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Posts by HOPE Connection

United In Grief

This month we witnessed a poignant reminder that grief forms a common bond among all people, no matter their background or circumstance. Anyone who has lost a spouse could instantly identify with the image of Queen Elizabeth sitting alone at the funeral of her husband of 73 years.

Healing Grief… Moment by Moment: A HOPE Connection Podcast – Resilience

“Healing Grief… Moment by Moment” is a podcast created and produced by HOPE Connection. In each short episode Dr. Jo Christner or another HOPE Connection therapist offers a meditative exploration of a different aspect of grief and the healing process. As you listen, we wish you love, light and comfort. This episode: “Resilience” (April 2021) – Dr. Jo Christner This is a moment of…

Healing Grief… Moment by Moment: A HOPE Connection Podcast – Grief

“Healing Grief… Moment by Moment” is a podcast created and produced by HOPE Connection. In each short episode Dr. Jo Christner or another HOPE Connection therapist offers a meditative exploration of a different aspect of grief and the healing process. As you listen, we wish you love, light and comfort. This episode: “Grief” (March 2021) — Dr. Jo Christner This is a…

A Tribute To HOPE Connection From Rabbi Ed Feinstein

Nearly a year has passed since we celebrated HOPE Connection’s 40th anniversary. Rabbi Ed Feinstein had a message for the HOPE community on that day. It was a simple but profound message about an experience that virtually every group member can relate to: the realization that after the initial support of family and friends, you’re left alone with your grief.

Paying It Forward

People who grieve after the loss of a spouse often do so in isolation. Even when children and grandchildren are able to comfort a parent or grandparent in person, that comfort can sometimes be temporary at best.

A Thanksgiving Gratitude Journal

Download the Gratitude Calendar

As Thanksgiving approaches you may wonder what you have to be grateful for. If you have recently lost your spouse or another loved one, this may be the first significant holiday you’ve spent without them. Your grief may be so fresh that it’s hard to feel anything else. If some time has passed since your loved one died, this is still going to be a strange, perhaps surreal holiday season. The pandemic is raging anew, even while there is hope on the horizon for a vaccine. But that is in the future — this is now. What is there to be grateful for this very day? Discovering — or rediscovering — gratitude can actually be a simple and thoughtful process, beginning with a Gratitude Journal. Download this Gratitude Calendar — created by HOPE therapist Lori Oberman — and use it daily as inspiration for your Gratitude Journal. Day by day you may discover the healing power of gratitude — an especially miraculous gift at this time of the year. Wishing you all the blessings of this season — All of us at HOPE Connection.

Self Compassion

By Andy Smallman

Andy Smallman is a long-time educator, advocate for healthy human development and founding director of the Puget Sound Community School.

People who have experienced the death of a loved one understand what it means to feel as if one’s walls are closing in. The more recent the death, the more significant this feeling often is, although emotional reminders of the loved one sometimes surprise us years later by how powerful the feelings are.

Empathy vs. Sympathy

There is a reason that the word Connection is part of our name — Hope Connection. You could easily make the case that Connection is, in its own way, just as important as Hope.

Nowhere is the power of connection more apparent than in the difference between two seemingly similar emotions: Empathy and sympathy. Dr. Brene Brown has a wonderful video where she explores the difference between the two emotions, which she says “are not just two different approaches to confronting the emotional challenges of others; they are diametrically opposite responses in many important ways. Sympathy places another’s problems at a distance from us, places us in a position of superiority, and ‘drives separation.’ Empathy, on the other hand, requires that one internalize the feelings of another. That shared experience drives interpersonal connection.”