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A lesson in storytelling and the power of healing

Storytelling has always been one way people process life, happy and sad.

Angelo Merendino found that telling the story of his wife Jennifer’s fight with breast cancer helped him create meaning from the experience. He wrote an iBook, “The Battle We Didn’t Choose,” and in the Ted Talk below, Angelo tells how he met his wife and how, shortly after they married, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

Angelo and Jennifer’s story was a global inspiration. As I watched the video, I was struck by how powerful the story was, and I realized that, in part, it was because it revealed Angelo and Jennifer’s love story first (including the influence of his own parents’ love story) before she received her diagnosis.

Angelo’s story reminded me of something one of my writing advisors told me years ago about storytelling. “You have to give readers a reason to care about your characters by letting the reader understand who the characters are up front.”

Angelo created a very moving tribute to his wife in pictures, print, and in this Ted Talk. He says these photos and the story were created out of necessity. His need to make meaning out of the tragedy continues to have a powerful impact.

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