• Valentine’s Day Message: It Does Get Better

    February 14, 2016

    Valentine’s Day 1995: I had just sat down at my desk in my home office for a busy day work-wise when the phone rang. It was Nina calling me from Park High School. “Mom, you have to help me. I need to have something for Chris (her new boyfriend) for Valentine’s Day. I am pretty […]

  • 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 […]

  • Michelle Post: Tissue Donation

    February 12, 2016

    During the National Alliance for Grieving Children Conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley talks with Michelle Post of One Legacy. Michelle manages families who have donated tissue via their family members who have died. There’s a lot of angst around this. The human body deteriorates quickly after death, and it’s uncomfortable to be the one making this […]

  • Grief Assessment: How am I Doing?

    February 11, 2016

    My elder daughter died in 2007 from the injuries she received in a car crash. Oddly, she died on the 23rd day of the month, the same day she was born. Each year, as I approach the anniversary of her death, I pause and take some time to assess my grief journey. This year is […]

  • Janet McCord: Marian University’s Thanatology Graduate Program

    February 11, 2016

    While at the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley connects with Janet McCord of Marian University. The Thanatology Graduate Program focuses on death and dying. Located in Wisconsin, it’s a fully online program that offers people the opportunity to complete it remotely. You’re required to have a bachelor’s degree and a strong […]

  • Stimulating Your Senses to Promote Healing

    February 2, 2016

    There are times during our grief that we must make a conscious choice to embrace the day. Despite our pain, we are glad to be alive. When we grieve, we often feel numb or frozen, so how can we remind ourselves that we are alive? One way to feel alive is by enjoying our five […]

  • Sara Daren: Boys and Grief

    January 28, 2016

    Boys and girls grieve differently, as do men and women. Dr. Heidi Horsley talks with Sara Daren about the unique way boys grieve. Daren is from Experience Camps, and as the founder and executive director she runs one-week camps for boys in Maine and New York. In 2015 a camp for girls began, but she […]

  • Jordan Karem: Kate’s Club Helping Teens and Kids with Grief

    January 26, 2016

    Jordan Karem works with Kate’s Club, an organization that helps kids and teens going through grief. She’s 15 years old, and lost her dad to stage four lung cancer in 2011. She was eleven when her father died, and found herself needing a unique type of support. Living in Atlanta, Georgia, she found Kate’s Club […]

  • Thom McLeod: Tips for Teens who have Suffered a Loss

    January 25, 2016

    At the National Alliance for Grieving Children, Dr. Heidi Horsley talks with Thom McLeod, a hospice chaplain in Ft. Lauderdale. He also facilitates a teen bereavement group in Davey, Florida. Working closely with teens puts McLeod in a unique position. He says teens can find hope after loss in many ways. The bereavement process is […]

  • Therese Oettl: Outdoor Grief Programs

    January 24, 2016

    At the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Heidi Horsley interviews Therese Oettl, who’s studying for a master’s degree in European Outdoor Studies. She studies with a group of 18 people throughout England, Norway, and Germany. The group is looking at how Outward Bound and other outdoor programs help people grieve. There’s a variety […]

  • Laurie Goble-VanDiest: Loss Due to Adoption

    January 22, 2016

    Dr. Heidi Horsley talks with Laurie Goble-VanDiest, the mother of three adopted children. Dr. Horsley adopted one of her children as well. Goble-VanDiest explains that she decided to adopt after she couldn’t conceive. She went the route of foster to adoption and was initially just looking for one child. A three-year-old girl was in her […]

  • Kristan Glover: Foster Club

    January 20, 2016

    While at the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Heidi Horsley talked with Kristan Glover from FosterClub. Based in Arizona, Glover is a former foster youth. FosterClub fosters for children in the foster system, and encourages foster kids to never lose hope. There are things you will face that nobody should have to handle, […]

  • Thank You, Stephen Levine

    January 19, 2016

    It was intermission at In The Name of Love, a yearly concert in honor and memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Each year, Living Jazz gathers incredible musicians to offer musical tribute and this year, they were all singing Nina Simone. My choir, the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir always sings and the night has […]

  • Seven Steps to Decuttering Your Grief: The Spark Joy Approach

    January 19, 2016

    Okay! I did it. I cleaned out my closet this morning. I got rid of all the things that didn’t fully bring me joy. This Christmas my husband gave me the book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. It is not a big book, but it is a significant book in that […]

  • Re-Imagining Grief: When Family and Culture Offer No Help

    January 7, 2016

    We are taught how to grieve by the legacy carried in our families, or more accurately, we are taught how to cover death up. This presented a problem when my wife Evelyn died. I was told that one side of my family was pushed out of Scotland because of the Clearances, settled in Ireland for […]

  • Yes, I’m Still Grieving

    January 5, 2016

    If you or someone you care about has ever suffered a painful loss, you’ve likely heard, communicated, or thought something like the following: That earnest wish that a person could “move on” or “get over” the intensity of grief. The well-meaning concern that someone is “dwelling on,” “wallowing in,” or “stuck in” grief. That kind […]

  • You Did The Best You Could

    January 5, 2016

    There is something very important I want to share with you, so listen deep. As a bereavement counselor I speak with numerous people on a daily basis about loss. The number one thing I feel from people is guilt.  The words pour out of them, “If I hadn’t take them to the hospital…” or “What […]

  • Hope and Clarity in the Middle of Nowhere

    January 5, 2016

    Lately, I have begun to revisit previous articles and blogs that I have authored. Perhaps as I grow older, I value nostalgia more, or perhaps it is the value I place on the past as a teacher. Regardless, I always discover new insights when I revisit previous writings. The  majority of the content of the […]

  • Hope With Red Feathers

    January 1, 2016

    “Hope is the thing with feathers.” This quote from Emily Dickinson never made a lot of sense to me; my primary association with it resulted from Woody Allen’s poking fun in one of his 1970’s books. Recently, an odd experience, maybe some would say a coincidence, caused me to see this pronouncement in a new […]

  • Finding Christmas and Peace after the Death of a Child

    December 25, 2015

    Decades have passed since my infant daughter’s first Christmas. Baby Helen was only a month old when Christmas came. Because my husband and I were financially strapped, there were few presents under the tree, and most were for the baby. When I went to bed on Christmas Eve, I barely slept. All I could think […]

  • The Last Christmas Stocking

    December 24, 2015

    The first Christmas stocking I ever made was in 1960. I was 10 years old and living in Walnut Creek, California with my parents, Ted and Lillian. We didn’t have too many Christmas rituals, no church services or Advent candles. There was a china nativity set. It was small, but had all the important characters. […]

  • The Place of Transition: Finding Purpose After Loss

    December 23, 2015

      The following is a sermon by Michelle D. Jarvie, written as a reflection on Isaiah 61 for an Advent Service of Remembrance and Hope.    “I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is […]

  • Keep the Spirit of Your Loved One Alive at Christmas

    December 23, 2015

    When the holiday season arrives, it takes me back in time. It is a bittersweet relive of the memories of Christmas past. I gave birth to two sons, Chris was my youngest and Jason my first born. The boys were best friends and partners in crime. My holidays were full of joy and meaning because […]

  • Family Dynamics When Dealing With Loss

    December 21, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview the Ferber family about handling loss as a family unit. Dorothy (mom), David (dad), and Jordan (the couple’s son) discuss the death of Russell—Jordan’s brother. The family found The Compassionate Friends, which was pivotal in helping them celebrate the life of Russell. They created the Russell Ferber Foundation, dedicated […]

  • Molly Pickett: How to Talk to Your Grieving Teen

    December 20, 2015

    How can you talk to a teenager about the grief process? John Rampton with the Open to Hope Foundation interviews Molly Pickett, whose father died when she was young. She remembers there were many hurtful things said to her, often by well-meaning people. She recommends that parents especially avoid saying certain things to kids and […]

  • Marci Servizi: Death of a Father

    December 20, 2015

    During the National Alliance for Grieving Children, Marci Servizi connects with Dr. Gloria Horsley to tell her about the death of her father. Based in Seattle, Servizi works with Safe Crossings, which raises money to give to other organizations that serve those who experienced a loss. Her father died on her 12th birthday. As the […]

  • Maryana Stern: Foster Kids Helping Each Other

    December 19, 2015

    During the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Heidi Horsley interviews Maryana Stern of Foster Club and a former foster child in the system. It’s a peer to peer support program, and you need to have been in foster care yourself to participate. Now an advocate, she works to change policies that will improve […]

  • Accepting What We Cannot Change

    December 18, 2015

    There is no question about it – accepting the loss of loved one can be one of our most difficult challenges, and yet acceptance is part of the answer we are looking for. As long as we resist what has happened, we cannot move beyond it. It is only when we can accept the change […]

  • Andy McNiel: Giving Children Space to Grieve

    December 13, 2015

    Dr. Gloria Horsley connects with Andy McNiel at the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference. Giving children space to grieve after a loss is critical, although many adult caregivers push children to grieve in a way they see fit—which is usually how adults more often heal. Children heal and grieve in bursts and might not […]

  • Practicing the Arts of Tenderness and Gratitude

    December 5, 2015

    The holiday season is upon us, and I appreciate having a time when we are reminded to give thanks for the blessings and friendships we enjoy.  Because of the demands of life, stress, and grief, we may often let days go by without stopping to say two simple words to those people who help us, […]

  • First Christmas without a Son

    December 4, 2015

    The first year my husband and I were married, we lived in Nurnberg, Germany. He was in the army, and I was not about to let him go to Germany for a year without me. We celebrated our first Christmas in Nurnberg. It was a fun time, it was a tough time. We had always […]

  • If You’re Stuck in Grief, Be Patient

    December 4, 2015

    As I am sure you already know, the sense of separation when loved ones die 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, […]

  • Sara Daren: Grief Camp for Boys

    December 3, 2015

    Dr. Gloria Horsley talks with Sara Daren about operating grief camps for boys. She operates Experience Camps in Maine and New York. Her work began when she saw her husband working at grief camps designed for all kids. She realized there was a disparity for boy’s camps, as boys grieve very differently than girls. Now, […]

  • Is Christmas Still Christmas?

    December 2, 2015

    Anyone who has lost someone they love knows the numbing-down effect that death brings. Life becomes in some ways a pantomime, a surreal going-through-the-motions of reality. Especially, this is true at the holiday seasons. Three months after our son’s death, I was on my way to have breakfast with a close friend. I began crying […]

  • Andy McNiel: National Alliance for Grieving Children

    December 1, 2015

    At the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley discusses grieving children with Andy McNiel. McNiel is with the National Alliance, and explains that this organization was founded in 2004 by professionals in the bereavement field who wanted to connect around issues related to childhood bereavement. There was a belief that there was […]

  • Alexis Sandagato: Teens and Grief

    November 30, 2015

    The latest National Alliance for Grieving Children conference brought together Alexis Sandagato and Dr. Heidi Horsley. Sandagato is a teenager who’s a junior in high school and doing a three-year research project on the impacts of parental death and how that affects children. She lost her father when she was two years old, and has […]

  • 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 […]

  • Julie Lockhart: Helping Kids After Parent Loss

    November 28, 2015

    While at the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley connected with Julie Lockhart, who operates a non-profit in southern Oregon called Winter Spring. This organization helps parents tend to their children after a parent loss. Father loss comes with a host of issues. Kids who lose a father lose a sense of […]

Open to Hope Radio

Open to Hope TV

  • 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 […]

  • Episode 59: Charitysmith: Help In Starting a Foundation

    December 14, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and co-host Alan Pedersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends, interview Tim Meadows, board member of Charitysmith, regarding the death of his son Christopher and how Charitysmith inspired the family to start a foundation in his name. Ashley Galleher, Executive Director of Charitysmith and a bereaved sibling, discusses the […]