Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul
And sings the tune without the words
And never stops at all.
― Emily Dickinson

Where did hope go in those early morning hours, before the dawn had come? I wonder.

When you were drowning in a sea of shame & sorrow? Where did hope go?

When you felt yourself blanketed in darkness & despair. Where did hope go?

When the worry shouted in your ear, playing a soundtrack with no end. Where did hope go?

When your mind thundered with pain, a pain so vast it echoed into your soul. Where did hope go?

When sadness settled in, like a thick & heavy fog. Where did hope go?

When you allowed yourself to believe that we would be better off without you. Where did hope go?

When you reached not for the loving hands that had held yours for 55 years, grasping on for dear life-but instead turned towards death, ending your pain once and for all. Where did hope go?

I know what it means to be hopeful. Hope-full. Full of hope…

Some will tell me you were hopeless. Hope-less. Less hope. But isn’t less hope still hope? Doesn’t that mean there is still some hope present? It is not yet fully gone or depleted? It is less, but it is not none.

Where was hope in those early morning hours? My head tells me that hope had been present throughout, but it was barricaded tightly behind the doors of mental illness, pounding, fighting, trying desperately to reach you, to stop you. Hope held in one hand a mirror, seeking to hold it to your face, to make you see that even in your broken state, you were loved, you were needed, you had value, you were enough. And in the other hand, hope held a compass. A way to guide you forward, day by day, inch by inch, breath by blessed breath until you found balance & peace once again.

That is what my mind tells me. But my heart feels simply this:

In those early morning hours when the lure of death showed you a world where you would not hurt anymore, when you had lost hope and no longer had the strength & clarity to find it once again-it feels simply like…

For you…

And that hurts my heart most of all…. because had you held on daddy, you’d have come to see–that hope lost, can always be found again. And it’s absence is only fleeting….

Where was hope on that early morning, April 20, 2015? It was there daddy–but you were too immersed in darkness to see it…

Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark. ~George Iles