talk about what that is and why you came up with that and what result it had?
Colin Campbell [00:22:08] Yeah. Yeah. Thank you. The grief spiel. So basically. So I’m not Jewish, but my wife Gail is Jewish. We raised Ruby and Hart as Jews. They were burned by mitzvah and we were active members of our temple, which is called ICA. It’s in Los Angeles. It’s a beautiful, very socially active, socially progressive temple, all about social justice with an amazing rabbi, Sharon Brown, who really held our hands literally and figuratively, held our hands through all these most excruciating moments of our grief. And I will be forever grateful for that and the whole temple community, honestly. But so so Jews, they they they sit Shiva. So. The first seven nights after the funeral, your community is supposed to come to your house and sit with you and sitting Shiva. And I found initially I didn’t want that. I wanted to be left alone. This horrible tragedy has happened to me. What do you mean? People are coming to my house? But I had learned to distrust the Jews. That was my motto in my head. Right? Like Jews have been mourning for 5000 years. I bet they’ve got it right by now. I’m just going to listen to the Jews. I’m going to do whatever my rabbi says. And so because I didn’t know. I don’t know what we’re supposed to be doing right now. Right. I’m terrified.
Brilliant Miller [00:23:27] Because for context, maybe.
Colin Campbell [00:23:29] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:23:30] You’re atheist.
Colin Campbell [00:23:31] Correct. I was atheist and atheist. I was raised by atheists and we had no cultural traditions surrounding mourning or grieving. In my household, I say that we were grief averse. So I this my family. We kind of just avoid it. It’s not something we lean into. But now suddenly I needed to. I needed to lean into it. I couldn’t compartmentalize this. Right. I had to deal with it. And so what I discovered from Shiva was I actually I loved having people come to my house ultimately, because maybe love is the wrong word, but it felt so helpful because my Rabbi Sharon, would turn to us and say, Do you want to say anything to all these people, all these friends and family who gathered here? And suddenly I discovered why, Yes, we do. In fact, we do want to say all sorts of things. We want to talk about our grief, what’s what’s happening to us, and also about Ruby and Heart. We want to tell Ruby in heart stories. And then we discovered that they wanted to tell Ruby in hard stories so we would invite them to come up. And so Ruby Hearts friends would come up and in groups of two or three or four, and they would talk to this entire assembled crowd of 150 people about Ruby and heart. So beautiful, so meaningful for all of us. And that set off a light bulb in my brain about like, oh, talking about grief is helpful. Being in community is helpful. And then Shiva ended. And then people, friends would come to our house and suddenly they wouldn’t know what to say. Now, the structure of Shiva was gone, and suddenly people would come in and they would be afraid to say hi. They’d be afraid to mention Ruby in Heart names because they were scared that my triggers, you know, may cause us more pain. Because sure enough, if they said, Ruby, I might tear up, I might cry. But that’s not a bad thing because of grieving their deaths. So. So Gail and I developed this spiel, this grief spiel. We’d pull people aside one at a time and tell them, Here’s the deal. We do need to talk about Ruby Heart. We need to hear their names. We need you to tell us stories about Ruby Heart and listen to us as we talk to you about our grief and pain. What we’re feeling right now today, because it changes hour to hour. Yeah. And it and it’s so confusing. You’re in the whirlwind of early acute grief is so overwhelming. The chance to talk about it is so valuable. And our friends wanted to do wanted to help us but didn’t know how. Yeah. And so the grief spiel, they were like, Oh, thank you. Thank you for telling me what you need, because I had no idea. And so that taught us a valuable lesson of, Oh, this is a good thing. This helps them, helps us. Everybody’s helped. And that gave us the courage to keep doing it. Yeah, Yeah. Keep asking for what we needed.
Brilliant Miller [00:26:18] Yeah, that’s. That’s powerful. And, and, you know, again, not having been through profound loss, loss of children this way and had I can imagine just knowing myself, I think I would I would be, I would retreat into isolation and, and meanwhile there’d be people who wanted to express the care and love and concern and help and so forth. And I wouldn’t necessarily know how to do that. But this model of, you know, a spiel and being able to talk to people directly one on ones useful. And it’s not the only time. Right. Like I understand women and maybe you’ve done this in professional settings, but you share actually an email that Gail sent colleagues. It’s along this line, but it was maybe to 200 people. Yeah. How did how what was that like? What happened there?
Colin Campbell [00:27:06] Well, well, as you say that, you know, the grief spiel, it kept evolving and it kept changing because we kept expanding our return to society. So first it was just our friends coming to our house. But then we’d go out into the world and we’d have to interact with the world. And it feels so it can feel so alienating. If you say, Go back to work and nobody talks about it, they don’t want to upset you. Yeah, that seems like you’re going crazy. Nobody’s mentioning that my kids were just murdered. Nobody’s going to say anything. But everyone’s terrified because if they say something, it might really upset you, so I’m not going to say anything. And so we start. We started to realize if we give people a heads up, if we tell people. Well ahead of time. What we need, we can avoid a lot of very potentially painful and alienating moments for ourselves just to protect ourselves, literally. And also, we found suddenly we were learning that we did not like hearing people say they’re in a better place. God called them their angels in heaven. That did not help Gail and I. And I feel like the beauty of the peace bill is that it’s individual. You get to say exactly what you, the individual. And maybe if you love to hear those phrases, great. Then you can that can be agrees. Bill, please tell me there Angels in heaven. You know what I mean? It’s all individual eyes. What do you need as a griever? And we needed to have people not mention those things, even though we knew they came from a place of love. That’s just. That’s fine. But tell somebody else. And so we could put those in our spiels as well. But yeah, the idea is ultimately to take away that taboo, that feeling of like, Oh, we better not talk about it because the result is that it feels like there’s this elephant in the room. Yeah. Enormous elephant. And everybody feels awkward and doesn’t feel good for anybody, you know, to deny this terrible thing has happened.
Brilliant Miller [00:29:01] Yeah, absolutely. And to see that again, whether it was with a group of friends or one particular friend, that would always kind of tell you how you felt. Right. And then to be able to again and again, whether it was with your close friends, people at work, these groups of friends on Zoom, you know, whatever. As I said, I’m just impressed by and inspired, even not in a grieving context, but I imagine people could use this, whether it’s after they’ve divorced someone or whether they’ve transitioned in some way. You know, so certainly. Okay, here’s you know, what’s going on with me here. Here’s what I would like. And it’s not it doesn’t have to be confrontational. It could just be, you know, a request, communication request. I think that’s really powerful.
Colin Campbell [00:29:45] Well, I think I think it is. I agree completely. And I think that part of the impulse was if a friend was, quote, letting us down or saying, quote, the wrong thing for us, the first instinct was, I’m going to write them off. Right. Get I’m done with them. Yeah. Then it’s like, wait a minute, you know, how do they know what to do? How do they know what the right thing to do is? I never told them. Yeah. And I thought I thought about myself because I come from a grief-averse family. I would definitely do it wrong. You know, I was not a great friend to other people who are grieving any kind of loss. And then my eyes were opened and I was like, Oh, I see what’s happening here, What’s I lost, what’s I’d suffered a profound loss. And so I had an immense amount of I continue to have an immense amount of empathy for people who are struggling to be my friend in grief, because I know that I would have definitely 100% not been a good friend to somebody in grieving. So so I find it still happens. In fact, just like a couple of weeks ago, I had lunch with a friend and we had a real struggle in which they just didn’t know how to reach out to me. And they were on a different coast and suddenly it was like. Let me tell you exactly what how what’s happening here. And they were like, Oh, I’m so sorry. I was trying to do these things. I thought you wanted this. And I was like, No, actually, that’s not helpful. This is helpful. And it was great. And suddenly it was just a wonderful connection. And I was like, I’m so grateful that I didn’t write them off, you know? Yeah, I’m so grateful to have this person still in my circle of friendship because it would have been so easy to be like, Forget them. They don’t get it. They don’t get grief. Yeah, yeah, yeah. That’s great.
Brilliant Miller [00:31:35] You are talking about action, right? As a way of dealing with processing grief. You write in the book that early on, like maybe immediately after you lost Ruby and Heart, that you made a decision just to say yes to every invitation, whether you felt like it or not, which you probably didn’t feel like it, but you did it anyway. Tell me about that decision to say yes and how it played out.
Colin Campbell [00:32:01] Yeah. Yeah. So it was definitely an extreme thing. It might not be right for everybody, but it was right for me because I really wanted to say no to everything. I wanted to curl up in a ball in my house and not interact with anybody. And in fact, the idea of making plans was so difficult because it was like, Someone wants to meet me tomorrow. How am I going to feel tomorrow? I don’t know how I’m going to feel in an hour now, so I better say no, the right to protect myself. I better just say no to any kind of invitation because I can’t know how I’ll feel because it seems so touch and go right now. But then I thought, well, actually every time I do say yes and I do something with a friend almost every time, it’s been helpful to me. And so I just developed a shorthand of just saying yes to everything. It was also very hard to make decisions, especially in early grief. I really I couldn’t make. What do you want for lunch? I don’t know. I don’t I don’t want anything. I don’t want to eat. You know what I mean? I know I can’t make a decision. And so it helped me just to say yes. Everything. Yes, yes, yes, yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:33:04] Like offers of help.
Colin Campbell [00:33:05] That you want to take a walk? Yes. Do you want to go? One person said you want to go skeet shooting. I’m never going to skeet shooting. I said yes. I didn’t even know quite what it was. Yes, I want to do that. Do you want to go to a new park have ever been in? Yes. Do you want to walk the dog? Yes. You want to read this book? Yes. You want to feel good? Yes, yes, yes, yes. Even though I always wanted to say no. Yeah. And sometimes the experiences were challenging and I didn’t. I did not enjoy them, but. It was still something I was engaging in life ultimately. Yeah. And my sister in law, she said something interesting about those. The idea to say yes. It wasn’t that I was actually looking for, like, a good time, right? I wasn’t, like, trying to have fun, but I was saying yes to life. I was saying I don’t want to live without Rueben Hart right now cause I don’t want to do anything without them. But I’m going to try because that is an act of hope and then that’s going to bring me back into life slowly.
Brilliant Miller [00:34:13] Well, that’s a pretty profound way, I think, of looking at that. And really beautiful, too, because there is a choice and it reminds me of that quote, I won’t get it quite right. But the thing Abraham Maslow said about there is a choice to retreat or to move forward every day, and the choice must be made again and again. Yeah. And there you were. Whatever that was. Some version of some aspect of you was hoping to reengage with life.
Colin Campbell [00:34:41] Engage with life. Yeah. Yep. I think that’s so true. That decision happens again and again. Do I do this or not? Do I? Yeah. Do I engage with life for drive or treat? Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:34:53] And you maybe this thing about, like early on, maybe more than now. But I would imagine to some degree you use description in the book. You call it a grief tax.
Colin Campbell [00:35:07] Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:35:08] Something where you talk about what does a grief tax?
Colin Campbell [00:35:12] Well, I got it from some book. I’ve read lots of books about grief, and I got something from all of them. And I don’t even remember where I got this book, where I got the grief tax from. But that’s terrible. Not to attribute it, but the idea that everything just takes more. There’s a grief tax on your life so everything’s harder. You’re not able to get nearly as much done in a day because there’s a chunk of your life, chunk of your brain, the chunk of your heart that’s just in grief. That’s just spending grief time. And there’s like a drag on your system. And I think I think you’re right. It does lessen over time the grief tax. But I think the idea of it is to be kind to yourself in grief, to acknowledge. And you know what? Actually, the reason why I’m not being so productive right now is because there’s 20% of my brain and heart are spent in grief. And that’s okay. That’s okay.
Brilliant Miller [00:36:13] Yeah, I can.
Colin Campbell [00:36:14] Even now I feel that way. Definitely like, yep, I’m not going to do that much today because I am also grieving. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:36:21] I can see how having that as a concept like understanding that it could help one to be much more compassionate toward oneself.
Colin Campbell [00:36:31] Yeah. Oh sure. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:36:34] And along with this you talk about I really appreciated your statement about time doesn’t feel the pain, but time allows our hearts to expand so that there is space for more than just that.
Colin Campbell [00:36:48] Pain.
Brilliant Miller [00:36:49] You talk about. I don’t know how I’d say it. The myth or the misconception of healing versus making space for.
Colin Campbell [00:36:57] Yeah. So I personally, I didn’t love the word healing in relation to my loss. Some people like it and some people are grieving. They think about healing. But for me, healing had connotations of I will eventually be healed. So I’ll eventually get over the loss of Ruby and Heart. And that was struck me as not true. I’ll always have these gaping holes in my heart. I’ve got two gaping holes in my heart and they’re not going away. They’re not shrinking. They caused me a lot of pain every day. But I also feel like I’m every day more and more in this life that we’re living here. And I like that I want to be in this life. And so I do feel like my heart is growing and I’m opening myself up to other experiences, other loves. And that sort of that imagery kind of helps me, that idea that I’m not healing, I’m just growing around it, are growing around these holes and finding more and more space for other emotions. So an early grief. I really didn’t have much space for anything but grief and loss. And it seems inconceivable that I would that would be able to look at a sunset and feel anything other than anguish, honestly. And now I can look at a sunset and feel some solace and some, you know, maybe joy, happiness, and then also aching alongside it. Yeah, Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:38:32] That’s that’s powerful. Well, and in your book, you. For a lot of practices, a lot of ideas, but really some practices and a lot of journal prompts that I imagine someone who’s grieving could really benefit from. And some of them sometimes, admittedly not having gone through this, seemed a little contradictory, which maybe they are right. Different practices for different moments. And I love if you talk about that and the ones I’m thinking of in particular, one is the hate du jour.
Colin Campbell [00:39:08] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [00:39:08] Versus the random act of kindness.
Colin Campbell [00:39:11] Yeah, yeah, yeah. So both of those are in the chapter on Rage. And I feel like I think I share with people who are grieving profound losses, a lot of rage at the universe. I imagine it’s a universal feeling. I don’t know. But it seems pretty common to all the people that I’ve talked to that, you know, something terrible has happened. Some this is a tragedy. The universe has taken away something from the world, from us and from the world. And it seems like rage is an appropriate response, but it can be very destructive response. I don’t want to hurt I don’t want to lash out at my friends and family, don’t want to lash out at strangers. But I do have a lot of anger and it comes out at moments. It overwhelms me. And I’m not that great with anger. I’m not that comfortable. It feels out of control, scary to me. And so Gail and I found two different things that sort of helped us. And they are contradictory, intense. They’re like they’re in different directions. One, the hate du jour is something that my sister-in-law, Betsy, she coined the phrase, but it was we would tell each other who pissed us off that day. Gail and I would be our hate du jour. And usually we would just go off on this person and in a delightful way, not like I’m so angry, but just like I’m going to tear them to shreds in the privacy of our own. The kitchen. Right? Not to the person’s face. So they’ll never know that we that they were the hate du jour. And then we kind of discovered that almost if they were the more innocent they were, the more helpful it was for us to just like, go off on this person. You know, they looked at us with a little bit too much pity. Oh, yeah, you want pity? And then we go about entertaining each other. So it was like a playful way of getting out a lot of rage that didn’t hurt anybody, you know? Yes. That was our hate to be journal about it, too. So we journal. I hate to Jaws. Gail called it her burn book of grief. She would just go off there all these people but the other side is a much more positive approach which we also employ, which is a random act of kindness that if we’re feeling particularly angry and bitter, if I’m driving them, I’m behind the wheel of a car and I’m just feeling so much rage, I just let somebody in front of me kindly and they get a little friendly wave or not. It’s like, Oh, I did something nice to the stranger. I let them into this traffic. They want to go here, let them in, and that makes it feel good. You know, I let a motorcyclist go by. I moved to the side of the motorcycle. Motorcyclists can go buy off and get a little peace sign flashed at me. And I’m like, Yeah, I did something nice for some stranger. They they’re appreciative, unappreciative. In a way. I’m faking it till I make it with kindness. I don’t feel kind. If I act kind, I start to feel kind and then that makes me feel good as a way. As an antidote to rage. Yeah, that’s the way to handle that rage. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:42:25] Yeah. In part. Part of what? Part of what I’m impressed by with that. Again, not like it’s the solution, right? It’s not this simple fix to everything. But I think there’s, first of all, a pretty high level of self-awareness in, you know, what’s going on inside you, how you’re feeling, what you want to do, but what you and then the emotional intelligence to make choices that are healthy, constructive, productive, whatever. So I just wanted to acknowledge that. Let’s see.
Colin Campbell [00:42:56] We’ve talked. I get it from my kids. Yeah, because they were so kind.
Brilliant Miller [00:43:01] Yeah, that’s right. In fact, talk about that. What you did with the heart, Campbell, Kind of support.
Colin Campbell [00:43:05] Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. So we were looking for some way to honor heart at his school and a lot of his friends. He had a circle of amazing, beautiful friends. They call themselves mouse screenings. This circular, crazy, artistic, wonderful children, boys and girls and gay and straight and bisexual. It was a wonderful array of friends that he had. It was so beautiful. And they created these bracelets that said Heart and Ruby gone but not forgotten. These beautiful bracelets to raise money for the Trevor Foundation, which is an organization that supports LBGT, LGBTQ youth who are struggling with suicidality, which Ruby was when she was younger, not at the end, but when she was younger. She definitely did. And so and she was lesbian. So that felt like a beautiful, beautiful tribute to both Heart and Ruby, because heart was also a fierce ally for Ruby, LGBTQ plus Ally. And so I thought it was a great, beautiful way to go. And then I suddenly thought, like, heart was so kind as friends are so kind, Let’s do a kindness award at his school. And again, like my sister in law, Betsy, she comes up a lot here, but she wanted to give the money to fund it. It’s a ridiculous story about how he kept the money. I don’t have the time to discuss the ridiculous story that about the $400 charge. Okay, so what happened was it was a tough time in our family because Ruby was struggling with suicidality, as I said. And Gail and I had to actually we briefly moved into an apartment in and on the west Side to help be close to her to getting her mental health help near UCLA, the clinic. And we asked Betsy Gail sister, to stay with us Sarah home and get heart to school and and wasn’t feeling well because of course, he was grieving. His sister was struggling emotionally, which was upsetting to him and in one to go to school. And so he said, I’ll give you 400 bucks if you go to school. Oh, yeah. Because he was she was panicked. He was like, my one job is to get her to school. How can you let middle Galen, Galen, Collin down? I’ve got to get him to school. So he tried to bribe them and he said no. He said no, I don’t want to have 400 bucks. I don’t feel well. But then around noon, she he’s like, Well, I kind of feel better now. I’ll take 400 bucks. She said, Well, the school day is half over. How about 200 bucks? He said, Okay, deal. Just never tell your parents. We never did. And so I found out the first the second night of Shiv, I found out because Betsy confessed what had happened posthumously. So. So we decided to be $400 will be the reward for kindness. And the deal is you have to nominate somebody else. You have to see somebody else do something kind on campus. Is is middle school. And high school is called Campbell Hall. Coincidentally, his last name, but no relation. But if you see somebody else do something kind, then you nominate them and then the nominations come in at the end of the year, you know, they pick somebody to win and they get $200 to themselves and a $200 to give to their favorite charity. Mm hmm. And and at first the school was like, wait a minute, they’re an Episcopalian school. And so they’re like, you can’t reward kindness with money. That’s not right. That’s not that doesn’t sound right. And I get where they’re coming from. Like, absolutely don’t pay people to be kind. Kindness is his own reward. However, I love the idea of being inappropriate because Hart was definitely inappropriate and he would love this idea of getting cash moneys. And so so yeah, so that we convinced them that it was going to be okay to give them money for kindness. That’s awesome.
Brilliant Miller [00:47:03] That’s great. Well, what a neat I mean, one of many ways you found to honor and tribute your children. That’s.
Colin Campbell [00:47:12] It’s fun. Thank you.
Brilliant Miller [00:47:14] So we have man, we’ve talked about a lot. And as I mentioned before, we started recording, there’s a few other parts of this interview I would love to do one about creativity and writing toward the end, this one about the Lightning Lightning Round. But before we transition to those, let me ask you, what haven’t we talked about either? Anything that’s in the book, maybe that’s come up since the book or that you didn’t put in the book in the first place that you think would be valuable for the listener people watching or just that you want to talk about?
Colin Campbell [00:47:46] Yeah. Yeah. Well, I guess I guess it’s one thing I’ve been thinking about a lot. Just this morning I was thinking about we touched on a little bit already, but the idea of how do you be a friend to somebody in grief? I think it’s such an interesting and challenging question. And I guess I already touched on it, the idea is that our job in supporting people in grief is not to take away their pain, not to comfort them, but actually to be with them. But I guess now we already talked about that. The other thing I want to talk about, which we haven’t mentioned, it is my book is about leaning into the pain. Mm-hmm. I think that’s a lesson that I think is applicable to all of life. I think so much of what gets us into trouble in the world is avoiding the pain of life. And so I think that’s what leads to a lot of drug and alcohol addictions or numbing or, you know, toxic relationships. Just because we’re trying we’re trying to avoid the uncomfortable, the discomfort of the discomfort. And so I found early on, I if I was avoiding the pain of their loss, I was going to have to avoid the memories of them because any memory of them was painful. And so I thought about Ruby Heart. It caused me a lot of pain, but I didn’t want to avoid them in their memories. So I discovered that leaning into the pain was actually very helpful to me. And obviously, don’t listen to the pain all the time because that would be insufferable. But. But. But when given the option, almost always, I’m going to choose to lean into the pain, because that’s I’ve discovered that that takes me more quickly to a places of joy and appreciation and love. Ultimately.
Brilliant Miller [00:49:39] Yeah, that’s powerful. And I do remember you made what I thought was a really insightful analogy about going to the dentist.
Colin Campbell [00:49:49] Oh, yeah, right.
Brilliant Miller [00:49:50] Well, you talk about that. Maybe that’s related to this.
Colin Campbell [00:49:53] Yeah, it is. Absolutely. I think a lot of the grief books that I read had this advice of like, you know, go at your own pace. There’s no rush. Grief is always here. Don’t worry about it. Take a break from it. And it’s true. That’s all true. And you do have to take a break from it. But I found that I wanted to take a break forever. I wish there was a little more encouragement that would have helped me. So my book is sort of hopefully gently encouraging people to open themselves up to the pain of their loss, whatever that loss is. And so the analogy I came up with was the dentist. Nobody wants to go to the dentist. Your tooth hurts. You’ve got to go to the dentist. And the longer you put it off, actually, the worse it is. And that’s true for grief as well. I don’t think you can just put off. Grief is fine. You know, I don’t feel up for grief right now. I’m not going to grieve for the next month. That’s that’s not going to work out so well in my experience. So the same as with the dentist. You know, you got to get your tooth taken care of, even though it’s going to hurt. And the longer you wait, the harder it is to be present in life because you’re distracted by your toothache. Yeah. So there’s this wonderful quote that I think it was initially attributed to Chekhov, Anton Chekhov, which is a playwright that I love, come from the theater. He’s amazing playwright and he talks about nobody can fall in love with a toothache. If you’re feeling a toothache, you can’t fall in love. You’re distracted. You know, you can’t be present in this life if you’re always got that pull of like I should be. I need to be mourning. I need to be feeling this grief. But I’m just. I’m just trying to put it aside. And so I think in order to be more present in this world, we have to open ourselves up to the pain of the loss. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [00:51:39] Well said.
Colin Campbell [00:51:41] Thanks. Okay.
Brilliant Miller [00:51:42] All right. Well, with. And of course, we can come back and explore any topic at any time. But with your permission. And. Yeah, I feel a little awkward. I mean, I don’t think I should, because I appreciate how open you are and, you know, just how open you are. And I realize this is like it’s not related to this Heavy is a can very heavy aspects to what he was talking about. But with your permission, I’d love to just go to a series of questions on a variety of almost random topics of fun.
Colin Campbell [00:52:15] It’s exciting.
Brilliant Miller [00:52:16] That. Here we go. That’s right. I love it. Okay, so the first question. Is. Oh, and you teach screenwriting, so. Yes, I do. We are the Forrest Gump moments. Please complete the following sentence with something other than a box of chocolates.
Colin Campbell [00:52:33] Okay.
Brilliant Miller [00:52:34] Life is like a.
Colin Campbell [00:52:36] Oh. Life is like. And it’s not a box of chocolates. No, no.
Brilliant Miller [00:52:43] I mean, it is, but not for this.
Colin Campbell [00:52:47] Life is like a series of paths through the woods. And you get to pick which path you want to take at each given moment. But the decisions to go be made.
Brilliant Miller [00:53:00] Yes. Okay. Well done. Number two, what important truth do very few people agree with you on?
Colin Campbell [00:53:09] Hmm. Yeah, well, I’m going to go right to the grief one, which is we all grieve in the same way. We all avoid grief in our own individual ways, but we all grieve the same. Mm hmm. Okay.
Brilliant Miller [00:53:27] Question number three. If you were required every day for the rest of your life to wear a shirt with a slogan or phrase or saying or quote or quip on it, what would the shirt say?
Colin Campbell [00:53:39] Choose love. Okay.
Brilliant Miller [00:53:43] Question number four What book other than your own have you gifted or recommended most often?
Colin Campbell [00:53:49] Oh, I think it would be. Several books are now.
Brilliant Miller [00:53:57] Sure. Yeah, absolutely. And I would love if you were to tag on somewhere in there. What are you currently reading?
Colin Campbell [00:54:03] Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So I am. Okay, so I’ve got, like, regular books and. And grief books. That’s why I’m thinking about it. So I recommended bearing the unbearable to all of my family. In fact, I bought them copies and mailed them to them early on in grief because it has such a strong message about leaning into grief, leaning into the pain of grief. So I recommend that to a lot of people. And the other grief they recommend a lot is It’s Okay. You’re Not Okay by Megan Devine and the other ones by doing a category being unbearable. So those are two of the grief books. And then Gabriel Garcia marquez is the book I recommend The books are the author and So Loving the Time of Cholera or Autumn of the Patriarch or Hunter Years of Solitude are the books I recommend the most.
Brilliant Miller [00:55:05] Awesome. Thank you. What are you currently reading?
Colin Campbell [00:55:08] So two books. One I’m reading again a grief book. I got two. So I got the grief book. Side is moving on. Doesn’t mean letting go. And both names of people and names of things. And the other book that I’ve just finished reading is it was a thriller and it was I have some questions for you. Was a marvelous thriller.
Brilliant Miller [00:55:37] You recommend for people who like thrillers?
Colin Campbell [00:55:39] Yes. Okay, cool.
Brilliant Miller [00:55:42] All right. Question number five. I imagine when you talked about moving back and forth between L.A. and Joshua Tree, but I imagine you’ve also traveled quite a lot in your life.
Colin Campbell [00:55:54] I have.
Brilliant Miller [00:55:54] When you travel, what’s something you do or something you take with you? Maybe a travel hack to make your travel less painful or more enjoyable.
Colin Campbell [00:56:03] Oh. I love when I travel. Being familiar with the spatial layout of the city I’m in. So I look at maps, I like to look at maps so I know my way around the place and I know how to use the transportation system, the subway, the busses, whatever it is. I love to feel like I know where I’m at. You know? I know I know how to get from one place to the other. Yeah, that’s. That’s kind of. What I love to do when I travel. Okay. And I love to explore. Off the beaten path.
Brilliant Miller [00:56:45] Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah. In fact, I’ll just divert from my own lightning round for a moment. You mention in the book that the firsts. First Thanksgiving, first Christmas. This was really hard for you missing without Ruby and Hart. And. And with them when they. I think you traveled, too, with them.
Colin Campbell [00:57:04] Yes, we. We traveled a lot different countries. Absolutely.
Brilliant Miller [00:57:07] Yeah. Tell me about your travel deliberately, like over the holidays.
Colin Campbell [00:57:11] Yeah. And so, so, so so a lot of my book is about leaning into the pain of grief. And holidays are very challenging. And so a lot of my advice is like, can you find can we find a way to lean into whatever the holiday is and make it meaningful rather than avoid it, rather than say, let’s cancel? However, we did cancel the first Christmas, told our families we’re not doing Christmas. And for my family, we celebrated Christmas. We’re atheist. But you know, Christmas is like is really a pagan holiday in its origins. The tree. Right.
Brilliant Miller [00:57:48] So don’t tell the Christians.
Colin Campbell [00:57:51] Have at any rate, the magic tree with candles on it but so we always my family always loved Christmas even though we’re atheists. But I’m also the youngest of three siblings. I’m the only one with kids. So I brought the grandkids. Ruby and Hart were the kids at Christmas in my family. And so it was Christmas was the kids. And so they’re gone now. And I couldn’t stand the thought of the first Christmas. So I said, Let’s cancel Christmas, even though it goes against everything I believe. And it was a great decision. So that sort of taught me like, you know, don’t be so, so stuck. Don’t be so stubborn in your ways, right? Yeah, I can get dogmatic. And it’s like, wait a minute, it’s okay to break your rules. So we escaped jail, and I escaped to Italy, went to Rome, and we went to Naples. And we’ve been to Rome with Ruby and Heart. And we take them to all the different places in Rome. And so we went to Rome. We didn’t escape our grief. It came with us. But we kind of escaped Christmas, however. But. And we just walked. Speaking of like, you know, going to, you know, off the beaten path. Gale, I just walked all day long and to all different neighborhoods in Rome, we walk for miles and miles and saw amazing, amazing things in Rome. But we’ve been to Rome many times, actually. But, uh, yeah, yeah, it was powerful. But we also we went. We went to Pompeii. Yes, that’s it. The town town destroyed by Vesuvius. Pompeii. Thank you. We went to Pompeii and wandered around the ruins. And that felt right, too, you know? Oh.
Brilliant Miller [00:59:40] Yeah. And this is something that you just said reminded me it was something that I appreciate about your book, as well as your honesty. When you would say, Look, I know I said this and I did this even though I’m not always consistent. And you know, there’s you don’t have to be either as of or like you were really honest about. There’s not prescriptive advice that fits everybody all the time. And I’m the supreme authority. I was like, You were very, very real.
Colin Campbell [01:00:04] Thank you. Baker. I was singing about that actually today. The idea that I think my book was written in pretty fresh grief. I think a lot of books with books are written from a remove, like I lost somebody ten years ago. And here’s my wisdom. And I think I think hopefully one of the pluses of this book is you kind of see me a griever in acute grief struggling along with you because I’m just like in it. I’m feeling it and struggling and trying to live with grief. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:00:35] That came through for me for sure.
Colin Campbell [01:00:37] Thanks.
Brilliant Miller [01:00:38] Okay, next question. What’s something you’ve started or stopped doing in order to live or. Well.
Colin Campbell [01:00:47] Oh. Oh. Huh? I mean, exercise. That’s kind of boring, though, isn’t it? I’ve kind of always exercised on and off, but I do think about it in terms of aging. Well, now I’m 53 and I think about like, Oh, I want to get healthy, stay healthy. And then I think. I think I’ve started to feel less and less attached to the bad feelings of not being as successful as I wish I were. I think that’s what I’m trying to do, trying to let go of those feelings of dissatisfaction. With things I can’t change. Right. Okay. Sounds good. Right?
Brilliant Miller [01:01:50] I was going to say, it sounds kind of Buddhist, but. Yeah.
Colin Campbell [01:01:53] Yeah, I think so.
Brilliant Miller [01:01:54] That’s good. Okay, Question number seven. What’s something you wish every American or every United States citizen?
Colin Campbell [01:02:03] Oh. Oh, my God. But the first thing that popped up was institutional racism. The history, the history that people are trying to address the, you know, the genocide of Native Americans and how and how leaning into the pain of our history ultimately. Right. I think that’s that the whole idea of leaning into the pain that there’s ugliness doesn’t mean that our country can’t be beautiful and powerful and meaningful. But if you erase that, the dark parts, the hard parts, yeah, that’s not going to help. That’s going to the opposite. Going to it’s going to cripple us, ultimately make us unable to be beautiful. So, yeah, yeah. I think I wish everybody knew more about the sordid, the sordid side so that we can be better. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:03:11] Okay. Question number eight. What’s the most important or useful thing you’ve learned about making relationships work?
Colin Campbell [01:03:19] I’m talking honestly. I think. Yeah. About about all the hard stuff. Not being afraid of the discomfort because everybody is. I am. Yeah, but. But if I. If I am not. If I’m able to. Talk about it. It always seems better. Stronger. Mm hmm. Okay.
Brilliant Miller [01:03:50] And question number nine. Aside from compound interest, what’s the most important or useful thing you’ve learned about money.
Colin Campbell [01:04:00] Aside from Compass? I wasn’t going to say compound interest, but that wasn’t going to be on the top. What I learned about money. I think that it’s relative. That. That the value of it is is. You know what you can get for it in terms of your own enjoyment or satisfaction. Um, you know, it’s relative. So you can have a whole lot of money and it doesn’t help you because you’re spending it wrong or thinking about it wrong, or you’re feeling like, Oh, you wish you had more of it so you could buy that other thing. But in fact, the version that you can afford is pretty great. Now, if you can enjoy that version, that’s pretty great. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:05:00] Okay. Thank you. Well, congratulations. You survived the lightning Lightning round. You did great.
Colin Campbell [01:05:05] All right. Thank you.
Brilliant Miller [01:05:06] As a wrap-up to that part of our interview here. I did. Speaking of money, I did want to mention a few things. I’ve made $100 donation on your behalf. Rubies and rubies. Behalf hearts. Behalf two one to the Trevor Project. So I did that. And one to Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
Colin Campbell [01:05:26] Oh, thank you. Thank you.
Brilliant Miller [01:05:28] And then I’ve made a Kiva loan, a microloan to a woman in Tanzania. Her name is Renata. She’s 28 years old. She’s a mother of two children. She’s a farmer. And she’ll use this money to buy fertilizer and to help pay people who work with her so she can transport her harvest to the market.
Colin Campbell [01:05:49] So. Wow. How beautiful. Yeah. Thank you for that. That’s. That’s so meaningful.
Brilliant Miller [01:05:54] Oh, my. My pleasure.
Colin Campbell [01:05:56] Thank you. So, actually, I started giving to Mothers Against Drunk Driving when I was a teenager. Really? 17 years old. I started contributing like $25 to MADD and $25 to. Back then, it was called Handgun Control Inc, and then it became Brady Bill. So, yeah, gun violence.
Brilliant Miller [01:06:20] What prompted that so many years ago?
Colin Campbell [01:06:22] I don’t know. I think back and I think like, Oh, right on, kid. Right. Young. Young. Young Colin was a young heart young man. I don’t know. Just something about it. As a kid, I was like, Yeah, drunk driving. That sounds terrible. I should give this money to this organization that’s going to fight that and guns, people being shot. And it seemed so prescient of me, obviously, because no man plays a different role in my life. But then also, I think about the gun violence that kids so many kids are dying now because they’re being shot. Yeah. So. Yeah. Yeah, that’s pretty amazing.
Brilliant Miller [01:07:02] And the fact that there are still 10,000 people a year dying in this country from drunk drivers, drunk driving is just this amazing.
Colin Campbell [01:07:10] 1000 totally avoidable deaths. Totally avoidable. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:07:16] Well, okay, so for the last part of our conversation, I would love to ask you a few questions about writing, about creativity, that kind of thing. So the first thing that I want to ask you about here is the role that writing can play in helping people process their grief, and maybe starting with the fact that prior to this you did not journal, you really didn’t journal in any regular way. You started a grief journal and in fact took is I understand immediately like the day after wrote in detail in your journal about the crash.
Colin Campbell [01:07:54] Yeah. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:07:56] Will you say more about, like.
Colin Campbell [01:07:58] You know, that process? Yeah. Yeah. So. So. Right. So. So I am a writer. I’ve written screenplays and plays and, you know, theater for theater. And I never journaled. I always felt like I had these ideas that, like, journaling was, like, pretentious or something. You’re like, Oh, I’m going to write in my journal about my deep thoughts. And I didn’t have any because I was going to share my journal. But suddenly I needed to write something about what’s happening to me. And so that was like it was very helpful. I wrote. I kept a journal for the first year after the crash and wrote basically every day I wrote I wrote an entry and I don’t think I said anything useful or profound in any of it, but it sure helped me at the time. You know, I haven’t gone back and read them my journal entries.
Brilliant Miller [01:08:49] What did it help you?
Colin Campbell [01:08:51] It helped me because I think that we process everything in words. You know, we we we have a wonderful experience. We tell our friends about it. And in the act of telling it, we kind of discover what it means to us, I think. Yeah. And because this it’s not so clear. And when I just felt grief on its own, it felt overwhelming to me. It felt like this amorphous, endless, shapeless state that was crushing me. But I like to write about it in specificity to say what was happening to me in the moment. I felt like I could somehow get a handle on it. It shrunk. It shrunk it in my mind. It made it more bearable. So yeah, so, so writing in the journal really helped me. And specifically the question you asked about the the actual night, the event of the crash, something inside my head knew that it would be horribly traumatizing to it had the potential to be horribly traumatizing this event. And if I could just write out exactly what I remembered the next day, what I remembered of that whole day leading up to the crash, and then after the crash and got it out and put it on paper, my computer had a file that was typing it, but I had it written out. I would be able to then relax about it and not have to revisit it for answers. You know, I could in a way say I wrote it out and now it’s done. And if my mind’s going to go back to that crash night many, many times, and it sure did. But I don’t have to I don’t have to linger there because I’m not searching for answers. I wrote everything I remember already. I’m not going to remember new things. And it helped me. It helped me like not obsess about that night in a good way. And I know another friend who did a very similar thing. Her son overdosed and she wrote it all out the day leading up to and after her son’s overdose. And she also felt like I did that. And now I don’t have to, you know, play it over and over and over. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:11:05] You know, it reminds me a few years ago, I read a book. You you probably read or maybe come across the Besser vessel, Van der Cox. The body keeps this car.
Colin Campbell [01:11:14] Yes.
Brilliant Miller [01:11:15] And I think there’s a part in there where he talks about research that’s been done on children who’ve had traumatic experiences, who draw it and share it. And their act of expressing it seems to mitigate its impact on them in later, later times. This is pretty remarkable. And I think I think it was that book that talked about that was found to be true with survivors of 911 as well. I know people who talked about it or people who’d like somehow find a creative expression to just articulate what their experience had been versus people who didn’t.
Colin Campbell [01:11:48] Yeah. Yeah. The big thing that I got from that book very similar is the example of taking action. So he talks about this couple that are in a horrific car crash, multiple, multiple car crash where they witness other people dying and they’re in their cars smashed and destroyed and the husband is able to get out of the car and the wife is pinned behind and stuck. And she had so much more PTSD symptoms. And the husband and the book sort of passed the idea that Carson was able to take action. You know, he could do something. He didn’t save any in his life, but he got to move. He got to do something with it. And she was stuck. And that really stuck with me, that idea of, can we take action? It’s similar what you’re saying, like if 911 happens and you can express it, you can write it, draw it, you’ve done something, and if you just like, you’re going to feel more of a victim, I think. Yeah, I think so. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:12:43] Well, and along those lines, I want to ask you about how you chose to structure the book, both from the chapter organization standpoint, but also. Each chapter how you thought of it as you were creating it. Well, you tell me the story behind that, how you settled on the structure that you ended up with.
Colin Campbell [01:13:06] Yeah. Well, so. So I have to confess. I first wrote what happened was, after the crash, I was journaling, but I also started writing a solo show, a one person show about grief. And I was developing that for several months. And so five months after the crash, I finished it, this whole play. And then the pandemic struck and all the theaters shut down. So I couldn’t perform it because I’m a theater person. So I thought I would perform this solo show. And then we were all the whole world was in lockdown. Then I started writing the book and I wrote the whole book. I wrote a whole solid, full-length book. And I said to my sister in law, Betsy Lerner, who is a very established writer and agent and also editor, and she said, well, she was very supportive, but she was like this The tone of this piece is pretty aggressive. Do you realize how many times you use the word you? For example? You try to be delicate, but I looked at it was like, Oh my God, I was just like yelling at the reader, You better do this. You were like, Oh my God, this is terrible. It’s a terrible, terrible book. And she said, Well, you really need to do is change the tone and write it as a book proposal, which means you do annotated chapters and you do send two thoughtful chapters and a bunch of annotated chapters, and as a pitch. And I did that, and she was quite surprised that I was able to change the tone so completely, because I think a lot of writers get stuck in their tone. But I was horrified by my tone. I was like, Oh, this is totally not helpful, but I’m trying to be helpful and it’s not. So I changed the tone completely. And that initial book, the structure was actually, I think initially it was month by month that the first year of grief and all the insights month by month. But it was kind of cheated a little bit because, you know, I was trying to organize it by theme and month at the same time. I was working a little too hard to try and make it make sense. And so then I let go of the whole month-by-month structure and decided I wanted to structure it around what I call are the sort of major issues that I encountered in grieving. So, so, you know, denial, rage, fear, pain, holidays, and then meaning and purpose as a structure, as an idea for the last chapter and the structure, the structure within each chapter. I don’t know what my structure was. Yeah, I just wrote it. I guess that’s a terrible answer.
Brilliant Miller [01:15:47] No. Well, it did end up in it did an opposite, I believe, with every chapter. Having both actions.
Colin Campbell [01:15:53] And.
Brilliant Miller [01:15:55] Prompts.
Colin Campbell [01:15:55] Yes. And a ritual. And a ritual. Right. Right. So start starting with chapter three. When I introduced the idea of ritual. I would then include a ritual, and those rituals did. They were kind of in the book. They are chronological for the most part. So that was the last retention of the chronology idea. So the first ritual is the first ritual that we did. And then each chapters is about I think is in basically the correct chronological order for the most part. But yes, Right. So that that structure. Yes. Thank you. So so I talk about a central issue and then and then I talk about a ritual that I think kind of help with that specific issue, or at least was interacting with it in some way. And then and then journal prompts and then and actions, actions people can take. Going along with it, we talked about better clocks idea that if you can take action that helps you feel more like you are an active empowered person in your grief. Yeah you’re doing it you’re making doing something. Whatever that thing is doesn’t really matter, but you’re taking action. Yeah, it’s empowering.
Brilliant Miller [01:17:09] Well, and you mentioned at one point in the book on when you’re talking about despair, that you almost decided to end the book with despair, but ultimately you didn’t. Will you talk about that?
Colin Campbell [01:17:21] Yeah, Well, I mean, I read a lot of a lot of some of the grief books that were so optimistic. They were so like, this is pretty easy. It’s a pretty rosy view. And I was like, this doesn’t feel too rosy to me. I’m in it and it feels not true and I’m not going to ever be healed or solved, and I’m going to still be wracked with despair. I don’t want to end with a positive, you know, meaning and purpose. And that’s the end of it. You know, like the idea that there are stages in grief, which I could talked about had life, but basically it was a kind of misunderstanding of the idea of stages of grief and that you progressed from one to the next. Then you get to meaning and purpose and or acceptance and then meaning purpose, and you’re done. That’s not how grief works, but. And so I missed that. I was like, I’m going to end with despair, really. Like, tell the reader what the truth was as well. Wait a minute. That’s not really the final word. That’s not what we’re striving for. And ultimately, it feels ultimately more truthful to end with meaning and purpose, because that’s our path back to life. Yeah. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:18:28] Well, in for just a moment. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the stages of grief, because this is Elizabeth Cooper asks popularized the idea of the five and then somebody came up with the six age being meeting, right?
Colin Campbell [01:18:42] Yeah. Yeah. David Kessler, who worked with Kubler-Ross. Okay, so there’s a lot of misconception about it. So it takes a little bit of historical analysis. But. But Elizabeth Kubler-Ross was studying end-of-life patients, so people in hospice care who are confronting the very soon reality that they’re going to die. So they’re in hospice care. They know they only have a month to live or two months to live. And those people she discovered just anecdotally talking to a lot of them that they seem to progress in these stages. And it and it seemed like a really like amazing eye-opener to the reality that people do in that circumstance seem to go from one stage to the next. And then at the end they get to acceptance because they’re dying and they’re going to die and they realize they’re dying and they accept that and then they die. Yes. And that was a very helpful way of organizing for people in hospice care and people facing their own imminent end of life. But then she applied it to grief. So that was called on death and dying. That was sort of her seminal book. And then she teamed up with David Kessler and wrote on grief and grieving and said, you know, these five stages also seem to apply in certain ways to grief. But they said it’s not sequential. It’s not meant you don’t go from one to the other. You circle around them endlessly. It’s not linear, but they use the word stages and people get that confused in their head because stages seems to imply you go from one to the next and then you’re like, you’re in denial and then you go to anger and you’re done with denial, and now you’re just in anger. And then you go to figure what the next one is. But that’s not how it works at all. And so I do regret that they used the word stages because it has continued to confuse people. But the idea that we have these feelings is. Seems very true to me. I definitely have denial and as I said, rage. And and David Kessler has written his book is about this, the the sixth stage meaning and purpose. And I think that’s very true that we that’s part of grief as well. You know, we have once we lose someone who is central to our identity, it rocks our meaning and purpose in life means seems meaningless and purposeless when we lose someone who’s really integral to our identity. And it takes a while. It takes an active, I think, an active pursuit of meaning to get back. Um, and so, so I’m a fan of his book and a fan of Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, but I think it’s been misunderstood. They even say it’s not. There aren’t stages that you progressed from and it’s not linear, but still people have misinterpreted.
Brilliant Miller [01:21:33] That, right? That’s the kind of soundbite and it’s understandable when you hear that that is stages that that’s how you would think of it.
Colin Campbell [01:21:40] Right.
Brilliant Miller [01:21:40] And incidentally, on this topic of these stages, you write something about acceptance that I appreciate you explaining where you say or you write. I used to imagine that acceptance implied a sense of feeling okay about whatever it was I was accepting. But using the term acceptance in relation to my catastrophic loss does not mean I am okay with it. It means I am no longer actively denying its reality.
Colin Campbell [01:22:04] Yeah. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:22:05] And I think that’s exactly what you talked about earlier, right. About however we were at it, you know, leaning into it, engaging, you know, that’s the whole process of engaging, which is not actively denying. You’re no longer actively denying it’s reality.
Colin Campbell [01:22:18] Yeah. Yeah. It’s it’s very hard for me to accept that Robin Hart are gone forever. It is really hard even now. It’s almost four years since the crash. It’s three and a half, so three, three and three-quarters. And. And it’s still hard for me to believe it. They’re gone forever. Really. I don’t understand, but I do. You know, I buried them, but. And I don’t want to be in denial. I don’t want to engage in the fantasy that they’re still here. You know, that seems like a scary place to be and an unreal place to be. Yeah. And I think it takes work. It takes work to accept the reality. The reality of loss. It’s hard, you know? Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:23:04] Well, just a few more questions related to writing and creativity here to bring us back to this. What I’m curious, did you have or what was your working title as you were developing this book?
Colin Campbell [01:23:17] The working title was Teach Grief.
Brilliant Miller [01:23:20] Teach grief.
Colin Campbell [01:23:21] Teach grief. Yeah. And the idea was that was the first book that was a little too aggressive. But it was like I felt like we needed to educate America. Certainly. I don’t know if the whole world, but certainly America about grief, because it felt to me like people were misunderstanding it, thinking that we should just leave grieving people alone till they fix themselves. That’s a taboo subject that we don’t talk about it. We don’t say the name to the dead. We sort of try and move on, get over it. And so I really thought that, you know, this is of a mission if we can teach. Teach people the realities of grief, it’s going to make the grieving process so much better for everybody. So that was a great working title.
Brilliant Miller [01:24:07] All right. And in terms of actually getting the book drafted, getting it, getting a draft and getting it published, what habits and routines supported you? What did you use to get it done? Did you? I’m really amazed when I ask this question. It’s not clearly worded in this case, but I find truly there are people who only write when inspiration strikes, and then there are people for whom inspiration strikes every morning at 9 a.m.. Right. So people are mourning, you know, their early birds. Other people are night owls like this now. But what did you find with this book? And then I would expand it to just say, generally, when you’re in a creative project, what habits and routines do you use to help you get your work from an idea to a finished product?
Colin Campbell [01:24:51] Yeah. Yeah, that’s a great question. I think my routine is I say fast and sloppy, but, but, but whenever I have the time so I do not wait for inspiration to strike whenever I find the time. So I it’s a rough story, but we started to foster Foster to adopt a teen girl. And I mentioned that in the book. And so I was I would pick her up from school, and then I’d pull into the parking lot of a park and she would go out and hang out with her friends in the park. And I would sit in the car and write, I’m typing on my computer. And oftentimes it was really hot in the car. I was parked in the sun and the sun was coming in and just sitting in the backseat and just trying to type this. It’s just like squeezing it in because then I had to pick her up from the park and then drive her back home and make dinner. And like it was it was so a lot of the book was written literally in the parking lot of a random park in Azusa at 45 minutes from my home. And it wasn’t ideal, but that’s where most of it was written, I think, or a fair portion of it. And ultimately that that that teenage girl decided she did not want to be adopted. And I talked about that in the book as not a loss for Gail and I to mourn. We were so invested in the thought of like, oh, we’re going to be parents again. We’re going to honor Ruby in Heart by staying parents and helping this teen and building a family together. And ultimately, she was not ready to be in a loving home. She didn’t she want to be ignored. She didn’t want to, you know, parents. She’d never really been parented her whole life. Her whole life was a life of, you know, trauma. That’s the tough story of many of these youth who are in foster care. It’s because their home life was so dysfunctional, abusive, neglectful, that they never really were parented. And so it’s a hard to get her to open up and be vulnerable to it. And so now actually, Gail are fostering to adopt two new kids. Wow. A brother, a brother and sister. They live with us now for five months. How’s that going? It’s going well. It’s going better, I think. I think they are more invested in the idea of being a family That’s so beautiful. But I don’t know.
Brilliant Miller [01:27:17] Is it’s still being written?
Colin Campbell [01:27:19] Yeah, exactly. A lot of it’s like I got do your homework. It’s not parenting that you know, it’s not like easy street. It’s not like, you know, I don’t know the fantasy. It’s like, oh, it’s hard work. Parenting kids who, again, also have not been parented too much. No one’s made them do homework like this before. But I have high hopes. I think it’s going. I think it’s going well, honestly. Yeah. Yeah. All right.
Brilliant Miller [01:27:49] Okay, well. I think I would maybe my last question here in the writing portion of the interview is what advice or encouragement do you leave anybody watching or listening to this who are in one of two places? They either have harbored the desire like they’ve dreamed of writing a book for a long time, but they actually haven’t begun. Or maybe they are in the messy middle of the creative process. They’ve got an idea. They’ve been working on it, but they maybe don’t know what to do next or they’re getting stuck somehow. What would you say to it? What advice would you give to somebody to help them get their own book done and out into the world?
Colin Campbell [01:28:29] Yeah. Yeah. Well, I forget to say the second part of the fast and sloppy, which is then revise. So? So. But that’s my advice. People are stuck, Right? Write it. Don’t wait for inspiration. Don’t make for the perfect sentence, the perfect paragraph. Write the crappy paragraph. Write the crappy chapter. That’s great, because then you can revise and make it better. It’s so much easier to work with something that you’ve already written the rough draft of and then make it better the blank page and you’re just waiting for the perfect words that they’re not going to come unless you’re, I don’t know, some kind of amazing genius. I think everybody writes terrible first drafts. And the people writers are people who go ahead and write that terrible first draft, and the people who don’t go ahead and write them are never going to be writers because they’re never going to write. So that’s my advice always, is to don’t be intimidated by the blank page and don’t don’t be so judgmental that you, you know, you’re just doubting yourself. That’s not a good idea. I bet it’s a great idea. And the idea can be great, actually. And you can start with a terrible idea and then it will get better as you work on it. Slowly.
Brilliant Miller [01:29:43] Right. Well, I’m reminded just before we wrap up about the fact that you teach screenwriting. Right. And I love your take on what’s the relationship. That’s not the right word. But because there’s talent and there’s work.
Colin Campbell [01:29:59] Yeah. Yeah.
Brilliant Miller [01:29:59] Right. And some of us, like our talent is somewhere we maybe don’t even know yet. And of course, our work ethic is somewhere, but that’s the one that maybe we can influence more than the other. But when you see students, like in a screenwriting class and what how do you see that? What’s the relationship between talent and work and what can we do to kind of improve our odds of success and how we might measure it in writing?
Colin Campbell [01:30:22] Yeah. Well, I talk a lot about interest about actually when we’re writing anything but specifically screenplays, I guess. But anything really is a word we’re engaging in the interest of, of the reader or the viewer, and we’re holding them. The goal is to hold their interest. Ultimately. That’s what theater and film is. It’s holding the interest of the viewer. And what’s interesting about that is that as humans, we’re interested in so many things. Right. Right. So many things. But you as a writer, if you’re trying to chase somebody else’s interest and you’re interested yourself, it’s not going to work. So I really believe that part of what makes people’s writing stronger is when they’re able to touch base with what they actually are interested in themselves in a really honest way, you know? Yeah. You’re actually intrigued by you’re not trying to you’re trying to do it right for a political statement or like trying to teach a lesson to somebody. But what are you actually struggling with? What is really bothering you? What is your pushing your buttons as a writer? Right. You’re not you’re not trying to fix things. You’re not trying to, like I said, have a beautiful story that wraps it all up and teaches us all a lesson. It’s what’s the question that you’re struggling with? And can you explore that question? Because then you’re interested as a writer, right? You’re interested in the question. Yeah, I guess my question is, how do we work through profound loss with hope and purpose? How do we do it? That’s my I’m interested in that for sure. Yeah. And that help helped me to write.
Brilliant Miller [01:31:58] Yeah, that’s great. I, I love that is like writing. Like looking at our writing as the exploration of, like, a question. Exploring a topic, answering the question.
Colin Campbell [01:32:08] Mm hmm.
Brilliant Miller [01:32:08] In fact, I interviewed someone named Mark Nepo, who’s written almost 50 books, and he talked about, you know, he said the common writing advice is to that age-old write what you know. But he said I write what I need to know the way I see it. And in that way, my books become my teachers. I was like, that is a cool, cool view.
Colin Campbell [01:32:28] Yeah, Yeah, I like that.
Brilliant Miller [01:32:30] Yeah, that’s great. Well, kind, I, I have really enjoyed our conversation. I’ve appreciated the chance to get to know you through writing through this conversation again. I’m sorry. Sorry for your loss.
Colin Campbell [01:32:45] Thank you. Thank you. But I’m.
Brilliant Miller [01:32:46] But I’m grateful that you have taken the pain that you and Gail are experiencing and turn it into something that I certainly find meaningful and even beautiful in certain ways. And I’ve learned a lot. And I’m grateful to you. So thank you.
Colin Campbell [01:33:01] You. You. I’m grateful for you to have me on your show. It’s a great opportunity to talk at length. Yeah. Well, it’s.
Brilliant Miller [01:33:08] Been my pleasure. So, again, Colin’s book, Finding the Words Working Through Profound Loss with Hope and Purpose. And people can connect with Colin at colinCampbellAuthor.com. You can find him on Instagram. Colin Campbell, Writer. And with that, I hope that for everyone watching, and everyone listening, you will take something that you have heard here today and you will act on it to make your life better and the world a little more beautiful. A little more. Kate. So thank you. Hey, thanks so much for listening to this episode of the School for Good Living Podcast. Before you take off, I want to extend an invitation to you. Despite living in an age where we have more comforts and conveniences than ever before, life still isn’t working for many people, whether it’s here in the developed world where we deal with depression, anxiety, loneliness, addiction, divorce, unfulfilling jobs or relationships that don’t work, or in the developing world where so many people still don’t have access to basic things like clean water or sanitation or health care or education, or they live in conflict zones. There are a lot of people on this planet that life isn’t working very well for. If you’re one of those people or even if your life is working, but you have the sense that it could work better, consider signing up for the School for Good Living’s transformational coaching program. It’s something I’ve designed to help you navigate the transitions that we all go through, whether you’ve just graduated or you’ve gone through a divorce or you’ve gotten married, headed into retirement, starting a business, been married for a long time, whatever, no matter where you are in life. This nine-month program will give you the opportunity to go deep in every area of your life, to explore life’s big questions, to create answers for yourself in a community of other growth-minded individuals. And it can help you get clarity and be accountable to realize more of your unrealized potential can also help you find and maintain motivation. In short, is designed to help you live with greater health, happiness and meaning so that you can be do have and give more. Visit goodliving.com to learn more or to sign up today.