Jan-Feb 2017 Newsletter


   Happy Valentine’s Day! 

 This seems like a good time to talk about how… 
IT’S ALL ABOU THE LOVE …don’t you think?

 It is, you know!  Life is truly about love and relationships, not just romantic ones…  but those with all around us.  It effects EVERYTHING — our lives, our happiness, our grief.  It impacts all that we do and our attitude, which in turn affects us and those around us.

Gratitude is a form of love.  If we are grateful for our partners, our family, our friends, our home and surroundings… our work, our environment, our experiences, our memories… our relationships and our accomplishments… even our challenges (that we learn from) — how can we not be happy?

If we remember the love for those we’ve lost… more then we remember any associated pain, regret or anger… and if we are grateful for the time we had with them, however short… we heal faster.  Nothing breaks the bond of love… not even death.

 Let’s focus on the LOVE! 

Tell those around you that you love them TODAY! 


Supporting your journey to a New Normal,   



PS.Please forward this newsletter or the ABJ site to help others.  A complimentary 30-minute healing chat with me may also be scheduled HERE

NEVER Give Up – Look at Super Bowl LI !!!


> Feel like GIVING UP sometimes? 

> Easier to sink into the pain than fight beyond it? 

> Thinking or hearing there is “No End” to your grief?

I get it, I’ve been there… 

…even to the point of attempting suicide. 

But THAT was my turning point, when I knew I had to CHOOSE to heal! 
Grief is a BEAR…  and not easy to recover from, especially acute, shocking grief.  But it CAN BE DONE… you can HEAL and eventually find a NEW NORMAL. 

There are many kinds of devastating grief and loss and it’s not productive to compare them, but they have something in common. You have two options: 

1)  Stay in pain – dwell on guilt, anger or regret, wonder ‘why me?’, wallow in your loss 

2)  Choose to heal – work at it, self-care, seek out healing tools & support, focus on the  positive, release the guilt, anger & regret, concentrate on the present, not the past, and have gratitude for everything in your life, including the time you had with your loved one(s). 

Not easy or fast, but you are always better off with the second option. 

Then apply some relentless TENACITY to healing and you never know when the turnaround will happen. Keep the faith; BELIEVE you can do it.  Do NOT listen to the naysayers who say you can’t or you shouldn’t.  I know you CAN because I did it, and I’ve worked with hundreds of others who have.  THINK about what your loved ones would want for you… to heal, to feel better, to start to move on… to find hope again, even happiness. 

I have overcome many obstacles, including the loss of 3 children, a 30-year marriage, several investments and the sight in my right eye.  But, today, I am HAPPY, remarried and loving life, with wonderful memories of my children and a continued spiritual relationship, plus great relationships with my remaining son, my step-children and their partners.  I am blessed and grateful ever day. I am also on a mission to help others find their new normal and express themselves in the process. 

Nothing is perfect and you may always be sad, especially at certiain meaningful times in your life, about your loss… but we can all change our thinking to improve our situation.  A therapist friend reminded me in our discussion over lunch — most of how we interpret our reality is because of the filters we view our life through. 

Wayne Dyer said “Change your thinking… Change your life!” 

LELDcolorNever give up on trying to heal, live a better, more positive and grateful life.  Be tenacious and open-minded in your approach to healing.  Try new things, try them more than once.  Be diligent about self-care.  Use various tools and types of support for healing grief or helping you change your thinking.  For example, when I think of my children now, especially my 21-year-old son Brent, who died in a motorcycle accident… I smile and feel his strong fun personality.  I  remember our good times   together.  I no longer think about the pain of his loss.  Now that I’ve let a lot of the negatives go, I can feel his spirit around me. 

Talk about tenacious – look at what the New England Patriots accomplished in the Super Bowl!  They were almost down and out, but they believed they could turn it around, and they did.  Tom Brady and the team kept trying until they shifted momentum in their favor!  In the first half, the Falcons had stronger belief in themselves and had the momentum.  Regardless of which team you rooted for, you have to commend the Patriots for not giving up.  Okay, I’m a little biased, living north of Boston, but still – it was pretty amazing! 

Let us all go after healing our grief the way the New England Patriots went after winning that game.  Achieve the level of healing, gratitude and new normal you deserve.  You’ll make your loved ones happier and improve the energy all around you – everyone will benefit! 

 Meanwhile, BIG HUGS while you’re working it!  (from your loved ones) 

* * * 
 Other ABJ written & Video Blogs in Jan/Feb:  


   >  New Year – Are You Looking Back or Forward?


             What’s ABJ up to ???


Coming SPRING 2017 

 EVENTS(email ABJ-events@comcast.net or call 617-410-6309 for details) 

  • March 25 – “AWAKEN TO HAPPINESS” (1 day oceanfront retreat) 
    • With Cindy Barg & Laura L’Amour on Plum Island 
  • April 5-8 – ADEC (Assoc Death Educion & Consulting) Conf in OR
  • May 1-5 – NERSC (NE Resource Service Coordainators Conf), Maine
  • May 7 – ABJ SPRING Extravaganza (at Blue Ocean Event Center)
    • Vendor Showcase w/60 vendors  – shopping, networking; food/drink on the ocean!
    • “Messages From Heaven” spirit medium audience event w/Laura Emerald
    • Choose-To-Heal Photo Shoot – express yourself & receive your color/b&w photos
  • Other:
    • NEW Book:  “Grief Diaries – Faces of Grief” coming soon
    • More Grief Diaries book releases that we participate in
    • ABJ & Grief Diaries Spring, Summer and Fall events being planned


 Grief Recovery Method for Pet Loss 

We offer 1-on-1 classes (phone or in person) for grief over pet loss, with a foundation of the action-based Grief Recovery Method, used internationally 35 years. 

If you’ve found that your family and friends don’t seem to understand the level of your grief, please know that, too, is normal.

Without comparing our relatonships with our pets to those with people, we know that, because of the unique emotional relationships we have with our pets, their deaths produce a level of pain that is difficult to describe. 

If you relate to this, the class may be for you. We will be with you on this journey to help your heart deal with the absence of your cherished companion.


For more deatils or a complimentary discussion – click HERE.

Our Story 

A Butterfly’s Journey (ABJ) has a mission to help individuals and families struggling with grief after the loss of a child, or other early loss, to find hope and a new normal. We do that through events, grief recovery classes, a comprehensive online Resource Center, and our photo shoots to allow grievers to express themselves simply, visually and emotionally to spark discussion. We also provide assistance to other organizations through education and resources. 

Barbara J Hopkinson, ABJ Founder, President & Executive Director has lost 3 children and led bereaved families through the journey of grief for more than 14 years.  She founded and leads a chapter of The Compassionate Friends, as well as A Butterfly’s Journey To A New Normal. She is certified Grief Recovery Specialist and author of two books “A Butterfly’s Journey” & “FAITH – Vol.II”

Barbara is now also writing for Grief Diaries. She contributed to the recently released “Prose & Poetry”, and co-authored “Will We Survive?” just released. 


For more information, visit the ABJ web site   
Contact Barbara at 
617-410-6309  or  barbara@abutterflysjourney.com for a complimentary 30-minute conversation or schedule it now HERE.   

If you found this blog to be helpful, or know someone it would help, please SHARE and be sure to LIKE/Follow us – Thank you! 


 Please consider helping grievers with a donation.


Thank you!


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