In Peace from Broken Pieces, Iyanla writes about zipping her deceased daughter into a body bag. "What a blessing that God allows a life to come through your body, and then allows you to place that body in a body bag and take it out," she says. "I had to say that there's a magnificent something that God has for me to do, to give me that level of completion. That level of experience. It's unspeakable."

When times get tough, Iyanla says she thinks back to the day she buried her daughter. "When I start whining about stuff, I say, 'Wait a minute, Iyanla. You put your baby in a box. You can do anything. Shut your mouth. Get over there,'" she says.

The days, weeks and months after Gemmia's funeral was the darkest period in Iyanla's life. For five months, Iyanla says she stayed in bed. "There was one day when I couldn't breathe. I couldn't sit. I couldn't think. I couldn't eat. I couldn't do anything," she says.

Iyanla's friend Lydia moved in to help care for her. "She fed me. She clothed [me]," Iyanla says. "Then I said, 'Okay, I'm done. I'm complete.'" This was the moment Iyanla says she began to contemplate suicide.


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