Open to Hope Radio

Articles

  • 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 […]

  • 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? […]

  • 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 […]

  • Teaching Children about Loss

    December 14, 2016

    David Meagher is a professor emeritus at The City University of New York. He spoke with Dr. Gloria Horsley of the Open to Hope Foundation about the unique ways children handle loss, and the hurdles they face. He wrote Zach and His Dog, a tool to help adults talk with children about loss. “When is […]

  • Holiday Grief: Personal and Professional Lessons

    December 10, 2016

    Who wants more stress? Not me, thanks very much. I enjoy the holidays: giving & receiving, getting together with those I love & cherish, embracing meaningful rituals, appreciating holiday decorations, sharing special meals, reflecting on my gratitude & blessings, & acknowledging my ancestors & their contributions. I am mindful to meet some of my needs […]

  • December is the Longest Month of Grief

    December 6, 2016

    December is the most difficult time of year for those of us who have children who are physically no longer with us. For me it begins in late September, with the anniversary of the day my son Richard died. Followed by Halloween. Richard loved Halloween…he took a lot of pleasure in introducing his youngest daughter to […]

  • The Holidays: Helping Seniors Grieve a Lifetime of Marriage

    December 5, 2016

    How can I face the holidays without my true love, my one and only love? A gentleman I recently visited is facing his first Christmas without his beloved. Enter gently and you may be able to bring peace to a broken heart. The caregiver warns me that he is very grumpy. Please don’t take it personally, […]

  • What Do the First Five Years Look Like?

    November 29, 2016

    Exactly five years ago today, our daughter, Becca, left this earth. I have been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting, trying to put so many abstract thoughts and feelings into something concrete, like words on a page. How is my life different now, besides the obvious? What is good, what is bad, and what […]

  • Valarie Molaison: Communicating with Children after a Suicide

    November 28, 2016

    How can you talk to children following a suicide? That’s the question Dr. Heidi Horsley tackles with Dr. Valarie Molaison, the clinical director at Supporting Kids, a non-profit based in Delaware. She’s also a licensed psychologist and a specialist in grief and loss. Suicide is a stigmatized loss already. Should children be told the truth […]

  • 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 […]

  • Thanksgiving Darkness

    November 24, 2016

    Coming home after work in late November, I hear the sounds of children laughing and look down from the BART station at the playground of St. Leander’s School. Children are running around, playing kickball, and delighting in life. My wife Evelyn tutored at the school after hours for several years as her health slowly improved […]

  • Using the Expressive Arts for Children’s Grieving

    November 21, 2016

    Dr. Heidi Horsley sits down with Khris Ford, the founder of My Healing Place, to talk about the use of expressive arts to help children in the grief process. She founded the non-profit in Austin, Texas, when she realized there was a disparity that desperately needed filling. My Healing Place works with children ages three […]

  • ‘Light Points’: Recognizing and Sharing Your Miracle Moments

    November 17, 2016

    Light points are those times when something or someone “lights” our path in life.  We often experience these points when we are in a dark place and desperately need to be lifted up.  It is when we realize that there are occurrences that may not be fully understood that are meant solely for our good.  […]

  • Lunch Date with Resilience: Sisu After Pregnancy Loss

    November 8, 2016

      “I like the concept of Sisu: perseverance, guts, determination. But I also think that’s what gets me in trouble.” With family hailing from Finland, Sisu is a common household word, encouraging bravery and resilience. But for my new friend, Heather, it’s extra pressure that makes her feel like she should be able to “do […]

  • Día de Muertos: Eat, Speak, and Remember

    October 28, 2016

    The Oxford English dictionary defines “remember” as to “have in or be able to bring one’s mind an awareness of someone or something from the past.” I have thought a lot about remembering or memory since our son Mack died on New Year’s Eve 2012, two weeks shy of his 9th birthday. Often a memory […]

  • Support for Donor Families and Organ Recipients

    October 24, 2016

    What does it mean to be a member of a donor family? Jamie Yetter, the family services coordinator with the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency (ARORA), works closely with families who potentially have a loved one who is a viable organ donor. She’s a chaplain and gets notified from hospitals when a potential donor becomes […]

  • Grief in the Body Politic: Mourning Lost Elections

    October 20, 2016

     The way we deal with loss shapes our capacity to be present to life more than anything else. The way we protect ourselves from loss may be the way in which we distance ourselves from life.       — Rachel Naomi Remen, Kitchen Table Wisdom Remen says that the way we deal with loss, as […]

  • Peter’s Place: Serving Grieving Children in Philadelphia

    October 18, 2016

    Dr. Gloria Horsley talks with Anthony Morelli of Peter’s Place. A licensed social worker, he works with bereaved children near Philadelphia. Peter’s Place serves children and families who have experienced a death—usually of a parent or sibling. When there’s a loss, it affects the entire community including the school. Children need a safe, consistent environment. […]

  • Roberta’s House a Place for Community Healing

    October 16, 2016

    The President of Roberta’s House, Annette March-Grier, speaks with Dr. Gloria Horsley about the organization’s mission and what it’s like being the only grief center in Baltimore. Founded in 2007, Roberta’s House is in the heart of an urban community that has a lot of violence, drug usage, and health concerns. All free services are […]

  • How Belief Systems Shape Our Grief

    October 14, 2016

    This is the third of four articles based on concepts, research and experiences shared in, LOVE NEVER DIES by Elizabeth Horwin. WHAT DO WE NEED TO UNDERSTAND? The first article in this series focused on the concept of What is Life and the second focused on the concept of What is Death. I encouraged the […]

  • Caregiver Remorse: 3 Ways to Find Peace

    October 11, 2016

    I’ve not yet met a fellow caregiver who, at some point, hasn’t expressed at least one regret…maybe more. Caregiving can be extremely rewarding and challenging. The rewards are pretty clear. On the challenging side, there is care delivery. Caregivers end up on the front lines providing services that, in the past, have been in the hands […]

  • Becoming a Grief Counselor

    October 11, 2016

    Dr. Gloria Horsley connects with Dr. Janet McCord at an Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) conference. Dr. McCord is the director of Grief and Bereavement Studies at Marian University in Wisconsin. The two experts discuss what it means to be a grief counselor, including the unique challenges—as well as the benefits. Being a […]

  • Grief, the Roller Coaster

    October 10, 2016

    The one thing you can predict when it comes to the journey of grief is that it will be unpredictable. The most random and smallest sound, smell, or sight can push you emotionally. It’s typically when you least expect it. This is when you realize that you have memories—some that you forgot about—that are attached […]

  • Deep Calls to Deep: Why Grievers Understand Each Other

    October 7, 2016

    I wear the black shroud of my dead, walk through dark canyons littered with bones. Sorrowful, beautiful death lives here. Silence is my companion because you are gone. * A friend who works with the grieving loves the Latin of this phrase so much (abyssus abyssum invocate), that she had it tattooed on her arm. […]

  • Julie White: Teens and Grief

    October 7, 2016

    Teens can grieve differently than adults. Dr. Gloria Horsley interviews Julie White of the Willow Center in Idaho. White runs teen groups, and finds that teens need the support of one another after a loss. They like to lean on each other to know they’re not alone. Sometimes in school, they feel like an outcast. […]

  • How Child-Loss Changes Your Relationships

    October 5, 2016

    There is a great divide between the relationships I have with those in my life six years ago and those just getting to know me. The more time that passes since watching my son take his last breath, the greater this divide grows.  I was reminded of this today when confronted with some difficult situations […]

  • Life-Work Balance and a Parent with Dementia

    October 1, 2016

    I reflect at 3am not being able to sleep, remembering it was just over one year ago since my husband Paul and I moved my father and his two cats 700 miles north to live near us.  We were traveling and preparing for his move during the week of our 20th anniversary.  Not what we’d […]

  • From Motherless to ‘Motherfull’

    September 25, 2016

    Knowing our role or function among our friends and family isn’t something we intentionally think about; it’s just natural. Knowing our role at work is necessary and obvious. I didn’t realize every character (aka: people around me) in my story (aka: life) had been playing a role in my life for years. Not just Mom, […]

  • When Sorrow and Joy Collide: Coping with Opposite Emotions

    September 23, 2016

    In 2007, my husband and I became guardians of our twin grandchildren. Our elder daughter, their mother, died from the injuries she received in a car crash. Six months later the twin’s father died from the injuries he received in a car crash. Two more family members died as well, and we were stunned by […]

  • Darnell Baylor: Helping Teens with Grief and Anger

    September 23, 2016

    Darnell Baylor with Roberta’s House talks to Dr. Heidi Horsley about teens and grief. As a program manager, Baylor works with bereaved teens in Baltimore. It’s the only such center in Baltimore. “Changing the Game” is a way for kids to take control and do something healthier during their grief. They need support and consistency. […]

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