90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Here and Now with Robin Young
Public radio's live
midday news program
With sponsorship from
Mathworks - Accelerating the pace of engineering and science
Accelerating the pace
of engineering and science
Friday, December 28, 2012

Keeping The Faith In A Difficult Year

Members of the Rutter family of Sandy Hook, Conn., embrace early Christmas morning as they stand near memorials by the Sandy Hook firehouse in Newtown, Conn. (Craig Ruttle/AP)

Members of the Rutter family of Sandy Hook, Conn., embrace early Christmas morning as they stand near memorials by the Sandy Hook firehouse in Newtown, Conn. (Craig Ruttle/AP)

In a year that is ending with the horror of the Newtown massacre we wondered, how can we deal with the unspeakable grief left over from that day?

We thought our old friend Bruce Feiler would be a good person to ask.

Author of books such as “Walking The Bible” and “America’s Prophet: How The Story Of Moses Shaped America,” Feiler is also a cancer survivor.

“She said, ‘It’s so much worse than even the media can portray. Hug your children close.’”
– Bruce Feiler, on a note from a Newtown mom

Feiler has spent the past couple of years working on a new book, “The Secrets Of Happy Families,” which comes out in February 2013.

“One of the families that I chronicle in my book lives in Newtown, Conn.” Feiler said. “We were actually talking about sex and how to talk to your children about those kinds of issues.”

In the wake of the tragedy, Feiler sent the mother in the family a short note.

“She wrote back something that was very poignant,” he said. “She said, ‘It’s so much worse than even the media can portray. Hug your children close.’”

Research has shown that people do re spond to difficult times, Feiler said.

“Some people really are devastated and never recover,” he said. “But a lot of people come back, and an extraordinary number of these people actually experience psychological growth. Actually this phenomenon has a name now – it’s called post traumatic growth.”

Previous interviews with Feiler:

Guest:


Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
  • JDeaconStone

    Sorry for my ignorance (and what must be a FAQ…) but, when will the audio from this wonderful piece be available?

    • JDeaconStone

      Excellent, available at 2pm eastern time… thanks!

  • Dennis

    What was the music that played at the end of the interview”

    • Rachel Rohr, Here & Now

      It was Osvaldo Golijov, “La Pasión según San Marcos, Kaddish”
      -Rachel/H&N

      • Dennis

        Thank you For your very quick response Rachel.

  • skeptic4321

    “Faith” is, by definition, belief without evidence.  There is really no justification, imo, to “keep” beliefs without evidence.

  • skeptic4321

    Please see Greta Christina’s post “Humanism in a Sh–storm” in The Humanist for an alternative perspective.

  • Pointpanic

    Why is “public” radio promoting a religious view ? How about some skeptical inquiry into why a “loving God” would allow this to happen?

  • John

    Robin, thank you for giving us another opportunity to hear from Bruce Feiler.  I believe that life plays out just the way he does. His view is not merely a religious one but rather he reminds us that the old testament is one  story among many of a people confronting life with seeming insurmountable odds, the same confrontation we all face everyday, sometimes you fail and sometimes you win one, generation after generation. And just recently you had a segment on Leonard Cohen and if I could paraphrase him, he said in one song, ‘nothing is perfect, everything has a crack in it, but that is what let’s the light in’.  And it is what we do with that light that matters.

    • Alex Ashlock, Here and Now

      Well said John. I always find it worthwhile to hear from Bruce.

Robin and Jeremy

Robin Young and Jeremy Hobson host Here & Now, a live two-hour production of NPR and WBUR Boston.

August 19 4 Comments

Abandoned Homes In Buffalo, N.Y. Selling For $1

Instead of tearing the homes down, city officials are selling them for $1, as part of the "Urban Homestead Program."

August 19 Comment

A Look At U.S. Military Options In Iraq

Retired Admiral William Fallon, who was head of United States Central Command during the Iraq War, discusses the current conflict.

August 18 37 Comments

More Americans Are Flocking To The South

A New York Times interpretation of census data finds the South is seeing significant in-migration for the first time.

August 18 11 Comments

As Pot Laws Relax, Restrictions On Research Still Tight

The firing of a University of Arizona doctor highlights the complexity and politics of marijuana research.