The Journey Journal
June 2021
In one of our recent teen support groups, we talked about how grief can feel like wearing a backpack- some days it is heavy with grief emotions and memories and other days it feels much lighter. Jordan described how her backpack has felt through the school year:
Last fall I was still doing virtual school so I got to be with my Mom every day before she died. After she died, I would say my backpack had a million bricks in it and I didn’t even know how to walk with it on. My teachers were asking me to turn in assignments, but I felt like school didn’t matter anymore, knowing that my Mom was gone forever. My friends helped me and some days I felt hopeful that I would get through all of this.
But then the holidays came and Mother’s Day and my band banquet and her birthday… it was so much all at once. I didn’t realize how much I was carrying: the sadness about my Mom, how much it hurt to see my friends with their moms, how hard it was during virtual school, and worrying if someone else would die.
I really liked learning about this backpack picture in my support group because it helped me understand what makes my backpack lighter- talking about my Mom with my family, listening to her favorite music, and having the group to talk about the up and down days. But I also know me and my group members don’t get to take off our backpacks. I understand now that my mom will always be with me- and some days it will be really hard and it will hurt so much without her. But other days it will be lighter and I can think about how we loved to go swimming every summer and she always wore those huge floppy hats- I know she’s still with me.
"Being in group helped me unpack some of the emotions and thoughts I was carrying with me and I got to talk about my Mom with other kids who wouldn't judge me or tell me it was ok."
Journey families came together in Plano and Frisco on May 15th to decorate DIY kites in memory of their loved ones. They also wrote messages to their loved ones and then dissolved their words in bubbles so that they could send their messages to the sky.
Thank you to the following sponsors for creating such a special day:
First United Methodist Church of Plano
Grace Avenue UMC
Rev. Dr. Kyle Dennis
First Christian Church of Plano
NCL - Sunflower Chapter of McKinney & Prosper
Jackson Hauser, Modern Woodmen of America
Eco-Safe Pest Control
Which Wich in Frisco at the Towne Crossing location
Grover Brillhart
We are excited to introduce Journey of Hope's new Executive Director!
Susan English joined us as our new Executive Director at the end of March. Susan brings many years of experience with DFW nonprofits as a staff member, board member and volunteer. Her nonprofit work has focused primarily on organizations that help empower children and youth to gain skills and develop resilience after experiencing some type of trauma.

Susan moved into nonprofit work full time after a long career at JPMorgan Chase and as a lawyer. She was most recently the Vice President of Development and Marketing at Youth 180, and previous to that was the Director of Individual Giving and Engagement at Vogel Alcove. She holds a law degree from Northwestern University and a bachelor's degree from Oklahoma City University.

"I'm thrilled to lead the great team at Journey of Hope as we continue our mission of renewing hope, fostering healing, and developing resilience in the hearts of children grieving the death of someone important in their life. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to meet many of our families, partners, volunteers and donors as we return to in-person programming in the fall," said Susan.
18th Annual Swing Fore Hope Golf Tournament
With 112 golfers, our tournament was a huge success. Thank you so much to the many sponsors, donors, and participants that contributed to support our mission! If you were unable to attend this year, we encourage you to visit our event website by clicking here to see photos and details from the event.
In-Person Support Groups are Coming Back!
The safety of our participants, facilitators, and staff will continue to be at the forefront of all decisions about our program.

Throughout the summer Journey of Hope staff will focus on new policies and procedures for social distancing and safety, training new volunteers, refreshing skills of volunteers who haven't been in group during the pandemic, and preparing for the return of kids, teens, and adults. 
We are extremely grateful to our generous community who has continued to support Journey and programs for grieving families in North Texas. With your help, we look forward to serving more families into the future.
Father's Day is on June 20th
This is another special day where grieving children are hurting. Encourage children to talk about their dads, grandparents, uncles, and other important people on this day. It's a great time to help them create special artwork to remember their special person.
A new and improved website is coming soon!