When you witness a story unfolding in a friend’s life. Then witness another, different story unfolding in the same friend’s life. Then, years later, when you read the essay that weaves these two threads together to reveal the deeper backstory to both.

This is the explosion of meaning that happened for me reading “I Went, Running” by Caroline Manring this week. She narrates a run—an activity I know well and have shared with Caroline—in order to tell of the pain of a loss of a kind I do not know at all. Therefore, step by step, I come to know her grief more clearly.

This essay ties experiences together with a power that I hope will resonate with many readers who do not know her personally.

Also: There’s a recording of the author reading the essay. The heartfelt—and at moments even humorous—gravel of her voice adds yet another dimension, reading it straight to your ear and your deeper sense.

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