Words of Wisdom: ‘Hold On!’

By Luellen Hoffman —

His cell phone call came to me at 7:00 am and I knew right away something was wrong. My son had just driven up to Detroit with his girlfriend to attend the NCAA Final Four basketball games and was driving back Tuesday morning when they hit bad weather — snow and ice on the Penn Turnpike.

His girlfriend was driving the car and they weren’t speeding, 64 mph when they hit ice and she lost control of the car.  My son had been asleep, in the passenger seat, when he awoke to her screams and the car veering out of control.  He grabbed the steering wheel and yelled to her, “Hold on, hold on.”

The car, a 1997 BMW Z3 convertible flipped over twice, skidded on two wheels on the right side and then centered back on all four wheels to hit a cement road barrier on the driver’s side before finally coming to a stop.  They were shaken up, but, thankfully, all right.

I remember when my son was ten or eleven years old, he played on a youth football team.  I would go and watch his games with my friend Maggie, another mom who sat with me. During the games she would yell out, “Hold on, your friends will come.” She said this because the boys were too little or light-weight to actually tackle anyone.  When they tried to tackle another player, they would drag behind, slowing the player down enough so others on their team would catch up and pile on to bring the opponent down.

Over the years, I have often thought about this phrase and I am reminded of it many times, especially when I feel scared or overwhelmed because the events I am experiencing in life.

My husband’s sudden death was such an event, and the best way to describe it is like being in a crazy car crash with life spinning out of control.  If you are experiencing this, because you lost a friend or loved one, remember these words, “Hold on,” because it’s true.

If you just “hold on,” your world will get back into control and your friends will come and help you. Don’t worry about the overwhelming odds you are facing right now, just remember to “Hold on!”

Luellen Hoffman is an adjunct professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and has a successful career in the Washington, DC area. She has won top awards and recognitions from, VNU/Nielsen Business Media for her outstanding people and communication skills.

Hoffman is a feature writer of a children’s column with a Chicago based magazine for over fifteen years. She also created an equestrian scholarship at Dartmouth College in 2002. Her husband Michael died unexpectedly in 1994 which led her to write this book and share her experience of a Special Dream in hope of reaching out to others who may be have had this same unique experience. She has two sons, enjoys art, music and sports.

Luellen appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss Continuing Bonds Through Albums and Stories.

Luellen Hoffman

More Articles Written by Luellen

Luellen Hoffman is an adjunct professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia and has a successful career in the Washington, DC area. She has won top awards and recognitions from, VNU/Nielsen Business Media for her outstanding people and communication skills. Hoffman is a feature writer of a children?s column with a Chicago based magazine for over fifteen years. She also created an equestrian scholarship at Dartmouth College in 2002. Her husband Michael died unexpectedly in 1994 which led her to write this book and share her experience of a Special Dream in hope of reaching out to others who may be have had this same unique experience. She has two sons, enjoys art, music and sports. Luellen appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss “Continuting Bonds Through Albums and Stories.” To hear Luellen being interviewed on this show, click on the following link: www.voiceamericapd.com/health/010157/horsley061908.mp3

1 Comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



  • Dear Luellen,

    First I would like to say that I am very sorry for your loss; losing your husband has to be profoundly challenging. Your advice to “hold on” has served me well, along with remembering that life turns itself around if you stay open to what life offers, along with faith in being able to handle the difficult moments.

    “Your friends will come and help you”, as you mentioned, does not always come to pass, in my experience. I know people that have not been this lucky. Family members and friends can be fearful about what to say, or not want to be brought down by what they perceive as a negative life occurrence.

    Many years after my losses, I am glad, for the most part that I did not cut myself off entirely from the people who could not understand death and loss at the time. I notice people usually live through events to enlighten them. The anger and disappointment I experienced when these people did not want to be a part of my life after loss has mostly disappeared.

    My closest cousin Cynthia, who was like a sister to me, died one year ago. Months before she died she spoke to me to thank me for teaching her about loss and what happens with death in a family. I said “it must have been my mother who helped you”, as she also helped me face my brother’s death by teaching me to talk about him, keep him alive in my heart after he died suddenly . My cousin Cynthia said no, it was both of our actions and experiences, interacting together that opened her world to what it meant to lose someone.

    We spent time together before she died, which I will never forget. She talked to me about my family who had passed. She must have known I would value this, as she was one of my biggest connections to them. She faced her death with a style all her own…it is never easy.