Today I'm gonna try to tell you what I learned in death.
One year and 13 days ago, I lost my husband Dave.
Dave's death changed me in very profound ways.
I learned that in the face of the void or in the face of any challenge, you can choose joy and meaning.
I'm sharing this with you today in the hopes that on this day in your lives with all the momentum and the joy.
You can learn in life the lessons I only learned in death.
Lessons about hope about strengths and about the light within us that will not be extinguished.
The easy days ahead of you will be easy.
It is the hard days, the days that challenge you to your very core that will determine who you are.
You will be defined not just by what you achieve but by how you survive.
Finding gratitude and appreciation is key to resilience.
I mean live with the understanding of how precious every day would be.
Because that's how precious every day actually is.
I stand here today a year after the very worst day of my life,
the worst day, the worst day I can imagine.
And two things are true.
I have a huge reservoir of sadness.
It is with me always. It is right here where I can touch it.
I never knew I could cry so often for so much.
But for the first time, I'm grateful for each breath in and out.
I'm grateful for the gift of life itself.
I used to celebrate my birthday every five years, and my friends birthdays sometimes.
Now I celebrate always.
I used to go to bed every night worrying about all the things I did wrong that day,
and trust me the list was long..
Now I go to bed trying to focus on that day's moments of joy.
There are so many moments of joy ahead of you.
The trip you always wanted to take.
A first kiss with someone you really like.
Finding a job you believe in, all of these things will happen to you.
Enjoy each and every one.
I hope that you live your life each precious day of it with joy and meaning.
I hope that you walk without pain and you are grateful for each step.
And when the challenges come,
I hope you remember that deep within you is the ability to learn and grow.
You are not born with a fixed amount of resilience.
It's a muscle you can build it up, and then draw on it when you need it.
And in that process, you figure out who you really are.
And you just might become the very best version of yourself.