Debbie Derman has been through a lot. In this episode, we discuss the loss of her neighbor to suicide, the tragic plane crash she witnessed with both her parents on board, and the death of her husband to a heart attack when she was pregnant with their their child. She has taken her extreme experiences with grief and has dedicated her life to helping others through their grief. She is a grief and bereavement counselor, group facilitator, and educator who has been providing counseling services now for over twenty years.

She now has a new book “Colors of Loss and Healing: An Adult Coloring Book for Getting Through Tough Times”.


About Dr. Deborah S. Derman, Ph.D.


Deborah S. Derman, Ph.D. has been a grief counselor for over 20 years. She works with children, adolescents, and adults both individually and in groups. Her personal journey through grief and loss is a long one. She lost a dear friend from suicide when she was 27 years old. Ten years later, her parents died in a small plane crash, which she witnessed. Several years later, her husband died suddenly, leaving her with two toddlers, and pregnant with her third child. Ten years ago, she was diagnosed with a rare form of breast cancer, which required years of treatment.

Over time, Deborah learned how to navigate and survive the many challenges that life threw her way. She raised three great kids; earned a doctorate which focused on grief and bereavement; married a wonderful man who has become the adoptive father of her children; counseled families whose loved ones died on 9/11; survived breast cancer; and as a grief counselor has provided counseling and support group services for loss, grief, and bereavement.

Deborah has often been told that her personal story has been inspirational to those who have suffered the loss of a loved one. It is her hope that she can provide support and guidance to anyone who may need her. Her first book, Colors of Loss and Healing provides a beautifully illustrated path toward healing from life’s losses and challenges. Deborah can be reached at


Listen to the Podcast

TRIGGER WARNING: This episode discusses tragic death and may be triggering to some.