Articles

  • Richard Sightings

    July 20, 2015

    Soon after my beloved son Richard died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism at age 46 in September of 2014, my family and I began experiencing what we call ‘Richard Sightings’. For us, a ‘sighting’ is a coincidence or synchronicity that reminds us of him or causes us to feel his presence. Richard was my only […]

  • At My Father’s Desk: Dementia’s Silent Toll

    July 20, 2015

    Grief can elbow its way into life long before death. This I remember . . . I visit my parents’ home. Only Mom lives there now. Because of dementia, Dad has resided in a memory care facility for nearly three months. He sleeps often. Awake he can be silent. Alert, he will often express himself […]

  • Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley: Finding Hope After Loss

    July 19, 2015

    Drs. Gloria Horsley and Heidi Horsley talked with one another during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. This mother and daughter are leaders of The Open to Hope Foundation, and their personal experience has driven them to dedicate their life to grief counseling. Gloria lost her son, who was also Heidi’s brother, […]

  • The Far Territories of Grief

    July 19, 2015

    I lay you down in the resting place. As for me, I will let my hair grow matted, put on a lion skin, and roam the steppe. – Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet VIII In the early days of grief, it felt like I had been thrown into the far territories of human existence. No one knew what […]

  • Brittany Trauthwein: Continuing Bonds

    July 19, 2015

    The Open to Hope Foundation radio show was the first outreach strategy, and continues to be a fantastic means of support for those who have lost a loved one. In the “Continuing Bonds” episode, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley talk with Brittany Trauthwein, MA, a specialist in end of life, grief and loss. Trauthwein has […]

  • Lisa Irish: Spirituality and Grief

    July 18, 2015

    In this enlightening episode of the Open to Hope Foundation show, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley discuss loss and hope with Lisa Irish. When Irish was only two years old, her mother was paralyzed in a car accident, which drastically altered Irish’s childhood. Her father died when she was 11 and, in her 20s, her […]

  • Sherry Cassedy: Spiritual Journey After the Loss of a Son

    July 17, 2015

    This Open to Hope Radio show episode showcases the interview of Sherry Cassedy, JD, MA by Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley. Dr. Cassedy has practiced law for nearly 30 years, and owns a mediation/private judging practice in the Palo Alto area. A certified yoga instructor, she excels in combining yoga philosophy with spiritual guidance in […]

  • The Compassionate Friends Conference Offers Support and Love

    July 16, 2015

    Alan Pederson, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends, welcomed experts from around the world at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling Conference. The 2015 theme “Hope Shines Bright…Deep in the Heart” was held in Dallas, Texas at the Hyatt Regency Downtown. Joanne Campbell, co-chair of the 38th annual conference, encouraged everyone to attend […]

  • ‘Lonely’ Not Powerful Enough Word to Describe Widowhood

    July 16, 2015

    Loneliness is not a surprising by-product of widowhood.  I mean, even for the people who have never been through it, it’s a no-brainer.  But frankly, I think that lonely is not a strong enough word. There is a deep silence that comes with losing your spouse.  And it doesn’t matter if you’re standing in the […]

  • Nancy Sharp: Both Sides Now

    July 9, 2015

    Nancy Sharp, author of Both Sides Now, talked to Dr. Heidi Horsley during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. The day Sharp gave birth to twins, she learned that her husband’s cancer had returned in full force. Holding both life and death in the same moment became the foundation of her birth. […]

  • Dr. Jon Reid: Chinese Culture and Grief

    July 8, 2015

    Dr. Jon Reid is a past president of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), and he spoke with Dr. Gloria Horsley during the 2015 ADEC conference about Chinese culture and grief. “There’s a much greater reluctance to talk about death and dying in Chinese culture, mostly because it’s considered bad luck,” Dr. Reid […]

  • What Loss Has Taught Me: Everybody’s on the Tightrope

    July 7, 2015

    The other day, I went out running to clear my head, something I often do in a continuing quest to manage my grief over the loss of my brother a year ago. I had my iPod on a random shuffle. Janelle Monáe’s song, “Tightrope,” came on after I had gone about a mile and a […]

  • Memoir of a Spirit

    July 6, 2015

    Many of us grapple with the thought of our own mortality. It’s a frightening unknown cloaked in mystery, but it doesn’t have to be. My son, Erik, took his own life just after his 20th birthday. Since he was 14 years old, he struggled with severe bipolar disease. On top of this, he had odd […]

  • Bob Neimeyer: How to Grieve as a Couple

    June 30, 2015

    One of Open to Hope’s Board members, Bob Neimeyer, spoke with Dr. Gloria Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference about grieving as a couple.  “You’ve told me for many years that I don’t have to give up memories of my child,” she tells Neimeyer. Sadly, Neimeyer explains that one of […]

  • What is Strength in the Face of Grief?

    June 26, 2015

    “You’re so strong.” If you’ve suffered the devastating loss of a loved one, you’ve probably heard the phrase. I certainly have after the death of my 4-year-old daughter, Margareta, in 2009. But what does it really mean, anyway? What exactly is the definition of strength in the wake of a loved one’s death? Chances are […]

  • Tom Attig: Death Rituals and Traditions

    June 25, 2015

    Tom Attig’s book, Death, Dying and Bereavement in Contemporary Society explores the rituals, evolutions and traditions of how we handle death. He spoke about his work with Dr. Gloria Horsley of The Open to Hope Foundation during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling 2015 conference. Together with his co-author, Judy Stillion, they decided […]

  • Sheryl Sandberg Redefines Empathy in Eloquent Reflection on Grief

    June 20, 2015

    Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Sheryl Sandberg’s recent Facebook post (bit.ly/sandbergempathy), written a month after her husband died, is a wise reflection on the rawness of grief — and a testament to the resiliency of those who grieve. Her heart-rending story gives us a hundred gifts, perhaps the greatest of which has not as much […]

  • The Relationship Continues, the Context has Changed

    June 17, 2015

    I spoke to Bridget, who nearly one year after her dad’s passing at the age of sixty-four was missing him terribly. She always had a close connection to her dad and was one of his caretakers while he was quite ill the year before he passed away. She believes in an afterlife and believes that […]

  • Running from Dad’s Death

    June 16, 2015

    “I need to see Dad,” I said to Mom. I stood in my parents’ bedroom. My mother’s clothes were strewn on the floor and the bed was unmade. “I’m in a hurry, Elaine. I have to get to the hospital.” “I know,” I said. “Take me with you. I want to see Dad. He’s MY […]

  • A Father ‘Hears From’ His Deceased Son on Father’s Day

    June 15, 2015

    Hi Dad, I have been thinking awhile of what I would write to you on Father’s Day, what I want to tell you, as well as what you need to hear.  For Father’s Day, a day that you have never embraced since the loss of your father so long ago, God has finally let me […]

  • The Death of My Father: Lingering Guilt

    June 13, 2015

    January 11, 2003, I sat on my father’s bed chatting with him at the Mercer Island Care Center. At age 80, he was attempting to recover from a bout of pneumonia. At around 9:30 pm, I kissed him good-bye, got up from the bed and said I’d see him tomorrow. I can still see him […]

  • Mitch Carmody: Proactive Grieving

    June 12, 2015

    Grieving shouldn’t just be a passive process—but many people need help being proactive about it. Dr. Gloria Horsley from the Open to Hope Foundation recently spoke with proactive grieving expert Mitch Carmody of Heartlight Studios about what it means to grieve in a proactive manner. Carmody brings his own experience to the table, having lost […]

  • Cori Bussolari: Grief Therapy What Families Need

    June 11, 2015

    With a background in pediatric psychology, Dr. Cori Bussolari now specializes in grief therapy within a private practice and also teaches at the University of San Francisco. She has extensive experience working with parents of dying children and parents of children who have already passed. Recently, she spoke with the Executive Director of the Open […]

  • My Fathers in Heaven

    June 11, 2015

    Both my fathers are in Heaven. For me, it has always been this way. If God watched me from the moon, Daddy rested on the brightest nearby star. I grew up dreaming of the time I would get to meet my Daddy, face to face. I sought out his footsteps, so I could somehow follow […]

  • As Life Ended, He Knew He Had Done the Best He Could

    June 11, 2015

    Developmental theorist Eric Erickson1 described our final developmental task as being the need to review our life to determine if the gods are pleased. In doing a life review, we sort through the various aspects of our life and conclude either with believing we have done the best we could, or determining there are things […]

  • Finding the Good Stuff on Father’s Day

    June 10, 2015

    I will always remember my Uncle Steve in his work clothing, coming home from a long day of repairing cars and trucks. His boots were worn, and his clothing stained with grease. He would be so tired that he would lie down on the carpet. Often, he would fall asleep there from sheer exhaustion. When […]

  • A Letter to My Daddy in Heaven

    June 10, 2015

    Dear Daddy, It’s been a long time since I’ve written to you. I miss doing that. We shared so many big and little things in our frequent emails and phone calls. Our conversations shrank the distance and connected us every day. Now that you’re gone from this earthly plane, I miss those exchanges dearly. Our […]

  • Gone Too Soon: A Father’s Day Remembrance

    June 8, 2015

    Fathers are so important in our lives. To those fathers who are still with us, Happy Father’s Day. To those fathers who preceded us in death, who are gone too soon, we remember you. A special shout-out to all of the single fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, father figures, uncles, clergy, godfathers, neighbors, counselors, support group facilitators, […]

  • Sheryl Sandberg’s Public Grief a Gift to All

    June 3, 2015

    Facebook executive and author Sheryl Sandberg used her personal facebook account today to speak out about the pain of losing her young husband last month and to thank friends and fans for their support in the aftermath. In a poignant 1,700-word post, Ms. Sandberg also took the opportunity to provide a virtual checklist of lessons […]

  • Howard Winokuer: Having Hope

    June 3, 2015

    “It’s okay to see past some of the issues,” urges Dr. Howard Winokuer, the founder of The Winokuer Center for Counseling and Healing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Speaking with Dr. Heidi Horsley at the Association of Death Education and Counseling conference in 2015, he explains that, “It’s okay to have hope even if things don’t […]

  • Lyn Prashant: Body Work After Loss

    May 28, 2015

    As a bereaved spouse herself, Lyn Prashant specializes in “body work” after loss. She recently talked with Dr. Gloria Horsley from the Open to Hope Foundation about options for those in various stages of grieving when it comes to using the body as part of the healing process. “After my husband died, I found that […]

  • Be Aware of Anticipatory Grief

    May 27, 2015

    Sooner or later, we all experience anticipatory grief—a feeling of loss before a death or dreaded event occurs. Unfortunately, many people do not realize they are going through this process, and think something is wrong with them. You may be experiencing anticipatory grief now. Nothing is wrong with you; it is a normal response to […]

  • 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 – […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • Neal Raisman: Finding Hope After Child Loss

    July 16, 2015

    Dr. Neal Raisman lives in Columbus, Oh where his surviving daughter, two grandchildren and son-in-law live. He is a consultant to colleges and universities in topics of academic customer service and retaining students. He is the author of Standing on One Leg: 70 Pieces on Death, Grief and Finding Balance about his son Isaac who […]

  • Finding Hope After Child Loss: Sukey Forbes

    July 9, 2015

    Sukey Forbes is the founder and president of an art, antiques, and interior design company and a blogger for The Huffington Post. She is the author of The Angel in My Pocket a deeply personal story of losing her young daughter, Charlotte, to a rare genetic disorder. She and her family split their time between […]

  • Recovering From Traumatic Stress Guest: Bessel van der Kolk

    July 2, 2015

    Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a psychiatrist, founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston, Mass and is a professor in the department of psychiatry at Boston University Medical Center.  He is a world leader in dealing with traumatic stress.  His latest book is “The Body Keeps the Score:  Brain, Mind, and […]

  • Darcy Bellows Mascorro : Sharing Spiritual Gifts and Knowledge

    June 25, 2015

    After the tragic loss of her beloved husband to be, Vern, Darcy embarked on a side career as paranormal investigator. She is a co-founder of the Lightworker’s Foundation, with three locations in California, whose mission is to explore and share spiritual gifts and knowledge. She is the author of “Finding Vern”.

  • Miriam Greenspan: The Wisdom of Grief

    June 18, 2015

    Psychotherapist and author Miriam Greenspan was born in a displaced-persons camp in southern Germany shortly after World War II. She is the mother of a child who died in infancy and has a daughter with multiple disabilities. Her most recent book is Healing through the Dark Emotions: The Wisdom of Grief, Fear, and Despair.

  • Christopher Jones: Mitchell’s Journey a Personal Story of Reflection and Discovery

    June 11, 2015

    Christopher Jones is the author of Mitchell’s Journey, a Facebook blog which has nearly 300,000 followers. Chris began the blog a few years prior to his son, Mitchell’s death from heart failure caused by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He has along with his family and friends shared with the world his personal journey of reflection and […]

  • Wendy Resnick: Bereavement Groups: Can they help?

    June 4, 2015

    Wendy Resnick works as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Psychiatric Nursing. She specializes in Group Leader Training and is a trainer and consultant for The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Compassionate Friends, and Cure. For over thirty years, Wendy has been assisting professionals and laypeople to develop and maintain effective support groups nationwide.

  • When Grief Won’t Heal: Phyllis Kosminsky

    May 28, 2015

    Phyllis Kosminsky, PhD is a clinical social worker in private practice and at the Center for Hope in Darien, Connecticut. Her work focuses on grief, loss and trauma. She is the author of Getting Back to Life When Grief Won’t Heal.

  • Phyllis Kosminsky:

    May 28, 2015

    Phyllis Kosminsky, PhD is a clinical social worker in private practice and at the Center for Hope in Darien, Connecticut. Her work focuses on grief, loss and trauma. She is the author of Getting Back to Life When Grief Won’t Heal.

  • Finding Joy Again After Loss: Beth Marshall

    May 21, 2015

    Beth Marshall is a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation, and the author of two grief-related journals. Her newest book, Grief Survivor~ 28 Steps Toward Hope and Healing was designed to help people write and remember their loved one; and realize there really can be a joy-filled life after loss!

  • Finding Joy Again After Loss: Beth Marshall

    May 21, 2015

    Beth Marshall is a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation, and the author of two grief-related journals. Her newest book, Grief Survivor~ 28 Steps Toward Hope and Healing was designed to help people write and remember their loved one; and realize there really can be a joy-filled life after loss!

  • 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.

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 […]