Author/podcaster Nora McInerny’s life has not been exactly a bowl full of cherries. It should have been. She had a pretty normal life through her teen years and graduating from Xavier University in 2005. It was five years later that she starting dating art director Aaron Purmort. Still pretty normal, until Aaron was diagnosed with glioblastoma. The night of his diagnosis while still in the hospital, Nora and Aaron got engaged.
Following their marriage, the couple managed to battle Aaron’s cancer and to celebrate the birth of their son, Ralph, in 2013.
The following year Nora’s life started tumbling. Within six weeks she suffered a miscarriage that was followed by the death of her father and weeks later Aaron’s death from his cancer.
While most people would have been reeling in grief, Nora turned this lemon of losses into lemonade to share with others. She directed her energy into writing about how she was dealing with the deaths. But Nora’s just not the type to host pity parties. She managed to tackle the subject of grief with compassion and humor. Even Aaron’s obituary that was written with him before his death received media coverage due to its humor.
As Nora puts it, “I know from experience that even if your story makes people sad, you are not a sad story.”
In addition to finding love and marriage with Matthew Hart and having another child (aka “Baby”), Nora has become the author of four books (“The Hot Young Widows Club,” “No Happy Endings”, “Bad Moms” and “It’s Okay To Laugh: (Crying Is Cool Too”), a nationally known podcaster (“Terrible, Thanks For Asking”) and a TED talker.
While she admits that she has “made it a career in talk about death and loss,” she has done it with the hope that it makes more “people comfortable with the uncomfortable and grief is so uncomfortable.”
On Friday, April 30, Nora will be the keynote speaker for the Grant Halliburton Foundation’s 12th Annual Beacon of Hope at Home Virtual Luncheon chaired by Kylie Hughitt and Jessica Slay with Honorary Co-Chairs Karen and Mark Carney and presented by The David B. Miller Family Foundation. Fox 4 News’ Steve Noviello will serve as the event’s emcee, and Dallas Morning News columnist Sharon Grigsby will receive the 2021 Beacon Award.
Tickets starting at $150 and sponsorships are available here.
* Graphic courtesy of Grant Halliburton Foundation