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

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