• 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 […]

  • Time Doesn’t Heal; Gratitude Does

    September 11, 2016

    I remember after the death of our son in 2011, how disconnected I felt that first year. Things I once enjoyed, even special relationships, I was unable to maintain. It wasn’t that I had stopped caring, never that, but the energy involved in even writing a simple letter was too much for me. I was […]

  • No Longer the Victim: Emerging From Loss

    September 1, 2016

    When we have children, being a parent becomes one of the deepest parts of our identity. As a woman, my identity is being the mother of Becca, Christopher, Kimmy, Jamison, and Austin. When Becca went through times of severe illness (such as cancer at age 3, being given a 50/50 chance of surviving labor and […]

  • Celestial Conversations: Reaching Through the Veil

    August 18, 2016

    When my mother died in 2004, we had so much unfinished business that I thought her death ended all chances of healing our strained relationship. Encouraged by a friend, I began journaling with the intention of reaching through the veil to my mother.  Even though my Catholic religion frowned on talking to the dead, it […]

  • Ten Common Signs that the Deceased Send to Loved Ones

    July 30, 2016

         After our loved ones cross over, they are very anxious to let us know they are okay and are aware of what is going on in our lives.  If we are not able to feel them around us, they will often give us signs that we cannot ignore. The person who is given […]

  • Ode to an Urn Maker: Commemorative Urns of Eliza Thomas

    July 18, 2016

    Ceramic artist Eliza Thomas has a unique practice of creating commemorative urns and offering them to those grieving a loss. Hearing of this work, I was intrigued, and tried to track her down. When we finally meet at Caffe Borrone in Menlo Park, we are just a short walk from Stanford University. Next door neighbors […]

  • A Young Father’s Murder

    June 17, 2016

    I met Randall when he was just six years old, the youngest of three siblings, one brother Mickey, and older sister Nancy, who was to become a lifelong friend. But at thirteen, we rarely thought of the future. It was fun to go to her house. Since I was an only child, I thought her […]

  • Fathers of Faith

    June 15, 2016

    The hymn, Faith of Our Fathers, inspires the worshipper to be true to our forefathers’ Christian faith and to lead others to Christ through the example we set in our own lives.  As Father’s Day approaches, it is with gratitude to God that I remember those whom we have “loved and lost awhile” as well […]

  • Why Does it Hurt So Much?

    June 13, 2016

    Grieving people usually don’t ask directly: Why does it hurt so much? But I see that it hurts; I hurt like that. It hurts because you loved. You were connected to another human being heart to heart. It hurts. Death hurts a lot when we love like this. This hurt causes an incredible amount of […]

  • Staying Open to Signs of Continued Love

    May 29, 2016

    Karla Wheeler and her daughter, Jenny Wheeler, share with the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) their story of loss and healing. How can you stay connected with a loved one who has died? Jenny’s grandparents/Karla’s parents have both passed away. Additionally, Karla’s husband and Jenny’s father died a few years ago. The mother-daughter […]

  • Learning to Accept Life’s Multiple Truths

    May 25, 2016

    One of my duties as a hospital chaplain is to plan and conduct memorial services at the hospital when an employee dies.  This may happen several times a year.  I usually try to arrange for someone to sing a reflective song as part of the service. There are several employees that sing in church choirs, […]

  • Eternity is Real and Death is a Myth

    May 13, 2016

    “It is very beautiful over there.”  Thomas Edison, on his deathbed, describing a vision he was having. “Oh wow! Oh wow! Oh wow!”  Steve Jobs, on his deathbed, last words uttered. Yes, losing a child is a terrible thing.  Attending your own child’s funeral has to be the most devastating, surreal and painful event you […]

  • You Are Never Lost: Surviving Multiple Losses

    April 22, 2016

    A little over twenty years ago, my life changed dramatically. I lost my husband, my father, and my mother in less than seven years. I didn’t know it at the time, but I had entered a very intense school. The lessons were the hardest I’ve ever had to work through. Many times I thought I […]

  • Examining our Beliefs about Life and Death

    April 12, 2016

    This is the first of four articles based on concepts, research and experiences shared in, LOVE NEVER DIES by Elizabeth Horwin. WHAT IS LIFE? It seems to me that it is a common belief (especially in Western culture) that the human experience begins with Life and ends with Death. That is not my belief because […]

  • My Adult Son’s Death Has Changed My Life

    March 17, 2016

    When someone we love dies…we are changed. When that someone is our child…we are changed forever, deeply, no matter how old they were. Letting go is not a possibility. Everything in my being was geared to hold on, to protect and to be aware of his life. It didn’t matter that he was an adult, […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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, […]

  • 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 […]

  • Chuck Overton: Spiritual Journey

    November 19, 2015

    The Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) conference brings together Chuck Overton and Neil Chethik from Open to Hope. Overton is one of the spiritual directors at a care center in Tennessee. As a chaplain, he finds that the biggest concern for those on a spiritual journey going through a loss is feeling abandoned […]

  • Can Gratitude be Part of the Grieving Process?

    November 6, 2015

    Gratitude does not come naturally to most of us when we’re dealing with intense grief and especially after the immediate loss of a child. I had to actively find my way back to gratitude following these two steps: Acknowledge God plays a role in my life – if I let Him. Invite Him into my […]

  • Stillbirth: A Quiet Death

    October 22, 2015

      When a child you carry in your womb for nearly six months stops moving; when a small tiny life ceases to have breath; when all that you were looking forward to is extinguished; life changes in those moments. A quiet death has taken place. At first not even noticed. Without any warning, an umbilical […]

  • Spousal Loss: Spiritual and Physical Aspects of Loss

    September 29, 2015

    In this episode of The Grief Relief show, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley talk with Reverend Robert Gieselmann as well as physical therapist Lyn Prashant about the physical symptoms of grief. Reverend Gieselmann has worked with numerous people who were surprised by the physical manifestation of grief after losing someone close to them. Prashant has […]

  • AmyJo Mattheis: Loss of Identity

    September 25, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley talked with AmyJo Mattheis about losing your identity in grief. When Mattheis’ father died, she kept getting the feeling that “he’ll come back.” A former pastor and teacher at Pacific University in California, Mattheis blends her theological background with her professorship. She’s the author of Religion Made Me Fat, and […]

  • Donna Miesbach: Finding a Spiritual Path

    September 14, 2015

    In this episode of the Open to Hope Show, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interviewed Donna Miesbach, who has been on a lifelong spiritual path. She has studied with some of today’s spiritual leaders, including being a student of Deepak Chopra for 15 years. Miesbach is the author of From Grief to Joy: A Journey […]

  • Reverend Gregory Person: Where is God After Loss?

    September 5, 2015

    Hospice chaplain and minister Reverend Gregory Person talks to Dr. Gloria Horsley about where God is after a loss. The two connected at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference, and the Reverend says that it’s tempting to think God is gone or has forgotten you when facing such a major loss—however, reminding […]

  • Pastor Ron Ritter: Telling Your Story After the Death of a Loved One

    August 29, 2015

    During the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley interviewed Pastor Ron Ritter about storytelling after a loved one’s death. Pastor Ritter holds an MD and Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Drexel University in Philadelphia and completed his seminary training at Concordia Theological Seminary in Illinois. Ordained a pastor within […]

  • David Goldblatt: The Process of Funeral to Cemetery

    August 28, 2015

    Dr. Gloria Horsley discusses the funeral to cemetery journey with David Goldblatt during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. He’s with Beth Israel Cemetery in New Jersey, and knows firsthand just how confusing the funeral and cemetery planning process can be for those in bereavement. While death is of course common, it’s […]

  • Ron Ritter: Tips on Dealing with Grief and Loss

    August 26, 2015

    Currently serving as an associate pastor at a Lutheran church in Hemet, California, Reverend Ron Ritter connected with Dr. Gloria Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference to discuss his tips on handling grief. His first major loss was that of his brother when Ritter was only a child. Years later, […]

  • Sherry Cassedy and Faith Freed: Spirituality and Healing

    August 12, 2015

    The Grief Relief Show’s 33rd episode features Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interviewing Sherry Cassedy and Faith Freed on surviving a crisis. Cassedy is a lawyer who’s been in mediation and law for 30 years, and has her own private judging practice in Silicon Valley. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Sofia […]

  • Saints and Ordinary People: We All Live by Faith

    August 4, 2015

    “The beauty of belief in the Communion of Saints is that it serves to remind us of our basic connectedness to one another as human beings, a spiritual connection that transcends death.” Life can be very lonely at times. It is also true, however, that we are never really alone. Something common to many religions […]

  • Living in the In-Between Time

    July 28, 2015

    There is a classic psychological question you may be familiar with that is related to our ability to wait on God:  ”If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound?” When we pray the words of the Serenity Prayer, “God, grant me the […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • ‘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 […]

Open to Hope Radio

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 85: Transforming Grief After The Death of A Mother and Daughter

    October 2, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interviewed Lo Anne Mayer on the death of her mother and how she found comfort and understanding by conversing with her mother through meditation and writing. After the tragic suicide of her daughter, Cyndi, Lo Anne again found comfort in writing as a conduit between […]

  • Episode 83: Spouse Loss

    August 21, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview bereaved spouses Audrey Pellicano. RN MS Health Counselor and educator, and Rabbi Jeffery Sirkman, Senior Rabbi of Larchmont Temple, regarding the challenges of lousing a spouse and how they have again found hope. Joining in the discussion of finding hope after the loss of a partner […]

  • Episode 82: Coping With Murder

    August 20, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Zander Sprague regarding the murder of his sister and the strong emotions of anger, shame and guilt experienced by survivors. Joining in the discussion of forgiveness and hope are Buddhist Monks, Koshin Paley Ellison, Robert Chodo Campbell, and Jeffery Sirkman, Senior Rabbi of Larchmont Temple. The […]

  • MINDFULNESS & GRIEF Coping With Grief & Loss Through Meditation, Yoga & Journaling

    May 27, 2016

    Coping with grief when your loved one has died may seem like an impossible task. Few words bring comfort, and there is no quick fix for a broken heart. In addition to overwhelming sadness, many of us feel stuck and unsure of how to proceed with life after loss. There is no right or wrong […]

  • For the Ones Left Behind: A Guide for Helping Loved Ones After a Death

    May 23, 2016

    A death can shatter the lives of those left behind. Now, there are so many things to do. Who do you call? Where do you start? How can you help? Managing to survive in the aftermath of a loved one’s death is a daunting task. For the Ones Left Behind, A Guide for Helping Loved […]

  • Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey Through Grief

    September 13, 2015

    Elaine Mansfield’s memoir, Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey Through Grief, won the Gold Medal 2015 IPPY (Independent Publisher’s Book Award) Award Winner for Aging/Death & Dying. Leaning into Love captures the heart—from the extraordinary closeness of Elaine’s marriage to how she and her husband Vic transform their struggle with cancer and despair into a […]