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Finding the Words

Colin Campbell
In Conversation With Rabbi Sharon Brous
Thursday, March 16, 2023
Episode Summary

"I wrote this book in the hopes of making grief less frightening, mysterious, and lonely for those of us who suddenly find ourselves on this difficult journey."—Colin Campbell

When film and theater writer/director Colin Campbell’s two teenage children were killed by a drunk driver, Campbell was thrown headlong into a grief so deep he felt he might lose his mind. He found much of the common wisdom about coping with loss—including the ideas that grieving is a private and mysterious process and that the pain is so great that "there are no words"—to be unhelpful. Drawing on what he learned from his own journey, Campbell offers an alternative path for processing pain that is active and vocal and truly honors loved ones lost. Finding the Words gives readers practical advice on how to survive in the aftermath of loss, teaching how to actively reach out to their community, perform mourning rituals, and find ways to express their grief, so they can live more fully while also holding their loved ones close.

Participant(s) Bio

Colin Campbell is a writer and director for theater and film. He was nominated for an Academy Award for Seraglio, a short film he wrote and directed with his lovely and talented wife, Gail Lerner. He has taught Theater and/or Filmmaking at Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, Cal Poly Pomona University, and to incarcerated youth through The Unusual Suspects. His one-person show titled Grief: A One Man ShitShow premiered at the Hollywood Fringe Festival, where it won a Best of Broadwater Award. He lives in Los Angeles and sometimes Joshua Tree.

Rabbi Sharon Brous is the senior and founding rabbi of IKAR, which launched in 2004 with the goal of reinvigorating Jewish tradition and practice and inspiring people of faith to reclaim a moral and prophetic voice. IKAR is one of the fastest-growing and most influential Jewish congregations in the country. Rabbi Brous’s 2016 TED Talk, "Reclaiming Religion," has been viewed by more than 1.4 million people and translated into 23 languages. In 2013, she was at the Inaugural National Prayer Service and blessed President Barack Obama, and then she returned in 2021 to bless President Biden. She spoke in 2017 at the Women’s March in Washington, DC, and the following year at the opening of the National Memorial for Peace and Justice.