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Expected to die, today he’s inspiring others to truly live.

World-renowned inspirational speaker + national bestselling author John O’Leary wants to help you wake up from accidental living so you can do, be, achieve and impact more through your life.

Join John twice a week!

  • Every Monday, John shares a quick burst of inspiration to help start your week on fire.
  • Every Thursday, John interviews an amazing guest on their story, successes, failures, lessons, and life to help you uncover tips to apply in yours.

Find the Live Inspired Podcast here:

Mar 25, 2021

In the span of a few weeks, Nora McInerny experienced three unimaginable losses: a miscarriage, the death of her father and the death of her husband.

Yet in the wake of loss, Nora, host of the popular podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking and author of bestselling books No Happy Endings and The Young Hot Widows Club reminds us that we get to assemble something new from what is left behind.

Today, Nora shares about the painful experiences we inevitably face, how to cope with the emotional aftermath and the important balance between finding happiness and holding space for the unhappy experiences that have shaped us.

In a year riddled with painful losses, political divisiveness, social isolation, and so much more...

This conversation is a reminder that life will have incomprehensible tragedy... And yet, the foundation is firm and the best of our days remain ahead. 


  • Fall 2014:
    • October 3: Nora loses her pregnancy.
    • October 8: Nora's father loses his battle with cancer.
    • November 25: Aaron loses his battle with brain cancer.
  • While Nora wishes she had more video of Aaron, she's thankful they wrote his obituary + planned his funeral together. Read Aaron's viral obituary here.
  • "Your job when talking to someone suffering is not to fix it. Acknowledge what is and let them know you're thinking of them."
  • Showing up for others: Do what you can do + what you will do competently, consistently and humbly. 
  • Nora on hearing others share memories of Aaron: "The most beautiful part is realizing how many part of your person live within others."
  • “Even if you’re surrounded by people you love, figuring out grief is a solo project.”
  • “Ernest Hemingway wrote “the world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are stronger in the broken places.” 
  • Listen to Nora McInerny's Terrible, Thanks for Asking here.
  • Get Nora McInerny's books No Happy Endings, It's Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) and The Young Hot Widows Club.


  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor Frankl.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Bizarre confidence.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. Portrait of my dad that my grandfather painted.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Aaron for guidance and validation.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. Aaron would say “Who cares?” and a teacher at school would say, “What other people say of you is none of your business.”
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. All of your worry is a waste of time because things will be better than you can ever imagine, harder than you can ever imagine and you’re not in control of any of it. Also, spend more time with getting to know yourself because having a firmer sense of who you are is the key to everything.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. Well, she tried.


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