Articles

  • At Thanksgiving, Say Their Names

    November 25, 2016

    This article was first published on Open to Hope in 2010. Thursday will be the 21st Thanksgiving I’ve lived through following the death of my 18-month-old daughter Erin in 1990.  The 12th since my wife Trici died in 1999 and the 6th since my 13-year-old son Rory died in 2005. One thing I know for […]

  • Grief’s Linking Objects: The Winnowing Process

    November 12, 2016

    Linking objects–things that belonged to a deceased loved one–are reminders of experiences and feelings. A bereaved son may wear his father’s watch, for example, and a bereaved daughter may use her mother’s dishes. At holiday time I put mother’s cut glass water decanter on the dinner table,  a reminder of her love, guidance, and all […]

  • Tina Barrett: Grief Center Serves Men and Boys

    September 27, 2016

    There are many types of grieving styles, and that’s the topic of discussion between Dr. Heidi Horsley and Tina Barrett during the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference. Barrett is with the Tamarack Grief Center, an organization revered by Dr. Horsley and the Open to Hope Foundation. Comparing how girls grieve vs. boys is a […]

  • Songwriting as Healing Art

    September 10, 2016

    I kissed your head Told you I loved you, ’cause I wanted You to know just how much that you impacted My life, so much more than I could ask for This is not good-bye, and yes, I will cry but that’s ’cause I miss your face This is not good-bye, I know I’ll see […]

  • Ode to an Urn Maker: Commemorative Urns of Eliza Thomas

    July 18, 2016

    Ceramic artist Eliza Thomas has a unique practice of creating commemorative urns and offering them to those grieving a loss. Hearing of this work, I was intrigued, and tried to track her down. When we finally meet at Caffe Borrone in Menlo Park, we are just a short walk from Stanford University. Next door neighbors […]

  • The Starriest Night: van Gogh’s Grief Illuminates Ours

    July 12, 2016

    As a psychology professor, I am fascinated by the works of great artists. These creative individuals can be those in visual arts, music, or literature. I believe that anxiety and depression, maybe all forms of human suffering, can be expressed through creative pursuits. Sigmund Freud used terms such as catharsis and sublimation to describe the […]

  • Go Ahead, Judge Me for My Tattoos: How Memorial Tattoos Help

    June 30, 2016

      “What an idiotic thing – to deface your own body,” an uncle said after I got my first tattoo. He wasn’t interested in the story behind it. Like many people, he’s one that goes through life without checking his assumptions and, as a result, often misses the opportunity to see beauty in unexpected places. […]

  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the Military

    May 31, 2016

    Dr. Heidi Horsley talks about military post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with Dr. Ed Tick, an expert in the field. He’s the author of “War and the Soul” as well as four other books. He’s the director of Soldier’s Heart and has worked with military members and their families for several years. There’s a difference […]

  • Hope After the Loss of a Spouse

    May 27, 2016

    Artist, poet, and writer Laurel Diane Rund talks about finding hope once again after losing a spouse. Losing her husband took her on a journey to sorrow and personal transformation. According to a Chinese proverb, birds sing because they have a song—not an answer. Rund didn’t have any answers or know how to grieve. However, […]

  • Dorenzer Thomas: Roberta’s House, Faith, Music and Grief

    May 21, 2016

      Dr. Gloria Horsley connects with Dorenzer Thomas of to talk about how faith and music can be integral to the healing process. She’s the Youth Coordinator of Programming and works closely with children and families who are bereaved. Located in Baltimore, Roberta’s House is the only such grief center in the area. Thomas also […]

  • A Daughter Remembers Her Father’s Creative Legacy

    May 9, 2016

    My father, Geoff Relf, a longtime San Diego advertising and communications figure passed away July 28, 2015, at 85, after battling cancer, surviving his wife, Connie by five years. The couple met at the University of Washington and moved to San Diego in 1956, then to La Jolla in 1959, where they raised four children: […]

  • A Terrible Saturday Morning

    April 19, 2016

    “I feel like I’m getting close to the gates,” he muttered. He was 91. I knew he was referring to death, to the “Pearly Gates” where Gabriel the angel (or Saint Peter or St. Someone) famously waited with a list of names. And he knew I was there to discuss some of the last decisions […]

  • Tesia Henderson: Foster Care, Hope and Resiliency

    April 4, 2016

    Representing The Foster Club at the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference is Tesia Henderson, who talks with Dr. Heidi Horsley about foster care, hope, and resiliency in youth. A lot of youth in foster care have been traumatized and are grieving. It may be the loss of a parent or the loss of a […]

  • Jill Cliffer Beratta: Healing Through Art

    March 15, 2016

    A teacher of enrichment art, Jill Cliffer Baratta has an MFA and talked with Dr. Gloria Horsley about how art can help in the healing process. Baratta lost her father, and immediately turned to her love of the arts to guide her own healing process. Her father died 45 years ago, right before her twelfth […]

  • Lynne Ann DeSpelder: Healing Through Art

    March 4, 2016

    A leader in the field of grief and loss, Dr. Lynne Ann DeSpelder talks with Dr. Heidi Horsley about using art to help heal from grief. Dr. DeSpelder is also a professor of psychology, counselor, and author of The Last Dance: Encountering Death and Dying (now in its eighth edition). When someone dies, think about […]

  • Dr. Ira Byock: Nurturing a Relationship During Grief

    March 2, 2016

    Professor at Dartmouth Medical School Dr. Ira Byock shares with the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) four key items to keep in mind in order to maintain a whole relationship. He’s also the Director of Palliative Medicine, and has been involved with hospice care for over 30 years. In emergency medicine and private […]

  • Stephanie Groepper: Spouse Loss

    February 29, 2016

    Losing a spouse is unexpected, since you see yourself growing old with this person. Dr. Heidi Horsley talks to Stephanie Groepper, a military widow. She’s a psychology student and the founder of Washington Warrior Widows, a non-profit for widows and widowers in Washington State. Groepper’s daughter is seven years old, and was only four months […]

  • Dr. Carla Sofka: Museums as Healing Spaces

    February 28, 2016

    Museums can be a great site for healing according to Dr. Carla Sofka. A professor at Siena College, she points out that almost everyone has a memory of visiting a museum, and they serve a variety of purposes. They’re a place where learning can be fun. Since she began volunteering at New York museums following […]

  • Diana Wright: TAPS Youth Programs

    February 13, 2016

    The recent National Alliance for Grieving Children conference brought together Dr. Heidi Horsley and Diana Wright of TAPS Youth Programs. She’s been a volunteer for five years, and came on staff as a programs coordinator. She first learned about TAPS in 2007, and learned how incredible the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors is for bereaved […]

  • Waiting For the Other Shoe to Drop: Joe Biden’s Burden

    February 2, 2016

    (In Memory of Beau Biden, 2/3/1969 – 5/30/2015) Joe Biden may seem like a man on top of the world. Maybe even you, yourself, have looked at him with envy. He’s the Vice President of our nation, after all. He’s second in command. He gets to drink beer with the Commander in Chief. He has […]

  • Cindy Kort: Writing to Heal

    January 28, 2016

    During the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley interviews Cindy Kort, who recently lost her mother and discovered that writing was one of her best ways to heal. Ellen Kort was a famous poet laureate for Wisconsin who worked closely in the grief and loss field. Cindy also lost her brother years […]

  • Men and Depression

    December 27, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley of the Open to Hope Foundation tackle the topic of men and depression in this episode of the Open to Hope show. Depression is a serious medical condition, and grief can exacerbate it. If you’re a man who’s depressed, or someone who loves a man who’s depressed, action needs to […]

  • Susan Coyle: Hospice and End of Life

    December 23, 2015

    From the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley talks with Susan Coyle about how you can help friends and family if they’ve experienced a loss. Coyle is a bereavement counselor and end of life care manager for St. Charles Hospice in Bend, Oregon. “Be patient” is the number one tip Coyle can […]

  • Josh Robinson: Expressing Grief Through Music

    December 2, 2015

    The Open to Hope Foundation’s Dr. Gloria Horsley talks with musician John Robinson about his work with grief and loss. He had a powerful experience playing music by his grandfather’s bedside in the hospital. After a heart attack, Robinson and his family found they didn’t have words to express how they felt. With music, Robinson […]

  • Winter Grief Activities and Projects

    November 29, 2015

    The long winter months can be especially confining, isolating and challenging when grieving a loss. But you can also engage in unique ways that will help you bear your loss. Here are some ideas for winter (or any time of year): start an indoor gardens/terrariums/terrarium memorial garden take up a new hobby/craft, learn new skills/enhance existing […]

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  • Episode 88: Male Grief: Sudden Traumatic Loss

    November 7, 2016

    Have you or a male friend had a sudden or traumatic loss? Are you wondering how men cope? If so join Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley in a frank discussion of men and grief with Jim Giaccone, Franklin Cook and Eric Marcus. Jim’s brother Joe, died on 9/11 while Franklin and Eric suffered the […]

  • Episode 87: Grief and Art

    October 23, 2016

    Are you looking for a unique way to memorialize or celebrate the life of your loved one? Then join Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley in an interview with memory artist Nancy Gershman and her client Debla Hargreaves for whom Nancy created a dream scape in memory of her father. Documentary film maker Kate Rolston […]

  • Episode 86: Spouse Loss

    October 9, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interviewed Dawn Jiosi, creator of the New Dawn that was inspired by the shattering life events of her husband’s death eight years ago. Our second guests were Caryl Fried Feldmann and her daughter Sara Feldmann Sheehan, Executive Producer of Mortal, a film inspired by the […]

  • Episode 84: Military Loss

    September 25, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interviewed artist Jeanne Harris Weaver and her husband, Donn Weaver, a retired Foreign Service Diplomat.  Their son, Todd, an Army Ranger, was killed while on deployment in Afghanistan.  In his memory, Jeanne created twenty-one pictures in the year following Todd’s death.  A tribute clip is […]

  • Episode 80: Organ Donation

    July 27, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Kayla Smith, family services coordinator for Live On New York, regarding her work with organ donor families. Judy Armijo, bereaved mother of Alexandra, and organ recipient Kevin Robinson join the group to discuss the impact of Alexandra’s decision to become a registered organ donor.  Alexandra died […]

  • Episode 79: Spouse Loss, What About Dating?

    July 1, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview three bereaved spouses; Dr. Joanne Moore, physical therapist and author of After the Loss of a Spouse: What’s Next?, comedian Carol Scibelli author of Poor Widow Me and her partner Mickey Bayard.  They discuss among other issues coping with spouse loss and dating.  The show will […]

  • Episode 72: Coping After Child Loss

    May 9, 2016

    On this show Dr’s. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview bereaved parent and creator of the Grief Diaries brand of books, webinars, and film. The second guest is Barbara Hopkinson, bereaved parent and author of A Butterfly’s Journey To A New Normal. She is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist and a Compassionate Friends Chapter Leader. We […]

  • Episode 68: Grief Quest/ Music and Healing

    April 26, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Lilly Juliian bereaved parent/spouse and founder of COPE and her partner Jerry Winestock bereaved spouse about their book Grief Quest and their retreats and camps that have inspired thousands of individuals and families to find hope and healing. Jerry is also the author […]

  • Episode: 66: Mortality; Living Your Best Life

    April 26, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Sara Feldman Sheehan and her husband Bobby Sheehan producers and directors of Mortal the first documentary that addresses the shifting paradigm in how we view life and death. The second guest is Lilly Julian bereaved parent of Michelle and founder of COPE with the mission of […]

  • 65: Sibling Loss

    March 9, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss the impact of losing a sibling with Elizabeth Devita-Raeburn whose brother Ted, died of an immune disorder. She is the author of “The Empty Room: Losing a Brother or Sister At Any Age”. The second guest will be Molly Gandour a documentary Filmmaker and […]

  • Episode 62: Laughter and Yoga For Health

    December 14, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Alan Pedersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends, interview Linda Shively, co-leader of the Santa Clara County, California chapter of The Compassionate Friends and parent of Jessica, on how laughter has helped her and others deal with their losses. The second guest is Rebecca Bara, owner of Vibe […]

  • Episode 61:Finding Hope During The Holidays: Tips and Advice

    December 14, 2015

    On this Holiday show Dr. Gloria Horsley and her co-host Alan Pedersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends discuss with Dale Dullabaun and Denise Petersen, bereaved parents of little Dale and Sean, the challenges of getting through the holidays after a loss. Tips and techniques are given to reduce holiday stress. Denise shows crafts that […]

  • Episode 60: Traumatic Sibling Loss: Finding Hope Again

    December 14, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and co-host Alan Pedersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends, interview two guests regarding coping with grief after a traumatic sibling loss. The first guest is Megan MacFarland, sister of Staff Sgt.Marc Small, who was killed in Afghanistan in 2009. The second guest is Zander Sprague, whose sister was […]

  • For the Ones Left Behind: A Guide for Helping Loved Ones After a Death

    May 23, 2016

    A death can shatter the lives of those left behind. Now, there are so many things to do. Who do you call? Where do you start? How can you help? Managing to survive in the aftermath of a loved one’s death is a daunting task. For the Ones Left Behind, A Guide for Helping Loved […]