Feeling, Relating, Existing

On emotion and the human dimension

The Girl With a Broken Smile

Deep friendship survives tragedy.

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Two and a half years ago my daughter, Emily, and her best friend and soul-sister, Kyla, experienced a terrible family tragedy. Kyla’s mother committed suicide. A month later, Kyla's father, who loved her dearly, died of a head injury and brain bleed. In a flash, Kyla was orphaned, and soon thereafter she had to go live with an uncle in a distant part of the state. Not only did Kyla lose her parents and her home, both girls lost their innocence and became painfully separated from each other. Yet their deep and remarkable friendship has survived the traumas, as attested by a poignantly beautiful and inspiring song that Emily just wrote for and about Kyla, “The Girl with a Broken Smile.” The song gives testimony to the power of friendship, what the ancient Greeks called Philia. Here’s a link to the video of Emily performing it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsI5uZZOXIg


Copyright Robert Stolorow and Emily Stolorow

Robert D. Stolorow, Ph.D. is one of the original members of the International Council for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology, which stems from the work of Heinz Kohut.


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