Bringing hope to everyday lives!
“Legacy Builder” describes Martha Tofteland perfectly. Not only did she help her late husband Ryan leave tangible evidence of his love for their young children, but she donates monthly to Inheritance of Hope so that other families might access the same resources that helped them. The Toftelands attended an IoH Legacy Retreat® to California when their children were just six and three years old. Nervous about how sensitive topics might be introduced to their kids, who had not yet heard their dad described as “sick,” the Toftelands found that IoH gave Ryan courage and tools to begin the heartbreaking, yet vital task of creating legacy items for Finn and Liv, now ages nine and six.
The Toftelands hold on to smiles like these from their IoH Legacy Retreat® in 2018. Ryan passed away 18 months later, in February 2020, at the age of 40.
In 2017, Amy and Andrew Thomas attended an in-person Inheritance of Hope Legacy Retreat® with their three-year-old son, River. Amy was first diagnosed with breast cancer when River was just one, and then re-diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer two and a half years later. Until their retreat, Amy did not know any other young mothers with a terminal diagnosis, and Andrew had not met other male caregivers with children still at home.
|The Thomas Family found Hope in NYC|
How can we continue to support a family after their loved one has passed away? At Inheritance of Hope, our goal is to purposefully be with those left behind, to walk alongside those who grieve. We know we could never fill the emptiness that remains, but we also know this space still beautifully holds memories and much, much more. We acknowledge the loss just as we celebrate life and love.
Our son died many years ago, long before the isolation of the pandemic. My family and I were embraced with support in every way. Embraced with hugs, handshakes--the kind where they shake with their right hand and their left hand squeezes your arm, and all those face-to-face conversations over coffee or lingering lunches where friends shared their empathy with warmth and concern. They asked how we were doing and wanted to know.
Raising teenagers is difficult enough. Trying to do so alone is downright exhausting. Add in the complications that come along with a pandemic, and the fact that single parenting is a result of losing your spouse, and well, things could seem near impossible. Some of our IoH dads are here to tell us how they are coping after being widowed, all within the past 18 months. It’s not easy, but they are doing it, and doing it well, with hope.
Read more to hear single parenting perspectives from Bill Burch, William Nobles, and Julio Peralta.