MONROVIA, Calif. — Shortly after his wife died in 2011, Dr. Adam Kendall closed their joint private medical practice and found himself on a train to Canada — a trip arranged by his brother — to try and process his grief and find clarity.
“I was consumed by grief over the tremendous loss of my 15-year loving wife, her intense laughter, and fierce interest in being able to capably heal those who were suffering,” Kendall told NBC News.
An introvert, Kendall initially brought his violin on board the train, hoping to brush up on a few Bach sonatas in solitude, he said. But while on the trip, where he had been seated in a dining car, a group of performers on board asked if he would be interested in playing with them during their encore — a first for Kendall, who wasn’t used to playing for strangers.
When he lifted his violin, Kendall said his fellow passengers seemed to connect with the music in a special way, and some even began to share with him their own stories of loss and grief.
Kendall said the conversations he had during that trip reaffirmed his commitment to continue as a physician and also as a classical musician, he said. In addition to working as a board-certified physician in family medicine and palliative care with Davita Medical Group, Kendall now regularly performs live music in public in an effort to help people heal.