What is hope?

Hope is finding the strength to get out of bed on a Monday morning to face the week ahead. Hope is being a point down in the final with only 5 minutes to go. Hope is walking into an exam with the feeling that you haven't revised enough.

The definition for hope is - "a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen." Everyday, whether we are aware of it or not each one of us are hopeful for something. Whether it is something small like hoping it doesn't rain or whether it is something huge like hoping the test results come back clear. Hope is the driving force that keeps us going, having hope is so important. Having hope in something keeps us focused and determined on our journey's throughout life, hope helps us fight the battles life may throw at us and helps us stay positive and optimistic.

If you're ever feeling down and feel that you have no hope left, think of these 4 words. This is how hope can make you feel:

H - Happiness

O - Optimistic

P - Peaceful

E - Excited

Let us know what hope means to you! We would love to hear from you!

Jane, HopeAgain Web Consultant.

Grief and emotions

When I first lost my little brother the first feeling I felt was complete denial. Aaron was just one and a half, his death was sudden and nothing could have prepared me for it. I refused to believe what was happening, when my dad told me I repeated “this isn’t real, this isn’t real”. Sadly, it was real and as I went to say goodbye and all I could feel was devastation and loss.

As the days passed after Aaron’s death I must have felt every emotion under the sun, I could feel frustration, anger, emptiness, exhaustion, but also I reflected on the thousands of memories I had with Aaron and I felt grateful, joyful, appreciative and on a few occasions I even laughed remembering silly moments we shared, simple memories like when he began to recognise his reflection in the mirror, he would smile and laugh at himself and at me.

Just over a year later, when I think about Aaron’s death, sometimes I feel alone, sometimes it makes me feel defeated, sometimes it makes me grumpy and impatient, sometimes I’m angry and frustrated, sometimes confused. Every day I’m heartbroken and everyday I’m grateful I had the pleasure of having such a brave, bubbly little brother who made such an impact on so many lives in his short life.

I guess the message I am trying to convey is that there is no right or wrong emotions to feel with grief. It is acceptable to feel whatever you feel when experiencing grief for a loved one. I think when people think of grief they automatically think of sadness and loss, but as I and so many others have realised that grief is much more than this. Do not feel that you are not grieving the “right” way because there is no right way! Please remember you are not alone with your grief, do not be afraid to speak up because so many of us understand and know exactly how you are feeling.

What did you do to help deal with your emotions after loss?

In life there are bad ending and good endings

Hope Again is a place created to help with the bad endings and how they have affected us. I have been on a journey with Hope Again over the last ten months and now as I reach the end of my time here I see that this is a good ending and I’m thankful for that.

Ten months ago I didn’t know where this job would take me but I never would have guessed that I would learn so much. I’ve read hundreds of emails about some terrible times in people’s lives but the one thing everyone had in common was hope. Even if they didn’t mention the word, behind their stories and their words was hope. They may not have experienced much hope yet, but they were looking for it, and hopefully we were able to provide a little bit.

Grief can isolate you and one of the things I wanted this website to provide was a common ground between young people—a little island of commonality were people could relate to each other and maybe help each other. I hope that we have been able to achieve that and I trust this website continues to be a safe place for young people looking for a little bit of hope.

Why not jot here a one-sentence response telling us where you last caught a glimmer of hope in your every-day world?

Bridget Molloy, Youth Web Consultant

A few quick questions

We'd like to hear how people are using Hope Again and would appreciate it if you could comment on any of the questions below by Monday 17th August. Thanks very much!

1. Would you recommend Hope Again to anyone else?

2. What do you think is the most important service this website provides?

3. What is one thing you like and one thing you would change about Hope Again?

Thanks very much for your comments it will help us improve our service.

Father's Day

Every year I see without fail the same patterns occur around Father's Day:

My peers and acquaintances getting flustered and edgy when it's mentioned because to them the date can't be brought up around me in case I burst into tears and become inconsolable.

In fact, most avoid the topic of my Father altogether for fear of a similar reaction. Truthfully though avoiding the topic of bereavement is understandable, whether or not it would provoke an emotional reaction, most people would just rather not take the risk.

Nevertheless, being a bereaved child is by no means the taboo that some regard it to be. Hopefully by sharing, talking and supporting each other we can help dispel such myths.

Patrick, guest blogger

Would you comment here about your first Mother/Father's Day without your parent?