The cascade of responses to your article demonstrates how universal is the experience of missed opportunities, poor decisions, failing ourselves, and plain old regret. But your story is particular and painfully honest, which is why it resonates so deeply.

In my experience, telling someone who is hurting, “everything happens for a reason,” is right up there, or down there, with saying, “whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” Both remarks are blunt instruments, which may comfort the person making them, but just sort of bash the receiver.

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Writer & educator. The Startup, Writing Cooperative, P.S. I Love You, The Ascent, more. Award-winning short fiction. Visit me at

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