playlist

Finding and bringing closure

Death is hard, and suffering from the subsequent loss is even harder. These talks focus on the journey to finding closure and reaching the end of difficult chapters in life.

  1. 8:40
    Fredy Peccerelli A forensic anthropologist who brings closure for the "disappeared"

    In Guatemala's 36-year conflict, 200,000 civilians were killed — and more than 40,000 were never identified. At the Forensic Anthropology Foundation of Guatemala, Fredy Peccerelli and his team use DNA, archeology and storytelling to help families find the bodies of their loved ones. It's a sobering task, but it can bring peace of mind — and sometimes, justice. (Contains medical imagery.)

  2. 9:49
    Becci Manson (Re)touching lives through photos

    In the wake of the 2011 Japanese earthquake and tsunami, mixed into the wreckage were lost and damaged photos of families and loved ones. Photo retoucher Becci Manson, together with local volunteers and a global group of colleagues she recruited online, helped clean and fix them, restoring those memories to their owners.

  3. 13:08
    Alyssa Monks How loss helped one artist find beauty in imperfection

    Painter Alyssa Monks finds beauty and inspiration in the unknown, the unpredictable and even the awful. In a poetic, intimate talk, she describes the interaction of life, paint and canvas through her development as an artist, and as a human.

  4. 15:44
    Elizabeth Lesser Say your truths and seek them in others

    In a lyrical, unexpectedly funny talk about heavy topics such as frayed relationships and the death of a loved one, Elizabeth Lesser describes the healing process of putting aside pride and defensiveness to make way for soul-baring and truth-telling. "You don't have to wait for a life-or-death situation to clean up the relationships that matter to you," she says. "Be like a new kind of first responder ... the one to take the first courageous step toward the other."

  5. 10:17
    Sarah Gray How my son's short life made a lasting difference

    After Sarah Gray's unborn son Thomas was diagnosed with anencephaly, a terminal condition, she decided to turn her family's tragedy into an extraordinary gift and donate his organs to scientific research. In this tribute to life and discovery, she shares her journey to find meaning in loss and spreads a message of hope for other grieving families.

  6. 12:58
    Lidia Yuknavitch The beauty of being a misfit

    To those who feel like they don't belong: there is beauty in being a misfit. Author Lidia Yuknavitch shares her own wayward journey in an intimate recollection of patchwork stories about loss, shame and the slow process of self-acceptance. "Even at the moment of your failure, you are beautiful," she says. "You don't know it yet, but you have the ability to reinvent yourself endlessly. That's your beauty."

  7. 10:34
    Amy Green A video game to cope with grief

    When Amy Green's young son was diagnosed with a rare brain tumor, she made up a bedtime story for his siblings to teach them about cancer. What resulted was a video game, "That Dragon, Cancer," which takes players on a journey they can't win. In this beautiful talk about coping with loss, Green brings joy and play to tragedy. "We made a game that's hard to play," she says, "because the hardest moments of our lives change us more than any goal we could ever accomplish."