Hope, Resilience and Research


Two widows walk into a hotel…

Sounds like the start of a joke, right? No joke here.

Hope quote - Myra.pngWhen Michele Neff Hernandez was widowed as a young woman she started Camp Widow™ and Soaring Spirits International so other widows, of any age, would have a place to focus on rebuilding their lives. Carrie West, another young widow was doing her Ph.D. research on resilience so the two teamed up.

“My research revealed maintaining hopefulness was the biggest predictor of a person having a positive outcome after being widowed,” said Dr. Carrie West, an assistant professor at Schreiner University.

Today they announced that Soaring Spirits International (SSI) has partnered with Schreiner University to open the Soaring Spirits Resilience Center at Schreiner University. This center will provide research, resources and tools for building resilience.

One of the things I learned through my husband’s diagnosis and death is that I’d rather die with hope than to live without it.

After being widowed I was devastated. Underneath that was a little pilot light of hope that somehow I’d be able to make meaning of it all and use my experience to help others.

When tragedy strikes it’s difficult to think about hope or even what you could be hoping for. It takes time for the acute grief and sorrow to pass. Once it does you’ll find yourself thinking about your new normal and hope begins to glimmer from under the rubble of the life you knew.

Most of us may not hope of changing the world and that’s OK. Whether your hope is of keeping a loved one’s memory alive for children and grandchildren; pursuing dreams you’d put on hold or living your best life in the face of tragedy, having hope builds resilience. Nurture your hope and watch it grow!

  • How have you found hope and meaning despite your life challenges?
  • What are you hoping for?
  • Are you visualizing how your new normal can be better?
Myra McElhaney is an author and speaker who helps people to Enjoy Life and Do Good! Visit her website at www.MyraMcElhaney.com. Her memoir, Building A Life You Love After Losing the Love of Your Life is available at Amazon.com




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