"I was in 'the void,'" she writes, "a vast emptiness that fills your heart and lungs and restricts your ability to think or even breathe."
Grief is a demanding companion. In those early days and weeks and months, it was always there, not just below the surface but on the surface.
"No one ever told me," C. S. Lewis wrote, "that grief felt so like fear."The fear was constant and it felt like the grief would never subside. The waves would continue to crash over me until I was no longer standing, no longer myself.
When I stopped fighting those moments, they passed more quickly.
there was a bottom to this seemingly endless void.
I learned that when life pulls you under, you can kick against the bottom, break the surface, and breathe again.
psychologist Martin Seligman found that three P's can stunt recovery: (1) personalization—the belief that we are at fault; (2) pervasiveness—the belief that an event will affect all areas of our life; and (3) permanence—the belief that the aftershocks of the event will last forever.
Recognizing that negative events aren't personal, pervasive, or permanent makes people less likely to get depressed and better able to cope.
not everything that happens to us happens because of us.
"Part of every misery,"C. S. Lewis wrote, is "misery's shadow … the fact that you don't merely suffer but have to keep on thinking about the fact that you suffer."
"Some things in life cannot be fixed. They can only be carried,"
Journaling helped me process my overwhelming feelings and my all-too-many regrets.
Self-compassion isn't talked about as much as it should be,maybe because it's often confused with its troublesome cousins,self-pity and self-indulgence.
people were asked to write and deliver a thank-you note to someone who had shown them unusual kindness. This pleased the receivers but it also made the note writers feel significantly less depressed, and the gratitude afterglow stayed with them for a month.
"I know you don't know yet what will happen—and neither do I. But you won't go through this alone. I will be there with you every step of the way."
"The years when you have seen only one set of footprints, my child, are when I carried you."
I used to think there was one set of footprints because my friends were carrying me through the worst days of my life. But now it means something else to me. When I saw one set of footprints, it was because they were following directly behind me, ready to catch me if I fell.
"Let me fall if I must fall. The one I become will catch me."
In the depths of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.
post-traumatic growth could take five different forms: finding personal strength, gaining appreciation, forming deeper relationships, discovering more meaning in life, and seeing new possibilities.
our amount of resilience isn't fixed, so I should be asking instead how I could become resilient. Resilience is the strength and speed of our response to adversity—and we can build it. It isn't about having a backbone. It's about strengthening the muscles around our backbone.
"with each passing year, the balance tipped a little more toward an appreciation of what there once was and away from the horror of what was lost."
"In some way, suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds a meaning."
it does not just give our lives purpose—it gives our suffering purpose.
Empathy was nice but encouragement was better.
"Our child dies a second time when no one speaks their name."
Asking people how they met their deceased partner seems cruel so no one does it.But for the widow or widower,not asking means they miss out on the nostalgia of recalling those early romantic days.
I still always start by offering them time off. But now I understand the importance of treating them as regular members of the team and praising their work as well.
"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
We want others to be happy. Allowing ourselves to be happy—accepting that it is okay to push through the guilt and seek joy—is a triumph over permanence. Having fun is a form of self-compassion; just as we need to be kind to ourselves when we make mistakes, we also need to be kind to ourselves by enjoying life when we can.
Photos are important because happiness is remembered, not just experienced.
But happiness is the frequency of positive experiences, not the intensity.
As we get older, we define happiness less in terms of excitement and more in terms of peacefulness.
"Both deaths are woven into the fabric of my life, but they're not what define me,"
But just as grief crashes into us like a wave,it also rolls back like the tide.We are left not just standing,but in some ways stronger.Option B still gives us options.We can still love…and we can still find joy.
Life can only be understood backward but it must be lived forward.
"Option A is not available. So let's just kick the shit out of Option B."