In this chapter, the authors argue that the concept of transformative experience, developed by L. A. Paul. The ill person who turns illness into story transforms fate into experience; the disease that sets the body apart from others becomes the common bond of suffering that joins bodies in their shared vulnerability. Many experiences of suffering certainly share the sorts of features of interest to L. A. Paul. While Paul focuses on voluntary and therefore positive transformative experiences, the authors suggest that many experiences of suffering come under the two categories they will develop, which they label non-voluntary and involuntary transformative experiences. The possibility of transformative experiences other than voluntary ones is a consequence of another ‘fact of life’, namely, the contingent, unchosen character of most of the material and social conditions of an individual life. Suffering could therefore be a form of transformation imposed upon us by the fragile bodies, unjust societies, and the gritty contingencies of the world.