Inspiration Report

Inspiration Report

Turning Heartache into Hope

We’ve talked a lot about hope after loss on this blog. Grief in its many forms affects everyone, so I’ll always want to discuss how we can live our lives to the fullest in spite of its occasional pitfalls. In addition to taking life one day at a time and denying fear, there’s another way to turn things around when you’ve suffered a loss and here’s a perfect example.

In 2008, editor Candace Walker received the kind of news that no parent wants to hear. Her 17-year-old son died of a congenital heart defect. The blow to the Walker family was devastating, especially since his condition had gone undetected.


In the wake of such unspeakable sadness, the Walker family established a scholarship fund in honor of their son that helps high school students in Georgia go to college. They also raise awareness for children’s heart health through their web site.

The Walkers are one of many who have turned a heartbreaking situation into an opportunity to help others. Remember Matthew Shepherd who was killed in 1998 in a vicious hate crime? His mother, Judy, became a crusader against discrimination and launched the Matthew Shepherd Foundation.

I am inspired by people who are using their darkest moments to shine a light for others. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be. Yet these are acts of compassion, and they ultimately are healing agents to bind their hearts back together.


Think about what your life would look like if you could see an opportunity to make a difference within your tragedy. It doesn’t have to be a campaign like these women have done. There’s probably someone close to you who’s going through a similar situation that could use your help. You may not reach thousands, but you can reach that one.

So what are you doing to turn your heartache into hope for others?

For more:
How to Get Through Grief and Loss
Nine Simple Practices to Embrace Joy
15 Ways to Sweeten Up Your Day


  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Katie Angel

    After the death of my darling husband from baterial endocarditis, we set up a scholarship fund at the college where he worked and one at the non-profit organization that was his passion.

    Then, four months after his death, one of his dear friends lost her husband to cancer and I have been there with her as a support day or night whenever she has needed a shoulder to cry on, a reality check for what she is feeling and/or a sounding board. I had a close friend who had been widowed seven years before me who gave that gift to me, so it was only right to pass it one.

    And finally, I am living my life in such a way that I daily honor the wonderful, caring and truly special man that I was honored to call my soul-mate. We are not often given such special gifts by God as someone who truly reflects God’s unconditional love so when we are, as I was, it is imperative that we reflect that love outward as well.

  • http://Loss Bishop James H. Gaddis

    Loss does not only lend itself to death. Loss of a dear friendship, love relationship job, loss of parents, carreer, money, or whatever one holds near and dear to them can have an catastrophic affect on anyone. I lost both of my parents after taking care of them for over 20 years. I was devastated. I lost my very best friends. In addition I was devorced and lost my children. I was allowed to see them under certain conditions. I lost my naval carreer. I was a three star admiral. No pension, no benefits. After 40 years the United States Navy closed my case because of their illegal acts. In short I have lost. There were times that I wished the Lord would just call me home. What now Lord? After a while I stopped feeling sorry for my self and I started reminising on what I gained from the relationships with my parents, children and even the Navy. I came to realize that I have a wealth of experience that can help other people. I am tring to start back to school, set up my own church and publish my memoirs. I have a book entitled Emotional Transition that can be purched from Publish America. With Gods help I am going to take the lemons of life and make lemonade. Nothing in life is certain not even life itself. I have learned to savor each day with those that are dear and thank God for the life that I have., God bless

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment chris

    Good Luck in your endeavors James. All of us have a story to tell and it seems that those who have lost the most and risen above it have found a much deeper relationship with God It is only because of where we have been that we are who we are today. As for all that you lost try not to grieve it’s loss but be grateful that it was. God bless. Chris

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Babs

    Good things happen when you need it the most. I am winding down now and trying to get ready for bed, many thoughts are going through my mind. I hopped on to email to find some enlightening news in my box and this article was posted, so of course I read it. The funny thing is, I just got done walking the dog and thinking and talking to my deceased husband about so many things, when I came home I started feeling the sadness, I find and article that relates to me and understanding from people who have had misfortune in their lives. This article and the comments will help make for a peaceful night of sleep. My husband was 42 when he died of an massive heart attack, so unexpected, he was my soul mate and my best friend and the one in life that I talked to the most and I for him. I went back to school but still find I struggle and have just now gotten health insurance so I can get some counseling. I am trying to get a Bereavement Studies program into our college and when I have healed or I guess you would say, “come full circle”, I to want to give back and help and set up foundations. As much I want to make a difference right at this moment, I can’t until I can make a difference within myself, I am still broken but the encouragement here makes me know I can move through and help, even one person. Thanks.

  • http://comfort Shannon

    It is very comforting to hear so many stories of loss of loved ones at young ages. I lost my soul mate last August at the young age of 47. He also died suddenly of a massive heart attack. What hurts the most is that I was not there when it happened, I had to receive a phone call from a friend, and felt helpless. I often wonder if I would have been there when it happened if I could have saved him. There were no warning signs or anything, I actually had spoke to him 20 minutes before it happened and he was fine. Sometimes I don’t know how I’m going to get through the days with out him. I talk to him all the time, and know he is there listening and helping me through the days. I’ve decided to go back to school to get my RN, and work with Hospice to help others through their transition and loss. My heart goes out to anybody who has ever lost someone they love, it is the worst pain anybody could go through.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Nickie

    Any loss is devastating and cause the heart and mind to think the worse of things when dealing with any type loss. Loss of a loved one, loss of a pet, loss of friendship can leave you motionless if you don’t look at the value that it can bring to others through your suffering. I have loss frienships in the last few months, one of them self-imposed by disagreement and not looking at the full picture. The other was already deemed to disappear as the world evolves and life goes in different directions. We have to find that other person within ourselves to depend on for the happiness and fulfillment that others once held in our hearts to overcome the loss so you won’t miss the lesson in the loss of the loved one, the friend or collegeaue. Seeking understanding outside of the normal realm will only lead to destructions, so you have to go deeper within your spiritual self to get the comfort and understanding to move on with life. We often ask “why” sometimes there is no answer, but we have realize it’s not for us to understand everything that happens in life somethings are a mystery and will stay that way, but we have to find the inner strenght to thrive and thrust forward in our loss, be it big or small we have to keep it moving for who are left in our lives and depend on you for there happiness.

    “Loss can be bittersweet, but the answer to our lasting happiness is that this too shall pass and the sun will shine again”.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Babs


    I was not there either, please contact me at anytime you want to talk. Peace and Love, Dawn.

    also, had no signs. And I wonder the same. I would have never imagined this life and work hard to figure it out. Losing a partner is so under-rated and I want to change that.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment melody

    I, too, lost my husband at the tender age of 47. I had to “pull the plug” on him after a 23 year marriage. I would not wish that on anyone. He had a massive heartache, and during surgery started having seizures due to oxygen deprivation and had to be medically paralyzed but never woke up, while on his way to work. We never had a chance to say goodbye. The book “Raped By Life” by Savvi has inspired me. It can be ordered at I hear of people who come out of comas and I wonder if… The “ifs” can drive you crazy. Check out the book. It says alot and because of our losses, our lives are forever changed. Go with God and peace be with you.

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