Have a Wonderful Weekend.


What are you up to this weekend? The boys are excited for a big snowstorm; Alex and I, less so. I know people love throwing snowballs etc., but I am not one of those people. Harrumph! One good thing is that I started this (instantly bestselling) book last night and am already loving it. Hope you have a good one, and here are a few fun links from around the web…

My twin sister talked to Katie Couric about her late husband. Her answers were wonderful, and I teared up over the photos, many of which I hadn’t seen before.

This alarm clock is kind of brilliant.

10 female TV writers on their “aha!” moments.

57 small things to do for yourself this year. (#13 sounds like fun.)

I am mom, hear me roar.” LOVED this.

Deep dark fears made me laugh.

Love this little dish.

An Asian American abroad. (“We don’t all look alike, until we do.”)

A brief history of swearing in movies.

The prettiest short wedding dress.

How I turned my kid into a reader.”

How to add greenery to a space.

(Peonies photo by Ingalls Photography. Dish via Miss Moss.)

  1. Thank you for keeping us updated on Lucy and on Paul’s book. I noticed that it is #1 on the NYT bestseller list for nonfiction. Amazing – it is reaching so many people. I can’t wait to read it. Love to you all and especially Lucy and your niece.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      thank you so much for your sweet note, shannon! our whole family is totally thrilled. xoxo

  2. Julie says...

    As a Caucasian living in Japan, I have to say that I get chatted up all the time by Asian-Americans! Except that I’m not American. “Oh, you’re from Ohio? Cool. I have heard that Ohio is a place, but I’ve never been there and know absolutely nothing about anything from Ohio, or even where exactly it is.”

    From the Asian-American abroad piece: “I had the same internal reaction: Hi, White Person! Are you American? I’m American too! We might be from the same city! We might know the same people! Over here! Me! The short girl with black hair and brown eyes! Oh, wait. Everyone around us has black hair and brown eyes. Well, I’m different! I’m American! Let’s strike up conversation! Don’t you see I’m just like you?”

    Nope. Not overly bothered by it, but it gets a bit tired to talk to an enthusiastic stranger who thinks we might have things in common just based on the fact that I’m white.

  3. stefanie plumley says...

    Your sister has so much strength, beauty and dignity. (And I was struck by how much she looks like Toby!) I’m looking forward to reading the book. Thank you for sharing the story.

  4. Hi Jo,

    The interview between your sister and Katie Couric left me in chills and tears. I could not help but think of you when Katie asked your sister where her strength came from. I feel you too possess this gorgeous, intelligent and resilient strength of hers that seems so evident from her and Paul’s story. Maybe you both got it from your mother! Or one another. I am not sure, but it is so lovely to behold.

    Thank you for sharing this and so much else.


  5. Your sister on GMA today, had me in tears. What a beautiful love they have.

  6. Lindsay says...

    When Breath Becomes Air had me sobbing all weekend – especially your sister’s beautiful and moving epilogue! I haven’t had such a wonderful cry in a long time – it was so touching.

  7. There’s nothing I can say better than what has already been said about your sister’s interview with Katie Couric. It’s all been said— what grace and strength and love. What a gift.

  8. Bethany says...

    Joanna – I’m writing from London, I just read the article on ‘When Breath Becomes Air’ in the Sunday Times Magazine. Paul was a wonderful man. It was a heart-breaking read, but your family is so brave and amazing. I thank Paul and Lucy so much for sharing their story. xxxxxxx

  9. The Couric interview WRECKED me! What an heart wrenching experience to go through. Your sister spoke so eloquently about it!

  10. Sheri says...

    I’m compelled to comment here after watching the interview with your sister. This touched me in a personal way: I am just finishing treatment for breast cancer, something I found while pregnant with my second son. Though I’m currently well, I have daily and often intense fears that the cancer will recur and I myself will have to leave my husband and two little boys. Naturally, I cannot bear the thought. I am so overwhelmingly in awe of the courage of your brother-in-law and sister. What a wonderful person he was. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Meg says...

    Had GMA on randomly and was happy to catch your sister & her husbands story. Very moving.

  12. Oh my goodness…tears streaming down my cheeks at my desk at work after watching your sister’s interview. What an amazing man your brother-in-law must have been, and what an incredibly resilient woman your sister is. Blessings to you and your whole family.

  13. Victoria says...

    Your sister’s video was profound. So inspiring and full of love. What a blessed baby to have parents such as hers.

  14. Billie says...

    What an incredibly stunning soul your sister is. What a special, fresh, raw and inspiring outlook on life. I am heartbroken for her, but amazed at her courage and ability to view and face life head on with brightness. Your brother-in-law was truly magnificent, and your niece is absolutely stunning.

    Thank you for sharing this, I can see it’s touching so many.

  15. brooke says...

    Wow your sister and her late husband are inspiring. I love your blog, and this is my favorite thing you’ve ever shared with us. Thank you

  16. Smetha says...

    I wish I had known your brother-in-law. What a wonderful tribute. I especially love his words to his daughter. Beautiful.

  17. Thank you for posting Helen Kim’s insightful article- more of this writing should be circulated!

  18. your sister’s interview with katie couric is beautiful. so much courage for her and her husband both to share this with the world.

  19. erin says...

    I finished When Breath Becomes Air in one sitting. I have never done that with a book before. Thank you Paul.

  20. Ruth says...

    I just watched your sister’s interview. It was so moving. You have one beautiful, strong, caring sister. Your niece is such a stunning little girl. I just wanted to wish your sister and her daughter all the very best. Wishing you and your family all the best also.
    Ruth in Dublin, Ireland.

  21. I read your sister’s interview on the NY times. What a woman she is.

    Made me cry

  22. Cheryl Fortunato says...

    Cried watching. Had just recently received my copy of the book. Such eloquence and a wonderful lesson of life.

  23. Aileen says...

    I’ve just ordered When Breath Becomes Air and am greatly looking forward to reading it. I’m grateful for how much you and your family have shared of this experience. I along with so many, am truly touched and inspired by the life your sister and brother in law lived.

  24. Wow. Tears streamed from your sister’s beautiful interview. It was so candid and heartfelt. I am reading When Breath Becomes Air and underlying many of Paul’s wise words. He seems like quite the human being. I can only imagine what it was like to know him in person.

  25. That post about greenery gives me back the hope that I some day might manage to keep indoor plants without eventually killing them…

  26. Your sisters interview was very moving and I wept through the video. I admire her strenght and courage. My prayers are with her and her daughter. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Linda S. says...

    Your sister’s interview with Katie Couric was very touching. She is full of strength, elegance, and grace. Thank you for sharing.

  28. It’s going to be a few minutes before I can reframe my mind and emotions, after watching your sister’s interview, and get back through the remainder of your links this week. My gosh, Joanna. What a stunning presence and a gorgeous tribute she’s offered of herself and for Paul (and for their daughter). And, as a bit of a side-note, I read the book last week over the course of a flight across country. And then I read Lucy’s epilogue that night before I fell asleep in bed. Eloquent. Meaningful. Of great and powerful substance. Reading it felt like an experience of the heart and validation for living a life well loved. Please thank Lucy for me (and surely for the millions of other people who will come to read and love the book, as well). And thank you for having shared some of the back story earlier on this blog. I felt, oddly enough, that I knew them going into it; which made for a unique and compelling experience. Sending love to you and your family.

  29. Emma says...

    Your sister’s interview was like a punch in the gut – it almost knocked the wind out of me. What strength, what grace, what love.

  30. Callie says...

    I know you had previously shared that same passage from the book written to their daughter, the one recited at the end of the segment, and it is so touching. It’s wonderful that Paul and Lucy have been so clearheaded, honest and loving through his illness and in grief. I’m planning to get a copy of the book!

    And as always, love reading these end of week lists. :)

  31. what?? oh my god – that is your family! i was gripped with the story when breath becomes air first came out because my husband is a physician and diagnoses people with cancer and experiences death all the time. he himself has a chronic, undetermined illness that scares the shit out of me. i lived with him all through medical school, residency, and now, life, so i feel very connected to the medical field and the professionals within it, and have great compassion for their sacrifice for their training and caring for others. i love your sister’s spirit and strength and can only imagine what a deeply tragic and simulatneously beautiful moment this has been for all of you.

  32. Thinking about you today Joanne. Hope you and Alex and Toby and Anton are well and safe and warm.

  33. Colleen says...

    I wept unashamedly through the interview with your sister! She is a lovely person and so full of grace. My book club with be reading Paul and Lucy’s book this month, I have already alerted them to have plenty of tissue on hand!

  34. Brenna says...

    Your sister is incredibly insightful and strong. As a third year medical student, her story hits close to home as I’ve seen patients starting, in the middle or at the end of their terminal illnesses. She is an example for all those in the health profession and I feel privileged that she’s shared her experience with the world. Thank you.

  35. The interview with your sister was deeply moving – I can’t even begin to describe how it made me feel! What an amazing sister you have and how lucky that she has you as hers.

  36. Kit says...

    I am so moved by your sister’s story and words, Joanna. Thank you, Lucy and Paul, for the courage of your love, and for living life and facing death with such dignity and open hearts. (Watching the tenderness of that interview I also couldn’t help thinking of how Katie Couric also lost her husband quite young to cancer. all the tears.) And I loved how she pointed out Paul’s work as pastoring, as blessing. I’m a young pastor, and this was a beautiful reminder to me what a privilege it is to accompany people in joy and sorrow, make meaning, lift up love, and bless one another (I loved the beautiful scene of their daughter’s baptism!) Thank you for the blessing of this story, and the many blessings your blog brings me:)

  37. JO, I am beyond words. Your sister’s strength and grace is so awe-inspiring. And your brother-in-law’s words about his daughter will forever be emblazoned in my heart. Thank you so much for sharing.

  38. I am overwhelmed and amazed by your sisters courage, grace and fearlessness. Thank you for sharing that beautiful video. I can’t imagine what your family has gone through, losing him and gaining his daughter, all within a short span of time, but I pray many blessings on your lives.

  39. GoldenMoon says...

    Thank you for sharing the interview with your sister and Paul’s journey. The profound courage, commitment to honoring the sacredness in life and in leaving the body, and their bold love of welcoming in their beautiful daughter as he was leaving the planet is all so powerful. I’ve been moved by Paul’s story and writing and now I’m also just as moved by your sister’s fierce love and strength just as much. I feel cleansed and inspired from the river of tears it has brought up in me. Your whole family is magnificent!

  40. ceciel says...

    The Katie Couric interview was so touching and well done. Your sister is a gorgeous human being. And I’m honored you’ve shared some of her journey with us. Thank you.

  41. Kate says...

    I always love reading through your eclectic list of things on Fridays–great lists always :)


  42. Your sister’s interview had me tearing up. What a beautiful, heartbreaking life. Thank you for sharing. Prayers to Lucy and her family.

  43. Sarah says...

    Your sister’s comments and brother-in-law’s writings are just so moving. I’m sitting crying at my screen. Thank you for sharing the link.

  44. Sab says...

    You’re sister’s interview touched me deeply. I am amazed by her strenght and courage. What a beautiful soul Paul was and what a beautiful gift.