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Strength through suffering: A beautiful surprise

Recently, I shared here two pieces of wisdom to aid grieving: a guided meditation from Belleruth Naparstek and a practical TED-X talk by Amy Biancolli about surviving a loved one’s suicide. As I wrote, I made one of those beautiful mistakes that deepen and enrich the moment beyond what I imagined.

I played the soothing guided meditation in the background as I wrote. Usually, I have to avoid other people’s words when I am trying to form my own, but something about her voice and cadence and the import of her words allowed me to do both.

Then, a surprise: on my computer, Biancolli’s talk re-opened in a window I hadn’t closed, and her solemn unrelenting pacing-the-stage delivery of her survival methods combined with the tones of the meditation. Neither drowned the other out, but they blended with a strange beauty. It created, I decided, the perfect depiction of what grieving demands of us: that we reach for calm and hope, while we construct the survival skills we need to face our changed future. If grieving teaches us nothing else, it offers endless demonstrations that suffering and strength can co-exist. We are capable of more than simple suffering; grieving is also about action and resilience. My mishap pointed to a powerful combination.

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