When I was a hospice chaplain our team members had conversations about 'hope.' Many of our terminally ill patients thought of hope as in 'having hope that they would not die, that a miracle would occur and they would be healed.' I might think that they were in denial still and hadn't reached acceptance yet.
It was not until my husband was dying from brain cancer that I experienced hope in spiritual and relational ways rather than an expression of denial. 'Hope' became our way of sharing our 'love'.
We cuddled and held hands and we were comforted. When I asked him what he wanted to leave our son and daughter, he had no answer. I told him the many ways he gave them the gift of himself, of how to be a good parent, how to be a loving spouse, how to love, how to be kind and caring, how he lived his beliefs, and in this sharing together we found meaning. We told each other of our love and our forgiveness and together we found inner peace, connection, comfort and support. I told him I would meet him in Heaven and he said Amen.
Hope is the expression of love and faith in all we hope to be. It is the expression of relationship. It is the search for meaning, purpose and truth in life. It is the ability to give and receive spiritual love. Itis the type of relationships and connections that exist with self, the community, the environment, and the transcendent.
Be blessed in your hope and love, and be faithful in your beliefs.