For Our Consideration: Celine Dion and the therapeutic power of schmaltz

“What’s the only thing worse than your best friend dying?” I said as I sat in my room alone, knees against my chest. “Celine Dion!” I exclaimed, to an appreciative audience of myself. I laughed harder than I had in weeks. It was the only time I had laughed in weeks. I had been listening to Celine Dion on repeat following my best friend’s sudden death.

It’s a story I’ve found myself telling and retelling, writing and rewriting over the course of the past year, because it sounded too absurd to be anything but a Nicholas Sparks movie—or a Celine Dion ballad. My friend and her fiancé had saved up to get married for four years; they even shared a phone to cut back on expenses. The ceremony was just over a month away when it happened, and the morning I got a call from …

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