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“In between goals is a thing called life that has to be lived and enjoyed.”

~Sid Caeser


As a change management consultant companies hired me to bring new ideas and business practices to their organizations and then help them implement those changes.  “Don’t tell me what you will hope to do, tell me what you will do,” I’d admonish managers who were often struggling with the changes proposed.  Hoping or trying to do something isn’t enough; that didn’t show the commitment required for a change to occur.

Hope is defined as a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.  Having the expectation and desire for change, trusting that you can change, grow, learn new things is usually more than half the battle in helping implement change in organizations.  One of the most important pillars of Change Management is hope. 

It’s fairly easy to talk about change in a business setting and to guide people to adapt and accept change. To someone who’s grieving, however, it’s much, much harder.  Trying, hoping to do something is sometimes all that can be promised.

So many changes when a loved one dies that it’s often hard to have hope.  When we are grieving, it’s hard to stay positive about what’s ahead, to trust that good things will happen when the worst thing that we can imagine has just happened.

It’s hard to take the long view of all this change and see it as a learning phase of our life.  To see that grief and the learning and changes it brings to us is another part of our journey to becoming who we were meant to be.  But if we grieve with hope, we can.

When we learn new things, we change as a person.  I believe that while it is hard, change is the most healthy thing we can do.  It is very hard to have hope for your future if you don’t believe you can change.  Hope is a powerful and positive expectation – not mere wishing.  The more you change and the more you learn how to transform in a positive and intentional direction, the more hope you will have for your future. 

It can start a beautiful virtuous circle, where one good thing starts happening and other good things happen, which causes the first thing to continue happening. Like exercise for the body, hope for the future can make us feel so good we want to continue

Heartlinks Grief Center is focusing on Hope this entire month.  Diana Cuddeback, Director at Heartlinks wrote in this month’s Newsletter,

Hope is not magic. Hope is life-affirming. Hope can also jump-start a grief-drained heart.

Come find hope in your world again at Heartlinks.”

Dear readers, as we start this new year of 2019, let’s all make it one filled with hope. Let’s help those around us who are grieving to trust that change and learning will be positive actions in their year ahead.  If not today, sometime in their future. 

Let us practice powerful and positive expectations – let us help all grievers find their virtuous circle.  Let us grieve with hope.

P.S.  And, if all this talk of change and hope doesn’t make a bit of sense to you where you are on your grief journey at this moment, that’s ok, too.  (See Grief Reflections blog from November 6, 2018, “It’s Long Enough” for a discussion on how everyone grieves in their own timeframe.)

Be blessed,


Ellen Krohne, author of We Lost Her, available on 

Heartlinks Grief Center volunteer and Family Hospice board member

“We Grow Stronger Together”

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