Author & Host of Terrible, Thanks for Asking Podcast
A reluctant grief expert and “notable widow” (her words), Nora McInerny miscarried her second baby, lost her Dad to cancer and also lost her husband, Aaron, to a brain tumor all within 6 hellish weeks in 2014. Called “The Anne Lamott for the emoji generation,” (Rebecca Stouffer, Modern Loss) Nora has used her creative energies, humor and interviewing skills towards the exploration of all things terrible, leading a new cultural conversation on emotional honesty and empathy. Read More >
TED: We Don’t “Move On” From Grief. We Move Forward with It.
Walk In My Shoes
What's the Worst that Could Happen
Timing is Nothing at All
It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too)
Can we really “check our feelings at the door” when we come to work? How do we approach people with humanity and kindness while still getting our jobs done? In this presentation by keynote speaker, Nora McInerny, you will learn how to bring your humanity to work, even when work includes the most messy/beautiful parts of life. You will learn specific language to use (and not to use) with colleagues and clients who are going through difficult times.
Bummer alert! Everyone you love will die. What does it mean to live with this perspective? How can experiencing the very worst bring out the best in you? Without ever “moving on” or “getting over it,” how can you live better -- and love better -- right now?
Nora McInerny was a 31-year-old mother when her husband Aaron died of brain cancer. There’s no road map to follow when you find your life has fallen apart, but Nora embraced the brokenness and remade her life. She quit her comfortable marketing job, wrote a book with HarperCollins, started a non-profit and a podcast with American Public Media. Fear, setbacks and loss are a part of life, but they don’t need to be what defines your life.
There’s nothing funny about brain cancer. But Nora and her late husband laughed all the time during his treatment. No one wants to be just another sad story, and even the most tragic moments in life have an element of humor. In her talks around humor, grief and loss, Nora walks caretakers and healthcare providers through a more complex version of the patient experience, inviting audiences to laugh and cry alongside her, and reminds us of the humanity within the human body.
Why do we ask “how are you?” when we don’t want to know the real answer? And why do we always say “fine” even when the truth is that things are anything but fine? In her work as the host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking, Nora shares the universal truths that make loss and suffering less lonely. She invites audiences to consider a less isolating, more honest answer to the question “how are you?” An answer that builds empathy and connection within the most human of experiences: suffering.
Nora was our afternoon keynote speaker at our annual CSO Professional Day event. She was natural! Warm, engaging, exciting and fun in her presence, and her messaging was on-point. Our theme was Grit & Grace; Nora spoke about her life experiences and gave the attendees key takeaways. She brought humor and pain, to which the attendees could relate and take to heart.
“Not only was she engaging, funny, relevant, articulate and authentic, but she went above-and-beyond to connect her message to the mission of our hospital. On top of which, she was suffering from a concussion and still managed to make the entire room laugh repeatedly at 8 in the morning! Nora and her team were great to work with leading up to and during the event. We are grateful for all Nora did to make our event a success, and we highly recommend her. I still hear from participants about how great Nora was, and I'd be happy to recommend her anytime.”
"Nora was the keynote speaker at the one hundred, an annual fundraiser for the Mass General Cancer Center honoring 100 individuals and groups making a difference in the fight against cancer. She shared her story with more than 800 advocates, volunteers, caregivers, researchers, philanthropists, and other guests – many of whom have been personally affected by cancer. She captivatingly laid out her experiences as our attendees laughed and cried. Months later, we still talk about Nora’s keynote and how it left all of us with such a profound sense of how important it is to value each and every moment. In addition to her remarkable ability to connect and engage with each and every person in a room, Nora is extremely professional to work with and was intent on delivering an appropriate speech for our audience. I can’t recommend her enough!"
"Thank you for the perfect blend of nostalgia-drenched humor, wit, and heartbreak, Nora."
“This story will compel you to both laugh and cry, just as the title promises. May we all bring Nora’s honesty, passion and hope to our lives.”