n this powerful Ted talk, Dr. Lucy Kalanithi reflects on what makes life worth living and purpose, sharing the story of her late husband, Paul, a young neurosurgeon who turned to writing after his terminal cancer diagnosis. “Engaging in the full range of experience — living and dying, love and loss — is what we get to do,” Lucy says. “Being human doesn’t happen despite suffering — it happens within it.”

Lucy quotes a poem by W.S. Merwin, just two sentences long, that captures what we hear frequently from those we know: “Your absence has gone through me like thread through a needle. Everything I do is stitched with its color.”