19-03 Segment 2: Processing Unimaginable Grief

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Grief is an innate part of human life, but how we process that grief varies from person to person. Tom Malmquist knows too much about grief after he lost his partner shortly after the birth of their first child. Malmquist put his experiences into his novel, In Every Moment We Are Still Alive, to help others in similar situations feel less alone.


  • Tom Malmquist, author, In Every Moment We Are Still Alive

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18-08 Segment 2: Processing Unimaginable Grief

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While grief is an innate part of human life and something everybody experiences, the way in which people manage this grief is different. Some people choose to sulk, others choose to listen to music. But, Tom Malmquist, author of In Every Moment We Are Still Alive, chose to write a novel after the death of his partner to deal with the pain he was feeling. Through the novel, he was able to create something meaningful out of his grief.
Despite being based on real events, In Every Moment We Are Still Alive is not a memoir or an autobiography. Malmquist explains that he wrote this story as a novel because he made conscious decisions to include or add certain events, while leaving out others, and by choosing to focus more on some details than others. In sharing his grief in this novel, he hopes that other grieving people will read his book and realize that they are not alone. Listen in to hear Malmquist tell us more about his experiences with grief, and pick up a copy of his book.


  • Tom Malmquist, author of In Every Moment We Are Still Alive

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Coming Up on Viewpoints Show 18-08



Obsessive Compulsive Disorder: A debilitating and misunderstood malady

David Adam is a reporter and author who has lived with OCD for almost 20 years. He joins the show to explain his disorder and clear up some common misconceptions about the debilitating disorder.

Processing Unimaginable Grief

Grief is something all humans experience in their life. But that doesn’t make it any easier. Author Tom Malmquist suffered a terrible loss: his partner of 10 years died after childbirth. This was compounded a short while later when Malmquist’s father died. He talks about how we processed his grief through writing, and the hope he finds in raising his daughter.

Culture Crash: A Father and Son Duo’s New Creepy Ghost Story

Authors Richard and Billy Chizmar aren’t just partners, they’re family. Their new horror novella, Widow’s Point, tells the story of a haunted lighthouse. Despite its scary plot, the father and son say writing it was a blast.

Culture Crash 17-23: HBO’s The Leftovers: Storytelling on grief

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Welcome to Culture Crash, where we examine American culture, what’s new and old in books, film, and entertainment.

In the summer of 2014, HBO put one of its darkest shows ever on the air. The Leftovers, is a serial drama based on Tom Perrotta’s novel of the same name, the show follows the fate of a world where 2% of the world’s population disappeared in a single moment without warning and without explanation.

The novel was written in the aftermath of 9/11 and deals with intense loss. Questions of religion, family, and grief take center stage as characters struggle with where their loved ones went and whether they should move on without them.


So it’s…heavy. Over three seasons, the show has taken viewers to New York, Texas, Australia, and the afterlife. Twists and turns abound, magical realism makes the occasional appearance, and the writing always leads to a moment of intense introspection.

The show is a constant reminder that our lives can be altered in a single tragic moment. And the intensity has turned off many critics and viewers, but if you can stomach the heartache, the Leftovers is a show with great ambitions, spectacular acting, and a plot worth investing in.

Tonight, the series finale will air. A small but devoted fanbase will run it through the cypher, uncover its meaning, and eventually, find something new to obsess over. But the Leftovers, for all its grief, will live on in HBO’s streaming catalog, ready to devastate and console those willing to give it a chance.

The Leftovers is available to stream on HBOGO and HBONOW.

I’m Evan Rook.