Open to Hope Radio

  • Rebecca Soffer: Modern Loss Coping with Grief in a Digital World

    October 30, 2014

    Rebecca Soffer is the co-founder of Modern Loss a website geared to young adults addressing the many permutations of loss, from miscarriages to a parent’s death.  Ms. Soffer lost both her parents, her mother to an automobile accident and her father to a heart attack.

  • Linda Goldman: Helping Children Deal With Death Guest:

    November 21, 2013

    Linda Goldman is a grief therapist in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She is an adjunct professor at Johns Hopkins University and Kings College and the author of Life and Loss: A Guide to Help Grieving Children, 3rd Edition, Children Also Grieve, and Great Answers to Difficult Questions About Death.

  • Rebecca Guevara: Hero’s Journey Through Grief Transformation

    April 11, 2013

    Rebecca had a business career and was tentatively starting to enjoy writing when her brother, her only sibling, took his life. In grief’s tailwind she left writing, losing the ability to be her true self. Years passed before she believed it was okay to enjoy life. Finally she returned to writing and began teaching and […]

  • Erika R. Barber: Navigating Life Stages Post Sibling Death

    March 28, 2013

    Erika R. Barber lived the first fifteen years of her life as a sibling and has since lived as a sibling survivor. Following her sister’s suicide, Erika embarked on a life-long endeavor to merge these familial roles and discover her own unique identity. Her workbook, Letters from a Friend: A Sibling’s Guide for Coping and […]

  • Brigadier General Roger Machut: In My Brother’s Foot Steps

    July 28, 2011

    Brigadier General Machut was only 7 yrs. old when his brother died in Vietnam.  He followed in his brother’s footsteps and joined the Marine Corps and led his battalion into Iraq at the commencement of the war in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom.  He has been awarded the Bronze Star, the Meritorious Service Medal with a […]

  • Donna Hanschu; Balancing Life and Loss

    December 16, 2010

    Donna Hanschu is a certified Death, Dying & Bereavement specialist. She has worked with Head-start families, families with disabilities, families of the terminally ill, children, teenagers, and senior citizens.  She has had considerable personal experience with loss and is the author of Spirit in Flight.

  • Donna Hanschu; Balancing Life and Loss

    December 16, 2010

    Donna Hanschu is a certified Death, Dying & Bereavement specialist. She has worked with Head-start families, families with disabilities, families of the terminally ill, children, teenagers, and senior citizens.  She has had considerable personal experience with loss and is the author of Spirit in Flight.

  • Kathy Supiano: Resources for Bereaved Children and Families

    October 8, 2009

    Kathy is a clinical Social Worker and Director of Caring Connections, an organization of hope and comfort for the grieving.

  • Jewel Sample: Helping Grandchildren Deal With SIDS, Grief and Sibling Loss

    May 29, 2008

    Jewel Sample talks about Helping Grandchildren Deal With SIDS, Grief and Sibling Loss and shares her book and workbook for kids.

  • Betty Davies: Sibling Bereavement In Childhood

    July 5, 2007

    Betty Davies shares her expertise in sibling loss.

  • Allie Franklin; Am I Still A Sister, Grief Through the Life Cycle

    December 1, 2005

    Grief counseling at age 4 when her only sibling died of a brain tumor. Manager of Wicks and Wings Seattle based Children’s grief support center as well as an author.

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 29: Holiday Candle Lighting and Cooking

    February 12, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with the executive director of The Compassionate Friends, Alan Pedersen, bereavement advice for getting through the holidays. Included is a segment from The Compassionate Friends, Midpensula Chapter, National Candlelighting. Katie Morford registered dietician and author of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook closes the show with ideas […]

  • Episode 24: Siblings the Forgotten Mourners

    December 10, 2013

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Dana Brophy and Zander Sprague author of MAKING LEMONADE: Choosing A Positive Pathway After Losing Your Sibling the impact of having an adult sibling die.  Zander and Dana discuss their personal responses and give suggestions for promoting health and healing.  Billy Bensing singer […]

  • Dr Betty Davies and Dr Heidi Horsley; Sibling Bereavement

    February 20, 2012

    Dr Betty Davies and Dr Heidi Horsley talk about sibling bereavement and how children cope with a loss and how we can help them. This interview was conducted at the Annual Association of Death Education and Counseling.

  • Gloria C. Horsley: Parents Helping Teens Cope

    February 1, 2009

    Dr. Gloria C. Horsley, National Board Member of The Compassionate Friends, speaks about parents helping teens cope.

Articles

  • Telling a Child about a Death

    December 29, 2013

    Asking “what if” is helpful when it includes thinking things through in order to be prepared. One example is: “What if my child needs to be told some difficult news? How can I best handle the situation?” It helps to deliver bad news slowly and sensitively. Children appreciate adults being honest with them. When you […]

  • Holidays Don’t Have to be Harder Than Other Times of Year

    December 16, 2013

    The holidays are here.  This time of year can bring all kinds of stress and anticipation for you and for your living children. Sometimes, just the anticipation can be the hardest part of the holidays.  You may find that you anticipate that the holiday it is going to be difficult.  You may anticipate that it […]

  • Sister Unloads Grief Years After Brother’s Suicide

    August 7, 2013

    I was a sweet, blue-eyed seven-year-old girl watching The Parent Trap while my big brother was babysitting. He got me a cup of water after asking if there was anything I needed. Little did I know my answer should have been, “I need my big brother.” Only minutes later I heard a heart-stopping, deafening boom. […]

  • Signs from the Afterlife?

    July 26, 2013

    When I was a chiropractor in New York City, an essential part of my job was helping stressed-out patients to relax. Back pain is a vicious cycle. The pain causes tension and the tension intensifies the pain. Breaking the cycle with relaxation and a change of viewpoint helps the body heal. I never would have […]

  • A Haunting Disturbance: A Poem

    July 15, 2013

    Maybe I’ll always be tortured by loud noises The sudden silence after it echoes through the trees Maybe my skin will always develop goosebumps As I hear the little girl inside of me Soundlessly scream—no, no more—please. The emptiness that is momentarily formed in my heart Soon fills with dread From the conclusion of the […]

  • Poem: Eleven Years

    July 2, 2013

    Eleven Years My love for you is unconditional However, so is my anger And I have waited eleven years For this devastation to be over But it has only just begun: The torture that makes me want to scream— And I just want to run away From this awfully dreadful scheme. Oh, how badly I […]

  • A Grateful Heart Dances: Viewing a Daughter’s Loss

    May 4, 2012

    When my four-year-old son Daniel died, I grieved my own loss, and for my other children. My daughter Rachel was only six at the time.  With her brother’s death, she lost her best friend. As I was thrown into the pit of grief, I looked at this small girl and my spirit was crushed. Her […]

  • Helping Children Cope with Grief during the Holiday Season

    November 2, 2011

    Holidays are normally a time of joy and celebration amongst families; however, they can heighten children’s sense of loss. Whether it is loss from a death or a divorce, a child is more likely to acknowledge the fact that the relative is missing during these times that are spent with family. According to recent census […]

  • Grieving for the Sister She Never Knew

    October 15, 2011

    Savannah, our third child, was welcomed into this world in May of ’99.  I like to think she was specially chosen for our family by her older sister, Alexandria.  Alexandria was too ill to stay with us.   She died early in ’98, seven days after her birth, from a chromosome abnormality.  She spent her brief […]

  • 100 Great Stress Busters for Kids

    January 14, 2011

    Stress is the normal nervous tension we feel in our bodies when we are making a transition in our life. Change is sometimes predictable like the birth of a baby, transferring to a higher school grade or graduation from high school. Then there are changes that happen unexpectedly, like coming down with a major illness, […]

  • Welcome Mat for Grief in the School Counselor’s Office

    November 15, 2010

    I had my back to my office door as I was pounding away on the computer, writing parent permission letters to attend a grief group.  After sensing a presence, I turned and saw a student standing there, somber, yet alert and extremely pensive. “Hi, I’m Mrs. J.”  I smiled, staying seated, somehow believing it was […]

  • Help Grieving Children Know They are Not Alone

    April 3, 2010

    By Howard Winokuer, Ph.D., LPC, NCC, FT, and Heidi Horsley, Psy.D, LMSW, MS “What we have once enjoyed we can never lose. All that we love deeply becomes a part of us.” — Helen Keller The death of a child is traumatic.  It often turns one’s life upside down and puts everything we ever believed […]

  • Haiti’s Children Need Emotional Support after Quake

    March 19, 2010

    As the world pulls together to deliver physical necessities such as food, water and shelter, we must remember to respond to the emotional healing that is needed nationwide in Haiti as well. Following the earthquake, the children will experience post-traumatic stress and they will have deep scars, physically and emotionally, that must be tended to. […]

  • Helping the Grieving Child in School

    November 23, 2009

    Children’s grief should be seen as an ongoing life process that is approachable through words, activities and non-verbal communication. Educators can use this understanding to create a safe environment for parents, teachers and children to acknowledge and process difficult feelings. So often adults rely on the prevailing myth that children are too young too grieve. […]

  • Marked by Death, for the Rest of Our Lives

    November 16, 2009

    After my four-year-old died, I was certain my family would never be the same again. It is true and has been proven over and over that we will no longer be the typical family living at the end of the cul-de-sac. We may look the same (only because I have not been daring enough to […]

  • Death of Child Affects Relationships Throughout Family

    November 12, 2009

    When anyone we love dies our lives are changed; things we had planned will no longer be the same. The death of a child is often the least expected death, and the ongoing effect upon the remaining family can seem endless. One of the commonest things I hear said is: “You don’t expect to attend […]

  • Christmas ‘Gifts’ Never the Same After Sister’s Death

    November 8, 2009

    Nothing that can be wrapped in a box could ever compare to the “gift” of my older sister, Dawn.  I still miss her keenly around the holidays, but I am thankful that she was a part of my childhood.  Today, as Christmas approaches, holiday memories poignantly remind me of how love, life and loss can […]

  • Children’s book deals with sibling loss

    October 6, 2009

    My first book, The Glass Table, for children 8-12 years, has just launched today on Amazon.com. In The Glass Table, fourteen-year-old Jack Irwin-Hunter hikes to Lake Como after running away from home. Since his younger brother was killed in a tragic accident, Jack has suffered alone while his parents mourned their loss. He believes his […]

  • Helping your Child with Loss and Grief

    September 4, 2009

    How can we help our children deal with deaths of loved ones? Here are some ways. Prepare the children for what will come. The more open you can be about what is ahead, the less uncomfortable your children will be. Explain what the funeral will be like, what they will see and what feelings they […]

  • Helping Your Child Cope With Loss

    June 25, 2009

    By Lauren Littauer Briggs – By the time I was eight, my first brother had died and my second was diagnosed with the same fatal condition.  My great-grandmother had died, but I wasn’t allowed at the funeral.  Instead, I peeked through the heating ducts to watch what was going on.  My dog was given away […]

  • Loss During Young Adulthood May Make One Feel Old

    June 23, 2009

    By Beryl Kaminsky – The young adult years — ranging from late teens to early thirties — span a period of life when most people are self-centered.  Life is all about gaining independence, finding oneself, having a good time or starting relationships.  Death is the farthest thing from a young person’s mind. As a result, […]

  • Little People with Big Hurts

    April 28, 2009

    By Cathi Lammert, RN – Most children who have a sibling that dies due to a pregnancy loss, stillbirth or in the first few months of life will experience a grief reaction.  However, often times, their grief is overlooked or discounted. Parents may be so overwhelmed by their own grief that they are unable to […]

  • Surviving Child Demonstrates Meaning of Easter

    April 9, 2009

    By Mitch Carmody – In December of 1987, our 9-year-old son, Kelly James, died following two arduous years of fighting brain cancer. That ensuing Christmas, we were so numb in our grief that much of it is now a faded memory. But that following Easter, we received a gift, a gift that I share it […]

  • Helping a Friend Who Loses a Child

    January 14, 2009

    The Message By Betsy Bottino Arenella – My spiritual awakening began on December 11, 2004, with a life-altering phone call. I was walking down the front hall stairs in a bathrobe, my wet hair wrapped in a towel, when I saw my husband standing at the bottom. He was holding the telephone and looking up […]

  • Planning Helps With the ‘Firsts’

    November 8, 2008

    By Sue Gilbert and Suzanne Redfern – The following is an excerpt from The Grieving Garden, authored by Suzanne Redfern and Susan Gilbert (Hampton Roads Publishing, 2008). In this excerpt, Susan Benveniste, one of the book’s 22 contributors, speaks of her family’s first celebrations, including Thanksgiving, without their daughter, Shelly. Enduring the “firsts” can be […]

  • Dr. Heidi Speaks About the Divorce Rate among Bereaved Parents

    March 16, 2007

    I was glad to see that Wayne Loder cited several studies done on behalf of Compassionate Friends showing that the divorce rate among bereaved parents is 12%-16%, far below the national average.  Further, I agree with my mom (Dr. Gloria) that grieving parents, do not need to be told that their marriage cannot survive a […]