Hope Is Not A Strategy…

except when it comes to death.

By: Jennifer White

My favourite expression in my past “corporate life” used to be “hope is not a strategy”. I would hear things like “I hope to have it done by next week” or “I’m hoping the client will be ready to proceed”. Hope Is Not A Strategy.

Well as it turns out, when it comes to the dying, hope IS a strategy. What do we have if we no longer have hope? Our lives are based on hope, and sadly, hope’s significance and meaning are often neglected. Hope is what helps the dying to control their death. Their terms, not yours. Hope can still be in harmony with reality but we need to let our dying loved ones explore and investigate whatever paths they need to without alienating them by saying things like “stop trying to find a miracle”. When someone has been diagnosed and is dying, it is not the time to play the role of devil’s advocate. For those family members and caretakers who only see hope in a remedy, this is very difficult to understand. Particularly for those in the medical community. 

Once the end is in plain view, the dying still have a need (and a right) for hope. It may start to take a different form as they find hope perhaps in spirituality, hope for their children or hope in knowing they will die peacefully.

When we take away someone’s hope they are left with nothing but terror.

“I don’t think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”

~ Anne Frank

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