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.

Talia's Story; Part 2

I felt really lucky to have found people who understand me and are my age and I thought that everyone who’s been through such a tough time should feel the same. Nobody should feel like they’re going through it on their own. It’s taken me 3 years and the grieving still isn’t over, but I came to a personal milestone where I felt ready to talk about what I had been through publicly.

I decided to make YouTube videos, discussing various topics around going through bereavement as a teenager, with my main goal being reassuring people that they aren't the only one who’s been through it. I talk about emotions, the funeral, what I like doing when I feel down and more. It feels good to get it off my chest AND help others… WIN WIN!

The way society is today makes people shy away from talking about death and I think it’s definitely time that changed. I think it’s so important that teens and young people reach out and support each other through the rough time none of us deserve. Which is why I hope my videos will help encourage people to speak out and live their life to the full instead of bottling up their emotions. 


What do you think schools could do to make things easier for bereaved young people?

Remembering at Christmas

Everyone has Christmas traditions, new and old. My favourite tradition in our family is our Christmas decorations. My siblings and I get a new one every year on Christmas Eve and now I have 22, one for every year of my life. 

Christmas 2006 was our last Christmas together with my Mum.  We kept by all our traditions of the day and tried to enjoy it as best we could. We all knew she wouldn’t be with us next year. Organised as ever, my Mum had bought decorations for us for next Christmas, letting us choose our favourite and wrapping them up to be opened in 12 months.

December 2007 came, and decorating the tree made me finally realise that my Mum wouldn’t be coming back for Christmas.  The day was very emotional and there wasn’t the usual festive cheer.  On Christmas Eve Dad brought out our ornaments and there they were with Mum’s writing on them for each of us: “To Bridget, love Mum”.  It hurt so much to know that was the last physical encounter I would have with her.

Eight years on, I think my family has reclaimed Christmas.  I am thankful every year for what I still have, and all the decorations my Mum bought me over the years have their own meaning and memories.  

I’ve been grateful over the last 8 years that we held onto those customs that my Mum enjoyed. We carry them on now, not only as her traditions but as ours, and it’s one way that we can remember her at Christmas with a smile on our faces.

What about you?  Will you write and tell us something about your own family’s favourite Christmas traditions?

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?

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