Cheryl Strayed’s collection of advice pieces, Tiny Beautiful Things, comes out today. Here, she responds to a father who is grieving the loss of his son, who was killed by a drunk driver:

17. You have the power to withstand this sorrow. We all do, though we all claim not to. We say, ‘I couldn’t go on,’ instead of saying we hope we won’t have to. That’s what you’re saying in your letter to me, Living Dead Dad. You’ve made it so fucking long without your sweet boy and now you can’t take it anymore. But you can. You must.

18. More will be revealed. Your son hasn’t yet taught you everything he has to teach you. He taught you how to love like you’ve never loved before. He taught you how to suffer like you’ve never suffered before. Perhaps the next thing he has to teach you is acceptance. And the thing after that, forgiveness.

“Dear Sugar: The Obliterated Place.” — Dear Sugar, The Rumpus

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