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Open to Hope Articles

Do you want to read stories of others who have been where you are? Are you looking for bereavement help, and advice? Look no further. We offer over 3,000 articles written by our Open to Hope authors.


Birthdays … Beautiful and Bittersweet

January 11, 2017

I turned 60 in October, the day filled with a range of emotions. Etched in my brain and soul was the last time I saw my sister Jane, to celebrate my 25th birthday. For 35 years, my birthday held a cloud, never the joy of celebrating me on my birthday, always the pain of the […]

‘Do You Cook for Yourself?’: How to Remember a Loving Husband

January 7, 2017

“Do you cook for yourself?”  a new acquaintance asks me. I smile to myself. She has no idea. She has opened the door wide. I begin: “No, I do not cook. My husband did everything with joy and skill for the entire time of our marriage.” I have one subject that fills my soul: the […]

Healing Through Creativity

January 7, 2017

Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps Score: Brain, Mind and Body in the Healing of Trauma, in episode 47 of The Open to Hope Foundation series. Additionally, they speak with Sharon Strouse, a bereaved parent who’s the author of Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing […]

One Mother’s Grief: Embracing ‘Fierce Growth’

January 6, 2017

A lightning bolt ripped through me and froze my being as I listened to the piercing words of my friend. “Your daughter has been in a bike accident. She died.” I felt everything and I felt nothing. The grieving started with a pattern of feeling split wide open, raw, bleeding; then followed moments of nothing […]

My Second Chapter: Life, Marriage, Family

January 4, 2017

Many people ask me, What’s it really like being re-married? My widow(er) friends want to know if I’m as happy as I was in my first marriage, if I compare my two husbands, why I’d risk being a widow again, and most importantly, if my new husband is understanding. Can you talk about James with him? […]

Do Our Loved Ones In Heaven Celebrate With Us? Yes!

December 31, 2016

For those of us who are grieving, holidays and special occasions can be bittersweet and very painful, as we wish our loved ones were right here beside us celebrating too. However, from my spiritual work and own personal experiences, as well as thousands of others I have ministered to since 1998, I have come to […]

I Need to Say Her Name: Surviving the Holidays

December 21, 2016

In 2007 my elder daughter died from the injuries she received in a car crash. Helen loved Christmas and the first one without her was indescribably painful. I thought the second Christmas without Helen would be easier for me. It wasn’t. In fact, my grief seemed worse. While my grief has eased during the passing […]

Turning Grief into Good

December 15, 2016

Four years into widowhood, I’m astounded at how entrenched I’ve become in the grief community. I would have guessed that when my husband died, after twelve years of struggling with dementia, that I would have done everything possible to leave the grief community, having been in it for so long. Caring for a loved one with […]

No One Should Grieve Alone

December 14, 2016

You’re here for self-help. But the best help is in person. Some of you have come here in abject grief, thinking life is unfair. It is unfair, as we all know, but when it is not fair to you, you need someone to help you understand what to do about it. What do you do with […]