In the Yoga Sutras, the introduction of Isvara pranidhana: the total surrender to a higher power, no matter what the outcome. The teaching of Isvara pranidhana serves as a remedy for steadying the wavering mind and freeing oneself from agitation and suffering in the face of potential obstacles (for, after all, obstacles are really only obstacles if they agitate you).
This total surrender does not mean that you're denying your circumstances. It is not the belief that everything will "all work out for the best," and it's not a blind faith that everything will turn out the way you want it to. None of us is immune to illness and difficulty, no matter what our faith or the strength of our beliefs. Rather, Isvara pranidhana is trusting in the order of the universe, of which life and death, joy and heartbreak, are all apart. It means that even if the outcome is not what you would have wanted, even if it's difficult or painful, even if it means your own death or the death of a loved one, you face it with a deep acceptance.
In the simplest, most neutral terms, Isvara can be thought of as a timeless symbol of the highest understanding, of the clarity represented by the light that illuminates the darkness—just as the sun continues to rise each day, dispelling the darkness of night and bringing new life and new growth
While life-and-death predicaments like the one my friend experienced are thankfully not the norm, each of us faces our own "snowstorms" of varying proportions every day. Maybe you don't get the job you wanted or receive the recognition that you feel you deserve. Life may present you with any number of heartbreaks in the form of death, loss, and disappointment. Each of these instances is an opportunity to see that there can be great freedom and ease in letting go of the illusion of complete control over your circumstances.
With this knowledge, you continue to act in the best way you know how, to the best of your ability. You still hope, dream, or pray for—and pursue—what you want from life. But when things don't go as you had hoped, you trust that there is an order beyond your knowing or understanding. You can move forward with the peace that comes from accepting that the outcome is out of your hands, through surrender to something much bigger.