An overarching theme in Touched by Fatality is voiced by the character Peter McPherson: “Loss…is the common denominator we humans share.”

What will we lose? Everything—jobs, friends, family, home, identity, health, sometimes our mind—and always our life. Foreknowledge of the inevitability of losses, great and small, is there most of our existence. How is it possible that we choose to endure? One strategy is to bury awareness of our fate. More creatively, we can follow the advice of Rick Hart, the psychiatrist in Touched by Fatality, to “mine the sorrows.” We can seek the silver and gold in the connections that make a temporal existence joyful, not merely bearable.

The gift of the grief that accompanies loss is that it makes us vulnerable. As Rick Hart says, “Vulnerability is its own reward.” Vulnerability unlocks the door to intimacy, the most deeply satisfying human connection. A friend, after hearing of the focus on the linkage between vulnerability and intimacy in Touched by Fatality, suggested I read Daring Greatly by Brené  Brown. I followed this advice and was intrigued by Brown’s research into shame, and of how it operates in making us—particularly men—perceive vulnerability as a weakness, something to be avoided. I pass along the suggestion to check out Brown’s work. You can even take the shortcut of viewing her TED Talk on Youtube.

Be a miner.