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Houston Matters

Bad Things Are Going To Happen — Don’t Become A Sad Story People Tell

Nora McInerny, the host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking, talks about taking charge of how others see you in the wake of personal tragedy.

Nora McInerny is a writer and host of the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking.


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No Happy Endings BookWhether you like it or not, something pretty bad is going to happen in your life – if it hasn't already.

Maybe several trying things will happen in relatively short succession, like they did to writer Nora McInerny.

In 2014, her father died, she had a miscarriage, and her husband, Aaron Purmort, died – all within a few weeks each other.

Any one of those events could've been devastating enough on its own. But, together, they seem unspeakable.

Nora McInerny, her late husband Aaron Purmort, and their son, Ralph.

But speak is exactly what McInerny did. She wrote a book called It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too). And she started a podcast called Terrible, Thanks for Asking.

In the audio above, she tells Houston Matters producer Michael Hagerty she wanted to share her story because when people hear what all she's been through, it's too easy for them to jump to conclusions about her.

"It's very easy for you to go from being a fully formed person width a breath of experiences to being a sad story that other people tell," she said. "And nobody wants to be a sad story."

So, McInerny is a big champion of reclaiming your own story – shaping the narrative about yourself.

"You can set the tone for the way people talk to you or about you by taking that over," she said.

And she's been helping others do the same by telling their stories in her podcast from American Public Media.

Now, as she's found love again and is creating a blended family with his, she's got a new book called No Happy Endings in which she talks about trying to come to terms with conflicting feelings as she grieved and fell in love at the same time.

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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