Nitty Gritty Dirty Grief

“Hope is the dream of a soul awake.”

The quote above is a French proverb…..isn’t it wonderful? To be awake…to have hope.

33 miners were rescued today from half a mile in the earth.

Half a mile is a long way…..a very, very long way.

Did you see them as they came up? They looked good; full of life, full of energy, full of hope. When the mine collapsed 70 days ago I thought how can a person live in those conditions for two months? Away from the light? In the middle of the earth?

Maybe because they knew the whole world was trying to save them, maybe because they had hope.

How very important is hope?

I went to a breakfast today for the Mental Health Center of Denver. My dad sits on the board as the treasurer and I was very proud to be there today. The MHCD believes that people can recover from mental illness given the right tools. They believe people with this illness can go on to live healthy, productive lives with healthy productive relationships.

Do you know what they do?

They give people hope.

They tell people they can recover.

Dad got up to the podium after breakfast as the treasurer and asked for donations. I cried through his whole speech……his speech was about giving to the gift of hope.

Even Dad got a little verklempt which made me cry even harder…..on the verge of ugly cry into my breakfast burrito…..I hid my head under a napkin.

Because like the miners, like the people who Dad represented today….I need hope.

I want hope.

Hope that life does go on.

Hope that I can see the light half a mile down.

Hope that I can believe in hope……

And I do……I have that hope for me (most of the time)

I have that hope for Hubby……

I have that hope for us….

What makes me sad is that I wanted that hope for Samantha…..I clung to that hope for her… a crazy spider monkey on the vine, I clung to that…’s hard to know what hope to cling to now.

Because now she is the soul, she is the dream, she is the light half mile down in the darkness…a tiny beacon for what we can do, what we should do, if we only embrace the hope.

My hope is that I will embrace the hope.

6 thoughts on ““Hope is the dream of a soul awake.””

  1. A friend of mine who lost her child once said, “If you don't have hope, you have nothing.” It seems to me that you have seen the “nothing” but have had “everything.” I will hope with you.


  2. Again, your writing is so moving! It brings to mind a verse from the Bible. “Three things will last forever: Faith, hope, and love. But, the greatest of these is love.”I don't know how people cope with loss without these three! We don't know God's plans for us or why things happen as they do, but what a comfort to know that we will all be together with our family again in heaven thanks to Jesus's love! Hope and faith and love…..Such power there! You are truly an inspiration, Heather! xoxox


  3. Heather, I HOPE you will keep writing and spinning meaning from everyday events. I was proud of your dad yesterday and I was proud of you, too. It was fun to watch the two of you “work the room” together. . .so very much alike, you two. I know it meant the world to him that you were there. I HOPE and KNOW that you will continue to walk out of the darkness and into the light. . .just like the miners. And you keep shining a light for the rest of us, showing us the way. Love, Cynde


  4. Heather, two of the Chilean miners claim that they stopped to observe a tiny white butterfly – and that simple action saved their lives… There is hope. And butterflies. Love you, G


  5. Emily Dickinson said, “Hope is a thing with wings.” So the butterfly is an apt image. And, since someone else quoted the Bible, I will too. The book of Proverbs says, “A hope deferred will make the heart grow sick.” I think you've experienced both–great hope, and hope deferred, and both broke your heart. But hope is what gets us up in the morning, and hope is what keeps us going. And the absence of hope is what makes us despair. So, I too, will hold hope in my heart for you. At the end of the day, it's all we've got. Well, and a glass of wine, which, frankly, is just enough hope for the moment.


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