Esteemed clinical psychologist Dr Rob Gordon says that ‘words are the digestive juices of the mind’. And like with any unique trauma, healing begins when you realise you’re not alone.


When your loved one is missing, it feels like no one else could possibly understand what you’re going through; the constant ruminating and complex emotions that interrupt your days and nights. It’s an experience that feels impossible to describe.


Exacerbating feelings of isolation, very few mental health professionals are equipped to support families and friends of missing people, because ambiguous loss is different to standard grief.

Since 2020, we’ve been training counsellors in this unique type of grief these past few years, and the support they’ve given our families – we’re told – has been life-changing. But some people aren’t inclined to seek traditional methods of therapy.

With internationally-renowned ambiguous loss expert Dr Sarah Wayland, we set out to create a tangible therapeutic tool that people can use, in the comfort and privacy of their own homes – or to complement traditional counselling – to navigate the unending not-knowing, and that oscillation between hopefulness and hopelessness.

Through workshops and interviews with 44 loved ones, across 8 countries, we’ve distilled over 500 years of collective lived experience into 145 card­s that express hard truths, coping mechanisms and hope.

The Hope Narratives are a set of beautiful, thoughtfully designed cards that validate and articulate those unique thoughts and feelings. The cards bridge communication gaps between family members, friends, colleagues and mental health care professionals by putting words to indescribable feelings. 

The Hope Narratives won two awards (Social Impact and Communication Design) at the Good Design Awards in September 2023.

The concept for this project was based on Dr Sarah Wayland’s thesis, ‘I still hope, but what I hope for now has changed’: A narrative inquiry study of hope and ambiguous loss when someone is missing, 2015. Read it here.


Ambiguous Loss, the book and theory, was pioneered by Emeritus Professor Dr Pauline Boss. Learn more at


TV news coverage for the hope narratives launch