Articles

  • Trust Heals: Journeying With Faith, Hope and Patience

    May 18, 2015

    “With Open Hands” –  Free me, Lord, from the inner bondage and endless cycle of what I think needs to happen before I can be happy.  Free me, Lord, from my idea of the solution. Help me to wait with open ended, joyful expectation; and help me to experience your peace. Amen  (Charles W. Sidoti). […]

  • The Gifts of Promise and Hope in Grief

    May 17, 2015

    The Hidden Gifts in Catastrophe Following catastrophic loss or any life altering transition there may be teachings or unanticipated gifts that we discover in the process of transforming our worldviews.  Following the death of my 18-year-old daughter Jeannine, I discovered the gifts of “transient angels”, individuals who crossed my path for a short time. Their […]

  • Unleash the Silence: Compassion for Surviving Siblings

    May 11, 2015

    Losing my beloved sisters Jane and Margie impacted my life in ways I did not comprehend until years later. Their passing shaped the person I am today. With hard work, support, guidance, and the cheering of many, I re-discovered Judy after 30 years. The topic I choose to unleash, although extremely sensitive, needs to be […]

  • Mother’s Day Haikus

    May 9, 2015

    Editor’s note: We recently asked our contributing writers to create Haikus related to Mother’s Day. Here are some of the poems. Hard being a mother When your child is far away Hug them in your heart – Neal Raisman An angel you are A bright light among the stars And for you, I weep – […]

  • Renaming the Stages of Grief

    April 28, 2015

    Chances are, you’ve heard of the stages of grief Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced in her 1969 book, “On Death and Dying.” The stages are: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance It is a very nice idea that you can break grief down into defined segments that have a clear beginning and […]

  • What is Mother’s Day after Mother is Gone?

    April 26, 2015

    What is Mother’s Day? A day to honor mothers. To me, it’s also the day that American University hosts its graduation. May 13, 2007, I sullenly watched David Gregory give a very witty speech about something I’m fairly certain was inspirational. My mother died the year before and I wasn’t in the mood for Mother’s […]

  • Kaleidoscope: Rearranging the Pieces After Loss

    April 17, 2015

    It’s been 80 months since I became a widow, 21 months since I said vows for the second time, and two months since my first child was born. Sometimes I need to pinch myself. As I tenderly rock my little girl in my arms, I can’t help but remember the reason I got this rocking […]

  • Pain is Inevitable; Suffering is Optional

    April 10, 2015

    “Does time heal all wounds?” If you are a griever, you have no doubt heard this cliché more than once. On April 16, 1993, our son, Chad, died as a result of suicide. Family and friends know that it doesn’t pay to ask, “Do you ever get over it?” Our response will always be the […]

  • Avoid the Grief Pitfall of Isolation

    April 8, 2015

    Once a loved one dies, the desire to isolate can be overwhelming. Spending time alone to rest, meditate, and remember is restorative, but grief experts tell us shunning others ultimately won’t bring peace. It’s important to find people who can help us work through the grieving process. Sometimes these people can be family members and […]

  • Mother’s Day: A Happy and Sad Occasion

    April 6, 2015

    One Mother’s Day after another passes by since I lost my daughter in September 2006. It does not get easier as years go by. How can this day not intensify my grief after losing one of my three children? Mother’s Day will never be the same ever! This day that used to bring me joy […]

  • Grief in Spring?

    March 23, 2015

    If Spring makes you feel better and to feel new hope, that is a good, positive and nurturing thing. But it may not be true for everyone, and no one should feel they have to hide their true feelings. It is perfectly normal to experience new heightened grief and/or grief-related anxiety in Spring, just as […]

  • Reaching Out, Sharing Grief

    March 22, 2015

    When our son, Timmy, died at age 20 from a skateboard accident, many of our friends, searching for words, said “I can’t imagine…” And of course they can’t. It is beyond our expectations, beyond our understanding of reality, that a vibrant, young person could be plucked from the world so suddenly. It was certainly beyond […]

  • When Grief Subsides….What’s Beyond?

    March 20, 2015

    Grief a major part of a widow/widower’s life. Although everyone works through grief in their own way, there are still some similarities. I’d guess the majority of widow/widowers go through various stages of shock, denial, guilt, anger, depression, and hopefully acceptance. But every journey will also be unique. Once we work through our stages of grief and accept our loss, the grief […]

  • Turning Tragedy into Hope

    March 17, 2015

    March 17th is normally for most people a day of celebration – St. Patrick’s Day. What a saint he was too, not only bringing a message of hope to the Irish, but also to the rest of the British Isles during his lifetime. March 17th, 2011, was a day that changed my life for all […]

  • Can Grief Be a Friend?

    March 7, 2015

    Anne LaMott, in her book Traveling Mercies, writes,  “Don’t get me wrong. Grief sucks; it really does. Unfortunately, though, avoiding it robs us of Life, of the now, of the sense of living spirit…The bad news is that whatever you use to keep the pain at bay robs you of the flecks and nuggets of […]

  • Signs From Heaven

    March 5, 2015

    Many of us who have lost a loved one have received signs from them after they passed away. These could be small signs like a significant song playing on the radio or seeing a butterfly. You can also experience things such as vivid dreams with your loved one, who appear healthy and happy. Cherish these […]

  • Loving My Wife through Her Grief

    March 3, 2015

    This article was written by John Thompson, husband of Open to Hope contributing writer Jill Kraft Thompson. March 25, 2015, will mark the thirteenth anniversary of the day my wife Jill lost her family. Of course, I am not talking about our son Franklin and me, but Jill’s previous husband Bart; their two young sons, […]

  • Why I Can Be Open to Hope

    March 2, 2015

    I can’t always hope. But I can be open to it. When people are in mourning, those who care about them often search for some way to help them feel better. It’s awful to see someone you love feeling such pain. You want to take away the suffering, fix the problem, bring your loved one […]

  • ‘Have Faith and Pursue the Unknown End’

    February 21, 2015

    What life still holds for us after significant loss is one of life’s many “unknown ends.” You may be old enough to remember the 1960’s television game show, “Let’s Make a Deal,” hosted by Monty Hall. A hallmark of the show was that people sitting in the audience would dress in silly and outrageous outfits […]

  • After Loss: We Are Our Own Evidence

    February 20, 2015

    Validation Comes From Within If we need validation or proof of our own transformation after loss or other life altering events, we need look no further than ourselves.   We can only assess for ourselves the progress we have made on our journeys.  The validation from others regarding our progress is important but in reality it […]

  • Lent as a Verb, Not a Noun

    February 20, 2015

    In Christendom Lent, from the Latin for “forty,” is the annual season of fasting and penitence for 40 weekdays before Easter. But, as someone in mourning, I’m having a hard time thinking about giving up chocolate or staying off Facebook as anything as penitential as the sudden death of our son Mack, 8, on New […]

  • Grieving a Future I’ll Never Have

    February 19, 2015

    When grief is new, it is excruciating and overwhelming. Many people get stuck in a quicksand of pain that is so thick and intense, it feels impossible to escape. As you struggle through those first few days, weeks, and months, you begin to be pulled so far down into it, you can’t imagine how you’ll […]

  • ‘Moving On’ vs. ‘Moving Forward’: The Preposition Matters

    February 10, 2015

    Have you ever told someone, with the best of intentions, “You’ve got to look at all the positives and try to move on”? Sure you have. I have, too. But not since I lost my husband and realized the toxicity that lives within both of those phrases. As Dr. Michael Lerner asserts in “The Difference […]

  • The Fierce Tribe of After: Grief, with Attitude

    February 10, 2015

    Don’t make the mistake. It’s not anger you see on my face. It’s attitude. My wife died suddenly in her forties of an unknown heart problem. If you don’t know what to say to me about that, if you feel uncomfortable when I’m around because I make you worry that your spouse is about to […]

  • Cartoonist Keith Knight on How Words Live On

    February 9, 2015

    Keith Knight is a “gentleman cartoonist” whose various, nationally syndicated comics are published in the Washington Post, MAD, Daily Kos, Medium.com, and the Funny Times. Visit Keef on his website and watch the documentary on his work. A vet’s rates don’t come down just because it’s a dying rat Don’t rate a deathbed experience by the number of words exchanged Use a smart […]

  • Keeping Lost Siblings In Your Heart

    February 8, 2015

    I am a sister who sadly lost both my sisters. Although I will permanently have a hole in my heart, I am learning to embrace my beloved sisters to encompass an important place in my life. My sisters Margie and Jane are forever part of me, who I am, past, present and future. My heart […]

  • Years After Daughter’s Death, an Extraordinary Day

    February 8, 2015

    I have been to our university’s graduation parties several times since my daughter passed away, but they were never held in the same hall that her high school graduation had taken place at. I did not step in that building since her graduation eight years ago. I woke up apprehensive of what was awaiting me […]

  • Writing the Gratitude!

    February 6, 2015

    When Daniel died, I wanted more. More smiles, more birthdays, more words, more experiences. Like any mom, I wanted my child to have a full and healthy life. When Daniel breathed his last, all I had was four years and five months and eight days. He hadn’t made it to five; he hadn’t even made […]

  • A Personal Egypt: Accepting God’s Guidance in Our Journey Toward Inner Peace

    February 6, 2015

     We were slaves to the Pharaohs in Egypt, but the Lord led us out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. (Deuteronomy 6:21) One of the keys to a more peaceful life is learning when to allow oneself to be led and when to take life by the horns.  Both of these […]

  • God Wants Us to Grow and Evolve in Our Grief

    February 4, 2015

    The sense of separation when a loved one dies can be very painful. What we may not yet have realized is that just because you can’t see your loved ones doesn’t mean they aren’t with you. You are always connected in your heart. Love does not die. In love, there is no separation. One love, […]

  • Shifting: Child-Loss Splits Mom Between Heaven and Earth

    February 3, 2015

    For all accounts and purposes I am a strong woman. I have been through some extraordinary situations and lived to tell about them. And the telling has been my mission for the last six months. Sharing my story, educating fellow child-loss survivors about meditation, energy and intuition. I preach about connecting with your child after […]

  • Why Affirmation Writing Helps Grief Healing

    January 26, 2015

    Grief experts recommend writing as a healing tool because it works. Putting your thoughts in writing makes them real and, more important, validates your thoughts. I started writing one-sentence affirmations after four family members died in 2007 and have been writing them ever since. Affirmation writing has many benefits and there are some of them. […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • Simple Tools for Managing Stress: Barbara Schmidt

    May 14, 2015

    Barbara Schmidt is founder of Peaceful Mind Peaceful World, a community outreach program through Florida Atlantic University promoting dialogue in the greater community on the topic of inner peace. She is the author of THE PRACTICE: Simple Tools for Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace and Uncovering Happiness.

  • Culture and Grief: Ethel Gardner

    May 7, 2015

    Ethel Gardner is the President of the board of the Kennedy Austin foundation located in Pomona, California. In 1992 she lost her only son, Damon J. Jones, 17, in a traffic accident. As an African American she discusses the cultural aspects of bereavement and how they impact grief support. She has written several books; including; […]

  • Death of a Husband: Elaine Mansfield

    April 30, 2015

    Elaine Mansfield leads workshops and bereavement support groups and writes for Hospicare and Palliative Care of Tompkins County in Ithaca, NY Her writing reflects her forty years as a student of Jungian psychology, mythology, meditation, and nature. Since her husband’s death in 2008, her work has focused on a search for love, meaning, and healing […]

  • Alternative Healing After Loss: Karen Noe

    April 23, 2015

    Karen Noe is a renowned New Jersey-based psychic medium, spiritual counselor, and healer. She is the founder of the Angel Quest Center in Ramsey NJ, where she teaches classes, gives readings, and practices alternative healing. She hosts The Angel Quest radio show and is the author of a number of books including “Your Life After […]

  • Assisted Suicide and Grief: Dr. Robert Liner

    March 26, 2015

    Dr. Robert Liner is a graduate of Stanford University, Honors in Humanities, and the University of Rochester Medical School. He practiced and taught ob/gyn twenty years in San Francisco, was in private practice in the bay area, and served on the faculty of UCSF in their Prenatal Diagnostic Center. He is now retired and volunteers […]

  • Continuing Bonds After Death: Brittany Trauthwein

    March 19, 2015

    Brittany Trauthwein M.A. specializes in grief and loss and end of life matters. Her research was influenced by her own grief journey after the loss of family members. She studies how individuals continue bonds with loved ones who have passed away, particularly adult children remaining in relationship with deceased parents.

  • AIDS and Grief : Doneley Meris

    March 12, 2015

    Doneley Meris Grief Psychotherapist and Training Educator, is the founder and executive director of HIV Arts Network. He is adjunct faculty at New York University and the chair of the People Of Color/Multi-Cultural Committee of the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

  • Grief Support: Lori Chinitz

    March 5, 2015

    Lori Chinitz is a Healing From the Core Certified Instructor, and Physical Therapist. Lori’s strengths as an instructor and practitioner flow out of her capacity to witness and support each person’s unique journey. Her gentle, down to earth style has often been a key to unlocking deeper doorways to healing.

  • Healing Through Grief: Sherry Cassedy

    February 26, 2015

    Sherry Cassedy, JD, MA, has practiced law and mediation for 29 years and currently has a mediation and private judging practice in Palo Alto, CA.  She is also a certified yoga instructor and spiritual guide, weaving yoga philosophy through her classes and offering spiritual guidance and seasonal retreats on spiritual topics.  She is the bereaved […]

  • Celebrate Your Life: Faith Freed

    February 19, 2015

    Faith Freed holds a master’s degree in counseling psychology and spiritual guidance from The Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Faith is the author of, “Is:  Your Authentic Spirituality Unleashed.” She counsels clients in Palo Alto and San Francisco at the Entelechy Wellness Center.

  • Spirituality and Grief: Lisa Irish

    February 12, 2015

    Lisa Irish is no stranger to loss. At age 2, her mother’s paralyzing car accident changed a normal childhood. At 11, her father died, and at 25, her mother died. She learned to look through the lens of loss, felt its power and trusted its teaching. Today she understands herself as a woman of hope […]

  • Teen Grief and the Internet: Ilene Cupit

    January 29, 2015

    Dr. Illene Noppe Cupit is a Professor of Human Development at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She teaches Dying, Death & Loss and recently coedited Dying, Death and Grief in an Online Universe. She founded Camp Lloyd for grieving children and adolescents, and is the past President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 49: Trauma Treatments

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma EMDR and Neurofeedback for repairing faulty connections and connectivity patterns. Dr. David Fajgenbaum joins the group to discuss how the death of […]

  • Episode 48: Trauma/Heal The Body

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma how yoga and other physical activities help the bereaved. Bereaved spouse Dr. Lyn Prashant PhD, FT, joins the discussion of helping the […]

  • Episode 47: Healing Trauma/Creative Activities

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma how creative activities can help promote our natural, innate healing mechanisms. They are joined by bereaved parent, Sharon Strouse, board certified Art […]

  • Episode 45: The Compassionate Friends: Groups Helping Parents, Siblings and Grandparents

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Michele Muro and Babe-Anthony Muro, bereaved parent and stepparent of Lori who was killed in an automobile accident while serving in the U.S. Navy. Also on the show are Arnie and Varda Wendorf. Their daughter Lauren was also killed in an automobile accident. Michele […]

  • Episode 44: COPS; Supporting Cops and their Families

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Dennis Jones the Executive Director of Concerns of Police Survivors (C.O.P.S). and Anthony (Babe) Muro a supporter and friend of the police community. They discuss how C.O.P.S. supports individuals and families after a fellow officer has fallen and offer suggestions on how the community […]

  • Episode 42: Saving At Risk Children

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Tashel Bordere Ph.D., CT regarding her work in death, dying and bereavement with black families. A video clip is shown featuring Harlem Mother’s S.A.V.E. followed by an interview with founder Jackie Rowe-Adams bereaved mother of Anthony and Tyrone who lost their lives to gun […]