Talk to the Dead by Catharine Bramkamp

Let’s welcome back monthly columnist Catharine Bramkamp as she shares with us: “Talk to the Dead” Enjoy!


We all have loved ones who have left us before we could say everything we wanted to say.

It’s not too late.

There are many want to communicate with the dead: Ouija Boards, Mediums, Clairvoyants, Automatic Writing.

Much easier and far more expedient is to journal.

Unresolved issues and worse, guilt, puts enormous stress on our bodies.

And when we’ve lost a loved one (or may be not so loved) we can feel either a small or large helping of stress. But we will be stressed.

According to, emotional symptoms of stress include:

  • Becoming easily agitated, frustrated, and moody
  • Feeling overwhelmed, like you are losing control or need to take control
  • Having difficulty relaxing and quieting your mind
  • Feeling bad about yourself (low self-esteem), lonely, worthless, and depressed
  • Avoiding others

Physical symptoms of stress include:

Cognitive symptoms of stress include:

  • Constant worrying
  • Racing thoughts
  • Forgetfulness and disorganization
  • Inability to focus
  • Poor judgment
  • Being pessimistic or seeing only the negative side

You can take something: a small pill or a large drink, but a better approach is to write it all out.

Talk to the dead in your journal.

I remember a family member who did not deal with or even acknowledge a catastrophic loss. (I’m looking at you, Grandma). She denied the grief, loss, and stress, and instead contracted a painful case of shingles, then cancer. Great solution.

Journaling would have been far easier, private, and certainly less painful.

I’m a big fan of therapy; many therapists will recommend hauling out a paper journal and jotting down some thoughts with the correct assessment that we cannot change our family members, only our responses to them.

So here is free advice: Start now. Talk to the dead.

Journal out dialogues, conversations and what you always meant to say to the deceased.

No, it won’t do THEM any good, but it will help you.

Here are some ideas and prompts on what to write:

  • What I always wanted to tell you…
  • What I always meant to say…
  • What I always wanted to hear from you…
  • What I plan to do now is…
  • What I wish I could have done before…
  • Appreciate them
  • Yell at them
  • Forgive them

Make it all about you and your process.

If you find that you are circling and circling around a certain theme or subject in your exploration, that is your ah ha moment, and when you show up to your first therapy session, you will not only be ready, you may even get an A-plus.

For the full Journaling Workbook, email your request to cbramkamp(at)gmail(dot) com.

Indulge in the whole class.

Join us in Tahoe this Fall 2019 for Writers Boot Camp



Catharine BramkampCatharine Bramkamp is the co-producer of Newbie Writers Podcast that focuses on newer writers and their concerns. She is a successful writing coach, Chief Storytelling Officer, and author of a dozen books including the Real Estate Diva Mysteries series, and The Future Girls series. She holds two degrees in English and is an adjunct university professor. After fracturing her wrist, she has figured out there is very little she is able to do with one hand tied behind her back.

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