At HOPE Connection, we have a tradition that we encourage every group member to participate in. It is the simple act of saying goodbye to other group members and the group therapist when a member moves from one group to the next. We continue that tradition when a member graduates from Group Five. The following is a poem that Lynne Goldklang wrote and then read to the entire HOPE Connection community as she said goodbye.

My Journey of Hope

Orientation —

Why did I say I was coming?

Too late to change my mind.

Thank you Sue for making it special.

Thank you for being so kind.

Here I am in Group 1.

A new phase of life has begun.

New friends who understand.

A place to go.

A leader with heart and wisdom.

Thanks for being you, dear Dr. Jo

I’m now in group 2 and don’t feel so shaky.

My myriad of feelings no longer earth quaky.

I’m making new friends and going to dinner.

Grieving is draining but I’m not getting thinner.

I am learning that brain freeze and confusion are normal.

That’s shocking to me cause I am way past hormonal.

Thank you Sheila for your inspiration so dear.

It is always a blessing when you can be here.

Group 3 means I am moving along.  

Sometimes stumbling. Not yet singing a song.

We are talking in group about all sorts of things.

Like dating, traveling, taking off rings.

I am not doing those but am quick to explore.

Am often surprised to find a new door.

That door was a move from my home of 50 years.

To an apartment cross town. I still have some fears.

Thanks for all your support, Carolyn.

Group 4 feels good.

I am calm and love everyone in the room.

Life has new joys. Goodbye to that sense of doom.

First Sue, then Bettina — leaders deep and caring.

I am pleased about how well I am faring.

I feel strong and alive.

Oh no, Oh no.

I have to move on to group 5!

I want to refuse. It’s too soon to go.

But the calendar is insisting in spite of my resisting.

So what can I do?

Big thanks, Bettina and thanks again, Sue.

Group 5 is quite cool so Time please go slow. 

Being here feeds my spirit with buddies I know.

But the weeks keep flowing and I must be going.

On to what comes next, though, I barely am ready.

Two years have flown by and I still cuddle with my Teddy. 

I am willing to go but just need more innings.

So I’m not really leaving, just joining New Beginnings. Hello Dr. Ev!

Thanks for your caring and compassion, Channi. Thanks, Carolyn, for your kindness and empathy.

Deep gratitude to you, wondrous Dr. Jo,  for taking me full circle, from group 1 way back in time to this moment as I cross the finish line.

Thanks to all of you listening to this deeply felt poem.

In your loving support I feel right at home.

My gratitude is infinite, my heart overflows.

When life gave me thorns, you were the rose.

Photo courtesy Katie Moum