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  • Writer's pictureEllen Krohne

Now, I Know I Can!

Now, I know I Can!

My grandson, Linc, is the backup quarterback for his 7th grade football team. Sunday, when I asked him how his game was yesterday, he said, “Well, I threw the only completion in the game. And, my first. Now, I know I can, Grandma.” Just matter of fact, a realization that he did it, and would do it again. I was so proud of him in that moment.

Knowing that we CAN do something is half the battle of actually doing anything. We question our abilities, doubt ourselves sometimes. Only when we believe we CAN, are be able to DO!

Sunday evening, I thought about times I had my own first realization about something, like Linc had about his passing ability.

One stands out for me. I wrote an essay in 7th grade for a contest at our St. Libory American Legion post. The essay contest was about describing how I felt about America. I titled it “America and I.” I remember my Dad, trying to soften the blow that I would not win, saying, “I’m not a member of the Legion, so don’t get your hopes up.”

I got second place in that contest, and someone wrote on the side of the cover page, “Great job, keep writing.” And I won two dollars. The money didn’t matter – I had been validated as a writer. Someone besides my teachers thought I had talent; thought I could express myself as a writer. And suddenly, I believed in myself, too!

My hope is that EVERYONE in this world has this experience at some time – this validation of their talents and dreams!

When we are grieving, though, it is so difficult to have that sense of ability, that CAN DO! Just the opposite. Grief is foreign territory for most of us, the first time, especially, when losing someone we love. The path is unknown. Once we have been through the journey of grief, it can be easier in the future, but not always.

It was easier after my father’s death when I was 41 than my mother’s when I was fourteen, as described in this passage from my first book “We Lost Her":

“Dad’s death and funeral were not the traumatic, disruptive event our Mom’s had been 27 years prior. Betty and I discussed that we were embarrassed by how few details we could recall. We’d had time to prepare ourselves as he struggled. The loss was still very real and hard for us, but the shock was so much less. As adults, we could accept Dad’s death, and we had each other and our spouses to lean on for comfort. When we lost Dad, we grieved together instead of in our own worlds, as we had at Mom’s loss.”

Not that it was painless, it still hurt lots, it was just that we seven siblings knew we could and would make it through, having had the experience with Mom’s death. The confidence of I CAN.

If you or someone you love is grieving and struggling with the journey, help is available.

Heartlinks Grief Center provides grief support to all ages, regardless of ability to pay. If you are grieving or know someone who could use assistance on their grief journey, please contact Heartlinks Grief Center at 618-277-1800 or email

Proceeds from the sale of my books are donated to help support Heartlinks Grief Center, a program of Family Hospice of Belleville, IL.

Be blessed,


“We Grow Stronger Together”

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