“In the depths of winter”: Albert Camus, Lyrical and Critical Essays (New York: Vintage, 1970).

“In a few short moments”: Joseph E. Kasper, “Co-Destiny: A Conceptual Goal for Parental Bereavement and the Call for a ‘Positive Turn’ in the Scientific Study of the Parental Bereavement Process,” unpublished master’s thesis, University of Pennsylvania, 2013.

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“When we are no longer able to change”: Viktor Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning (New York: Pocket Books, 1959).

experienced post-traumatic growth: Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun, Helping Bereaved Parents: A Clinician’s Guide (New York: Routledge, 2003).

Psychologists went on to study: For reviews, see Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun, “Posttraumatic Growth: Conceptual Foundations and Empirical Evidence,” Psychological Inquiry 15 (2004): 1–18; Vicki S. Helgeson, Kerry A. Reynolds, and Patricia L. Tomich, “A Meta-Analytic Review of Benefit Finding and Growth,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 74 (2006): 797–816; Gabriele Prati and Luca Pietrantoni, “Optimism, Social Support, and Coping Strategies as Factors Contributing to Posttraumatic Growth: A Meta-Analysis,” Journal of Loss and Trauma 14 (2009): 364–88.

victims of sexual assault and abuse: Patricia Frazier, Ty Tashiro, Margit Berman, et al., “Correlates of Levels and Patterns of Positive Life Changes Following Sexual Assault,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 72 (2004): 19–30; Amanda R. Cobb, Richard G. Tedeschi, Lawrence G. Calhoun, and Arnie Cann, “Correlates of Posttraumatic Growth in Survivors of Intimate Partner Violence,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 19 (2006): 895–903.

refugees and prisoners of war: Steve Powell, Rita Rosner, Will Butollo, et al., “Posttraumatic Growth After War: A Study with Former Refugees and Displaced People in Sarajevo,” Journal of Clinical Psychology 59 (2003): 71–83; Zahava Solomon and Rachel Dekel, “Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Growth Among Israeli Ex-POWs,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 20 (2007): 303–12.

survivors of accidents, natural disasters: Tanja Zoellner, Sirko Rabe, Anke Karl, and Andreas Maercker, “Posttraumatic Growth in Accident Survivors: Openness and Optimism as Predictors of Its Constructive or Illusory Sides,” Journal of Clinical Psychology 64 (2008): 245–63; Cheryl H. Cryder, Ryan P. Kilmer, Richard G. Tedeschi, and Lawrence G. Calhoun, “An Exploratory Study of Posttraumatic Growth in Children Following a Natural Disaster,” American Journal of Orthopsychiatry 76 (2006): 65–69.

severe injuries, and illnesses: Sanghee Chun and Youngkhill Lee, “The Experience of Posttraumatic Growth for People with Spinal Cord Injury,” Qualitative Health Research 18 (2008): 877–90; Alexandra Sawyer, Susan Ayers, and Andy P. Field, “Posttraumatic Growth and Adjustment Among Individuals with Cancer or HIV/AIDS: A Meta-Analysis,” Clinical Psychology Review 30 (2010): 436–47.

more than half the people who experience: Richard G. Tedeschi and Lawrence G. Calhoun, “The Posttraumatic Growth Inventory: Measuring the Positive Legacy of Trauma,” Journal of Traumatic Stress 9 (1996): 455–71.

less than 15 percent who develop PTSD: National Center for PTSD, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, “How Common Is PTSD?,” calculated from the statistics presented in the report, accessed on December 14, 2016: www.ptsd.va.gov/public/PTSD-overview/basics/how-common-is-ptsd.asp.

“what does not kill me makes me stronger”: Friedrich Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols, trans. R. J. Hollingdale (New York: Penguin, 1889/1977).

“I am more vulnerable”: Lawrence G. Calhoun and Richard G. Tedeschi, Handbook of Posttraumatic Growth: Research and Practice (New York: Routledge, 2014).

After loss, the emptiness of birthdays: Camille B. Wortman, “Posttraumatic Growth: Progress and Problems,” Psychological Inquiry 15 (2004): 81–90.

people were asked to write and deliver: Martin E. P. Seligman, Tracy A. Steen, Nansook Park, and Christopher Peterson, “Positive Psychology Progress: Empirical Validation of Interventions,” American Psychologist 60 (2005): 410–21. See also Fabian Gander, René T. Proyer, Willibald Ruch, and Tobias Wyss, “Strength-Based Positive Interventions: Further Evidence for Their Potential in Enhancing Well-Being and Alleviating Depression,” Journal of Happiness Studies 14 (2013): 1241–59.

Many survivors of sexual abuse and assault: Patricia Frazier, Amy Conlon, and Theresa Glaser, “Positive and Negative Life Changes Following Sexual Assault,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 69 (2001): 1048–55; J. Curtis McMillen, Susan Zuravin, and Gregory Rideout, “Perceived Benefit from Childhood Sexual Abuse,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 63 (1995): 1037–43.

After losing a child: Darrin R. Lehman, Camille B. Wortman, and Allan F. Williams, “Long-Term Effects of Losing a Spouse or Child in a Motor Vehicle Crash,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 52 (1987): 218–31.

Soldiers who experience significant losses: Glen H. Elder Jr. and Elizabeth Colerick Clipp, “Wartime Losses and Social Bonding: Influence Across 40 Years in Men’s Lives,” Psychiatry 51 (1988): 177–98; Glen H. Elder Jr. and Elizabeth Colerick Clipp, “Combat Experience and Emotional Health: Impairment and Resilience in Later Life,” Journal of Personality 57 (1989): 311–41.

Many breast cancer survivors report: Matthew J. Cordova, Lauren L. C. Cunningham, Charles R. Carlson, and Michael A. Andrykowski, “Posttraumatic Growth Following Breast Cancer: A Controlled Comparison Study,” Health Psychology 20 (2001): 176–85; Sharon Manne, Jamie Ostroff, Gary Winkel, et al., “Posttraumatic Growth After Breast Cancer: Patient, Partner, and Couple Perspectives,” Psychosomatic Medicine 66 (2004): 442–54; Tzipi Weiss, “Posttraumatic Growth in Women with Breast Cancer and Their Husbands: An Intersubjective Validation Study,” Journal of Psychosocial Orthopsychiatry 20 (2002): 65–80; Keith M. Bellizzi and Thomas O. Blank, “Predicting Posttraumatic Growth in Breast Cancer Survivors,” Health Psychology 25 (2006): 47–56.

“In some way, suffering ceases to be”: Frankl, Man’s Search for Meaning.

Traumatic experiences can lead to deeper faith: Annick Shaw, Stephen Joseph, and P. Alex Linley, “Religion, Spirituality, and Posttraumatic Growth: A Systematic Review,” Mental Health, Religion and Culture 8 (2005): 1–11.

I read an open letter: Vernon Turner, “Letter to My Younger Self,” The Players’ Tribune, May 3, 2016: www.theplayerstribune.com/vernon-turner-nfl-letter-to-my-younger-self/.

Family and religion are the greatest sources: Paul T. P. Wong, The Human Quest for Meaning: Theories, Research, and Applications (New York: Routledge, 2013); Jochen I. Menges, Danielle V. Tussing, Andreas Wihler, and Adam Grant, “When Job Performance Is All Relative: How Family Motivation Energizes Effort and Compensates for Intrinsic Motivation,” Academy of Management Journal (in press): http://amj.aom.org/content/early/2016/02/25/amj.2014.0898.short.

The jobs where people find the most meaning: Brent D. Rosso, Kathryn H. Dekas, and Amy Wrzesniewski, “On the Meaning of Work: A Theoretical Integration and Review,” Research in Organizational Behavior 30 (2010): 91–127; Adam M. Grant, “The Significance of Task Significance: Job Performance Effects, Relational Mechanisms, and Boundary Conditions,” Journal of Applied Psychology 93 (2008): 108–24; Adam M. Grant, “Relational Job Design and the Motivation to Make a Prosocial Difference,” Academy of Management Review 32 (2007): 393–417; Adam M. Grant, “Leading with Meaning: Beneficiary Contact, Prosocial Impact, and the Performance Effects of Transformational Leadership,” Academy of Management Journal 55 (2012): 458–76; Yitzhak Fried and Gerald R. Ferriss, “The Validity of the Job Characteristics Model: A Review and Meta-Analysis,” Personnel Psychology 40 (1987): 287–322; PayScale, “The Most and Least Meaningful Jobs,” accessed on December 14, 2016: www.payscale.com/data-packages/most-and-least-meaningful-jobs/.

meaningful work buffers against burnout: Adam M. Grant and Sabine Sonnentag, “Doing Good Buffers Against Feeling Bad: Prosocial Impact Compensates for Negative Task and Self-Evaluations,” Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes 111 (2010): 13–22; Adam M. Grant and Elizabeth M. Campbell, “Doing Good, Doing Harm, Being Well and Burning Out: The Interactions of Perceived Prosocial and Antisocial Impact in Service Work,” Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 80 (2007): 665–91. See also Thomas W. Britt, James M. Dickinson, DeWayne Moore, et al., “Correlates and Consequences of Morale Versus Depression Under Stressful Conditions,” Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 12 (2007): 34–47; Stephen E. Humphrey, Jennifer D. Nahrgang, and Frederick P. Morgeson, “Integrating Motivational, Social, and Contextual Work Design Features: A Meta-Analytic Summary and Theoretical Extension of the Work Design Literature,” Journal of Applied Psychology 92 (2007): 1332–56.

And on days when people think: Sabine Sonnentag and Adam M. Grant, “Doing Good at Work Feels Good at Home, but Not Right Away: When and Why Perceived Prosocial Impact Predicts Positive Affect,” Personnel Psychology 65 (2012): 495–530.

Applications to Teach for America tripled: Abby Goodnough, “More Applicants Answer the Call for Teaching Jobs,” The New York Times, February 11, 2002: www.nytimes.com/learning/students/pop/20020212snaptuesday.html.

Before the attacks, work: Amy Wrzesniewski, “It’s Not Just a Job: Shifting Meanings of Work in the Wake of 9/11,” Journal of Management Inquiry 11 (2002): 230–34.

People were also more likely to find meaning: J. Curtis McMillen, Elizabeth M. Smith, and Rachel H. Fisher, “Perceived Benefit and Mental Health After Three Types of Disaster,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 65 (1997): 733–39.

After being reminded of: Philip J. Cozzolino, Angela Dawn Staples, Lawrence S. Meyers, and Jamie Samboceti, “Greed, Death, and Values: From Terror Management to Transcendence Management Theory,” Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 30 (2004): 278–92; Adam M. Grant and Kimberly Wade-Benzoni, “The Hot and Cool of Death Awareness at Work: Mortality Cues, Aging, and Self-Protective and Prosocial Motivations,” Academy of Management Review 34 (2009): 600–22.

Caring for loved ones who are sick: Robin K. Yabroff, “Financial Hardship Associated with Cancer in the United States: Findings from a Population-Based Sample of Adult Cancer Survivors,” Journal of Clinical Oncology 34 (2016): 259–67; Echo L. Warner, Anne C. Kirchhoff, Gina E. Nam, and Mark Fluchel, “Financial Burden of Pediatric Cancer Patients and Their Families,” Journal of Oncology Practice 11 (2015): 12–18.

almost three million Americans are caring: National Alliance for Cancer Caregiving, “Cancer Caregiving in the U.S.: An Intense, Episodic, and Challenging Care Experience,” June 2016, accessed on December 18, 2016: www.caregiving.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/CancerCaregivingReport_FINAL_June-17-2016.pdf; Alison Snyder, “How Cancer in the Family Reverberates Through the Workplace,” The Washington Post, December 11, 2016: www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/how-cancer-in-the-family-reverberates-through-the-workplace/2016/12/09/08311ea4-bb24-11e6-94ac-3d324840106c_story.html.

Illness is a factor: David U. Himmelstein, Deborah Thorne, Elizabeth Warren, and Steffie Woolhandler, “Medical Bankruptcy in the United States, 2007: Results of a National Study,” The American Journal of Medicine 122 (2009): 741–46.

people with cancer are more than 2.5 times: Scott Ramsey, David Blough, Anne Kirchhoff, et al., “Washington State Cancer Patients Found to Be at Greater Risk for Bankruptcy than People Without a Cancer Diagnosis,” Health Affairs 32 (2013): 1143–52. See also Robin Yabroff, Emily C. Dowling, Gery P. Guy, et al., “Financial Hardship Associated with Cancer in the United States: Findings from a Population-Based Sample of Adult Cancer Survivors,” Journal of Clinical Oncology 34 (2015): 259–67.

46 percent of Americans are unable: Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, “Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2015,” May 2016, accessed on December 14, 2016: www.federalreserve.gov/2015-report-economic-well-being-us-households-201605.pdf.

Tragedy does more than rip away: Sally Maitlis, “Who Am I Now? Sensemaking and Identity in Posttraumatic Growth,” in Exploring Positive Identities and Organizations: Building a Theoretical and Research Foundation, ed. Laura Morgan Roberts and Jane E. Dutton (New York: Psychology Press, 2009).

Our possible selves: Hazel Markus and Paula Nurius, “Possible Selves,” American Psychologist 41 (1986): 954–69; Elizabeth A. Penland, William G. Masten, Paul Zelhart, et al., “Possible Selves, Depression and Coping Skills in University Students,” Personality and Individual Differences 29 (2000): 963–69; Daphna Oyserman and Hazel Rose Markus, “Possible Selves and Delinquency,” Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 59 (1990): 112–25; Chris Feudtner, “Hope and the Prospects of Healing at the End of Life,” The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 11 (2005): S-23–S-30.

“When one door of happiness closes”: Helen Keller, We Bereaved (New York: Leslie Fulenwider Inc., 1929), accessed on December 29, 2016: https://archive.org/stream/webereaved00hele#page/22/mode/2up.

many trauma survivors end up helping: Trenton A. Williams and Dean A. Shepherd, “Victim Entrepreneurs Doing Well by Doing Good: Venture Creation and Well-Being in the Aftermath of a Resource Shock,” Journal of Business Venturing 31 (2016): 365–87.

“Every new beginning comes”: Attributed to Lucius Annaeus Seneca; Semisonic, “Closing Time,” Feeling Strangely Fine (MCA, 1998).

“I do believe I have been changed”: Stephen Schwartz, Wicked, original Broadway cast recording (Decca Broadway, 2003).