"I’ve talked to people who say they feel sorry for me for not having any hope. I say, hope is a thief. I am living today as fully as I am able." Lily Henderson”

Most of us know that death is the inevitable end point of life, but we do not think much about it. 

Perhaps we plan ahead a bit when we create a will, or buy life insurance.  Perhaps we buy a cemetery plot, or decide about  which end-of-life rituals we want to put in place.  Or, perhaps we don’t address it all. 

When complacency is interrupted with a life-threatening illness, we become very aware of that fine line between living and dying. If we recover, we know we have come out on the other side, a bit beaten and shaken by the reality of what we almost lost. 

We are changed by that experience. 

All around us, there are encouraging voices and stories, urging us on, marvelling that we have escaped death, and chasing away all feelings of loss and vulnerability.  We can come to believe in hope for our futures as the solution, and everything we do is for that hope:  recovery, return, resurgence, re-establishment of self.  There are so many heroes people point to – people who “never give up,” who follow the hope journey wherever it leads.  

Hope is neither a solution nor a problem.  It is simply a part of the human experience.  So is illness, and recovery, and the journey we make along the way.  

I become impatient with myself when hope stand between me and those with whom I share a journey toward living with aphasia.

I found resonance in Lily’s words.


About Shirley Morganstein

I am a life participation therapist for people with aphasia, exploring the relational and reflective process.
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