Stuart Diver has endured more heartache in the past 25 years than most will face in their lifetime.
He survived a natural disaster that claimed the life of his wife, Sally, and lost his second — Rosanna — to breast cancer almost two decades later.
Yet rather than wallow in the depths of it all, the 51-year-old has become somewhat of a national symbol for resilience, for finding a means of existing — even thriving — in the face of deep trauma.
Speaking to Mamamia's No Filter podcast, he explained that he does it by asking himself a key question: "What am I living for?"
The answer is simple.
"I love people. I love sharing life with people, I love caring for people. And that's what drives me forward," he said. "That's what gets me out of bed every day."
Luckily, his life has been — and continues to be — filled with an abundance of it.
"I've met another unbelievably amazing woman." The loves of Stuart Diver's life.
With the passage of time, Stuart Diver's memories of his wife, Sally, have faded a little. But he remembers the important things.
"She was well liked by everyone, because she was always bright and bubbly, and she was happy. She had that carefree attitude, and she had this really deep determination — she knew where she was going, and she knew what she was doing," he said.
"And that's what I've thrived on when she was alive."
For a time, Sally's death in the Thredbo landslide was tangled up in all the major elements of that disaster; his own near death, his triumphant rescue and the national profile that came with it. He's managed to separate it all over the years with the help of a psychologist, to find meaning in something so senseless.
"I tried to stop her drowning, but she drowned. And that was hugely horrific," he said.
"But when I look back at that, in the most stressful time of my life, what I did was I tried to take care of the person that I loved and cared for the most in the world."
In that realisation was that answer to that question that gets him through: 'What I am living for?'
"People could say her life was wasted. But I look at it and say, yes, her life was definitely cut short, but there is a real duty on me to then live my life to the fullest in the most positive way in memory of her and what a beautiful person she was, and all of those amazing beliefs and traits that she had," he said. "And that's what drives me forward."