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~ A Dedication & Heartfelt Thanks  ~

Dedication of Journey of HeartsRedesign

The revised Journey of Hearts™ website is dedicated to my husband Cole & my two young daughters, Kaarina & Kristiina, who bring me joy daily & show me by their presence & love that good things can & do happen to those who have survived loss.
Heartfelt Thanks
This page is also a special thanks to the many over the nearly 5 years who have helped make Journey of Hearts™ go from just an idea and a dream and turn into a reality.

Thanks for Enabling the Redesign
I am grateful to Dr. Zoë Stavri from Oregon Health Sciences University for approving the redesign of this web resource as my class project for the 2001 MINF520 course in Consumer Healthcare Informatics. The ability to devote the much needed redesign of the site for academic credit, gave me the time and the imput that I needed to undertake the monumental task.

I am indebted to my fellow graduate students Ron, Judy, Kathleen and Margaret along with several trusted friends who served as the first reviewers helping provide us with critical feedback via the usability study we conducted in the crucial early period of the redesign phase.

Thanks to Our Visitors
Without the input, the quotes, stories, resources, and most of all support from the many visitors to this site, when my belief in the ability to pull this site together faltered, this site would never have been developed. The many notes of thanks and positive comments about the site sustain me whenever I start to doubt if we are making a difference. The email comments from our visitors continue to confirm the need to keep this web resource going as long as it is helping.

Thanks to Our Contributors
Early in the planning stages it became apparent, that I had many friends and colleagues who had experienced their own unique grief or loss experience. From these people I started collecting resources that had helped them in their healing process. Journey of Hearts™ is a consolidation of a variety of resources, losses and suggestions from friends, family, colleagues, patients, patient's family members, and visitors to the site—who are have all experienced and therefore are united by loss. From this diverse group (along with my own resources) come many of the resources, the articles, the poems, the quotes, the pictures, the photos, and the stories comprising Journey of Hearts.™ In many ways my initial role was as a conduit through which this information was processed and found its way online.

A special thanks you goes to the many who have contributed their resources and shared their healing stories with the Journey of Hearts™ website. A web resource such as Journey of Hearts™ would not have the breadth and depths of information without the assistance and the collective experiences from our many contributors.

Thanks to my Computer Guy
A special thanks to my computer guru—Unix, Perl, Microsoft NT, Linux—my husband, Cole, who kept urging me to do something combining medicine and computers. With him around as a safety net and providing more of the technical capabilities, I felt more confident in trying and experimenting with creating content for the Internet. We discovered my dormant Finnish computer "genes" flourished, nurtured by the creative elements of web design—combining computers with medical information and the creative graphic elements. (The Finland is home of the Linux operating system and the Finns are known for being some of the world's best computer "hackers.")

With the experience gained over the years of designing and maintaining this website, I am half way through a graduate degree in medical informatics (the field where computers meet medicine) from Oregon Health Sciences University. With the experience from this website and the exposure to medicine over the several years we have been married, my computer spouse now works as a Senior Web Administrator for Kaiser Permanente.

Thanks to the Non-believers
I especially want to thank those who never believed in me over the years. Their lack of faith in my abilities and unique talents pushed me to strive farther and achieve even higher goals.

        We must love them both--
        those whose opinions we share, and those whose opinions we reject.
        For both have labored in the search for truth
        and both have helped us in the finding of it.
St. Thomas Aquinas

Thanks to the Dreamers
Rather than listening to those who told us it couldn't be done, I followed what my heart was telling me that a web resource for those grieving a loss was needed. Somehow I remained true to my own path:

When you follow your bliss....
doors will open where you thought there could not be doors,
and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else.
Joseph Campbell

I started collecting inspirational quotes surrounded myself with positive thoughts I chose to follow the inspiration of many dreamers, such as Walt Disney:

Somehow I can't believe that there are any heights that can't be scaled by a man who knows the secrets of making dreams come true. This special secret, it seems to me, can be summarized in four C's. They are curiosity, confidence, courage, and constancy, and the greatest of all is confidence. When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way, implicitly and unquestionable.

If you can dream it, you can do it.
All our dreams can come true--
if we have the courage to pursue them.

Walt Disney

Many, many hours later (by our estimates over 3,000 in the first two years), many late nights and the site was created. With a bit of imagination, help from my friends, and a few sleepless nights in the hospital during the early planning phases, which allowed the creative element to emerge over the scientific one, and the Journey of Hearts™ website was created.

The Internet has seen many changes and the demise of many websites in the 5 years the Journey of Hearts™ website has been involved as a web resource. Thanks to the supporters and the dreamers, we have done just what we set out to do—create an international web resource that is there any time to help people on their journey of grief.

Life's like a movie, write your own ending,
Keep believing, keep pretending
We've done just what we set out to do.
Thanks to the lovers, the dreamers and you.

Paul Williams and Kenny Ascher

Rainbow Image is from Mary Ann Sterling and use with permission.
See the Emergency 911 Page for links to immediate resources
if you are feeling helpless, hopeless, overwhelmingly depressed, or suicidal.

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Last update July 20, 2002