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Dear Kay,

Hubbo sent along a podcast episode that I’ve listened to twice now. It has been helpful as I’ve been living with the loss of my dad last October.

It’s the episode Healing Your Heart” from the Hidden Brain podcast. Our host  Shankar Vedantam talks with Lucy Hone, a researcher whose work involves the study of resilience. She’s terrific, so generous in the way she talks about her own stunning heartbreak.

Shankar Vedantam, the creator and host of Hidden Brain, is so, so good. I admire him so much. Here’s a bit from his mission statement:

“Nowhere is this journey of exploration more profound than in the discoveries we can make about our own selves. Our inner worlds are so much with us, so familiar to us, that many of us have lost the ability to marvel at our own minds. Yet, there is no form of exploration more exhilarating. Every episode of Hidden Brain aims to help people get to know themselves a little better, to think of their inner worlds with less judgment and more curiosity.”




PS That’s Griffith Observatory up there, on the late afternoon when I hiked up the dusty trail in LA’s Griffith Park. I felt like I’d climbed the Matterhorn, only to come upon busloads of visitors who’d zoomed up the road. I had to laugh. Everybody’s journey is different, you know?



  • This was so excellent and moving, thank you so much Ann. It made so much sense, really spoke to me and I will forward to my 2 children also.

    • Thank you for posting this, Ann. Listening to this conversation was so validating. Hearing that it’s okay to “accept the good” and let my life grow back into good even as I learn to carry the loss of my husband helped me to feel okay about the path I’m walking.

    • So glad to hear you’re sharing it, Beth—it feels like the sort of thing that ought to get out as widely as possible.

  • Thank you, Ann. I lost my dear dad in December. It is so strange and unmooring to be in a world without him. I love Shankar Vedantam and will set aside some quiet knitting time today for a listen.

    • Dear Ann, I can’t thank you enough for sharing. My husband of 46 years, died last August and I found the new path difficult. I went to a grief support group left in tears, it was almost degrading. I didn’t fit in one of the five categories. My heart was very happy after listening to this pod cast knowing the way I have chosen to channel my grief is ok.

    • Shelly, I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. I hope you’ll find peace and something helpful in this—Shankar Vedantam is so good at the art of conversation, you know?

  • I heard his voice in my head as I read the mission statement. It is such a good podcast.

    • Yes! I know what you mean.

  • I haven’t read this yet and – have to be in the right frame of mind – but many thoughts come to mind when I think of those whom I ‘ve lost in the somewhat distant past and those who may well go before me in the very near future. Each situation is different. No one size fits all. So I am glad you have posted this and I think that I will benefit from it.

    • The idea of “oscillating grief” is one of the big takeaways for me, the idea that grief is not linear. This is helpful to me when thinking about losses from long ago. Maybe just tuck this podcast away for the time when it seems like a thing to do?

  • I experienced an unexpected loss sometime ago and it sent everything sideways. This was very reassuring. Thanks for sharing the link.

    • Sideways—so true. Sending love to you.

  • love the hidden brain! i will listen to it, thank you!

  • “Everyone’s journey is their own.” So true!

  • Thanks for sharing this. I have also suffered every parent’s worst nightmare, not once but twice-a son struck by a car and now permanently brain injured and one who took his life. Many things Lucy said, are almost word for word what I have said or thought. It was helpful to listen and see how I am working my own way through the unthinkable.

    • My heart goes out to you, truly. Sending you all the love in the world. No words …

  • Thank you SO MUCH for this. Although my mother died in 1988, and I am now a grandmother….I still struggle with that loss, as well as the death of my devoted father at the end of 2019. Life is truly a journey. Thank you for helping to make it a little easier.

    • Love to you, Linda. I hope your memories are lifting your spirits, sometimes it helps me to remember the good times together.

  • Your Matterhorn story reminded me of mine – years ago, visiting a friend who had moved to Atlanta, we took the (which turns out to be near-vertical) 2-mile woods hike in Grant Park to the then-location of the Cyclorama. (we walk 2 miles regularly, no big deal, right? HA!). We emerged at last – humbly huffing & puffing – to walk around a corner of the building to see the road and parking lot . . .

    • Ha!!! Way to tough it out ….

  • I lost my dad in September of 2020 – I will listen to this podcast! Thanks for the recommendation on the grief podcast – I miss him so much!

  • I listened to this while doing meditative knitting on Sunday morning. My husband of 45 years died last year just before Christmas. There is so much that is useful and comforting in this interview. Thanks. I have better language to respond to people who ask how I am doing and how they can help.

  • I just listened to this episode last week. I love everything Hidden Brain puts out, but this episode was truly special. What Lucy says at the end of the episode — about their memories of Abby, her legacy, and feeling like she’s still with them in a way “doesn’t make it okay, but maybe it can be good enough” — is so well said. Nothing will make your new normal “okay”, but you do reach a point where it can be, well, good enough. I think that’s such an important distinction. I’m sorry for your loss, Ann.

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