Last week our grandfather, or Babajoon as we called him, passed away at the incredible age of 104. His death came just four months after the passing of Mamanjoon, our grandmother and his wife of 75 years. His passing also marked the loss of our last living grandparent.
After the news of his death, our family received many comforting messages and words of wisdom to guide this period of grief. One video in particular was shared a few times, first by our cousin and then again by a close friend.
It was an honest, heartfelt, and open conversation between Stephen Colbert and Anderson Cooper discussing life after losing loved ones.
About 13 minutes in, Cooper says to Colbert:
"You told an interviewer that you have learned to love the things that you most wish had not happened. You went on to say, ‘What punishments of God are not gifts?’ Do you really believe that?"
Colbert took a moment and responded:
"Yes. It’s a gift to exist, and with existence comes suffering. There’s no escaping that.
But I didn’t learn it — that I was grateful for the thing that I most wished hadn’t happened. It’s that I realized it... I don’t want it to have happened. I want it to not have happened. But if you’re grateful for your life — and not everyone is, and I’m not always… then you have to be grateful for all of it. You can’t pick and choose what you’re grateful for.
Then what do you get from loss? You get awareness of other people’s loss, which allows you to connect with that other person, which allows you to love more deeply and to understand what it’s like to be a human being…and however imperfectly, acknowledge their suffering and to connect with them and to love them in a deep way that not only accepts that all of us suffer, but also that makes you grateful for the fact that you have suffered so that you can know that about other people. And that’s what I mean. It’s about the fullness of your humanity. What’s the point of being here and being human if you can’t be the most human you can be?"
Learning to find peace, growth, and even gratitude from our most painful moments — is an incredible act of Resilience.
To life, love, and humanity,
Mike and Dave Radparvar
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