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Jan 17, 2023

Karen Austin experienced both anguish and joy as she walked with her husband, Tracy, after a cancer diagnosis that took his life, but never his optimism and spirit.
In our conversation this week with Karen, she shares with intimacy, vulnerability and, yes, humor about what she describes as her “crucible life” – the early death of her mother, her brother’s suicide and the cancer that took her husband in 2017 -- two months before their 20th anniversary.
From the ashes of those tragedies, she explains, she taught herself how to thrive through grief and help others do the same as a certified grief companion. She explains that grief and mourning are not synonymous – the first happens to us, the second is something we must actively do to heal.
You’ll also hear in this interview Karen talk about a medical test scheduled for after we recorded our conversation. That test revealed, she discovered after we talked, that she has cancer … and she’s already begun to, as she puts it, “make friends” with the challenges ahead – taking her own counsel as walks through this new crucible.
To learn more about Karen Austin, visit
To explore Beyond the Crucible assets, visit

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