Articles

  • Connecting to the First Christmas

    December 9, 2014

    No money down, no interest and nineteen months to pay, the holiday season is upon us. No other holiday brings up so much emotion as Christmas. There is a rise in alcoholism, abuse and depression. No wonder we feel the pain of the loss of our loved ones at this time. I think about the […]

  • Improv artist Marc Herson on Vision Quests for Mourners

    November 28, 2014

    Fasting on water, chanting his heart out and beating a drum for 4 solitary days  in a pine valley opened a door to the afterlife for Marc Hershon. This and more when memory artist, Nancy Gershman talks with Hershon about his vision quest – a Renaissance man who performs and teaches improv; hosts and produces Succotash, the Comedy Podcast; draws an award-winning, weekly cartoon for California’s Half […]

  • Never Give Up

    November 16, 2014

    When things are bad and don’t seem to be getting better, don’t give up hope. There is always a better way if you are willing to keep looking until you find it. ~John Pete ❂ ❂ ❂

  • The Season of Advent Helps Nurture the Waiting Heart

    November 13, 2014

    Advent is a season observed in many Western Christian churches as a time of expectant waiting and preparation for the celebration of the Nativity of Jesus at Christmas.  The term is an Anglicized version of the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming”. One of the greatest influences in my spiritual life is an audiotaped lecture called “A Spirituality of […]

  • Finding a Silver Lining in Living with Loss

    October 28, 2014

    Can we find anything at all in living with loss that in some way we might benefit from? Is it possible that something as terrible as loss, so final and irreversible, can contain a silver lining? Maybe this isn’t exactly a silver lining, but I’ll tell you about something that has dawned on me as […]

  • Poet Dana Jerman on Griever Dreams and Signs

    October 25, 2014

    Not only is there is no wrong way to interpret dreams and signs, but they can become catalysts for a great day. This and more when memory artist, Nancy Gershman talks with writer, photographer and performing poet Dana Jerman of Chicago. Visit her on blastfortune.blogspot.com.  Flush out icky feelings with words  Use one dream element as a creative impulse for your day Some […]

  • Ask, Seek, and Knock Loudly on God’s Door

    October 10, 2014

    On the snowy night of December 30, 2012, I was reflecting on the past year in my journal. I have journaled regularly since 1990, when I lived in the bush in West Africa and had little else to occupy myself during the silent nights in my mud brick house. I wrestled for a while as […]

  • Finding Hope After Loss

    October 9, 2014

    The very painful losses of loved ones can perhaps only be made less devastating by giving them substance beyond the devastation. Over time painful grief can be reshaped into something less confined to hopelessness and pain, and more open to faith, hope and healing; and anger and frustration into something less corrosive and more forgiving […]

  • End-of-Life Decision-Making is a Peace-Finding Mission

    October 6, 2014

    Be present. Be prepared. Be clear. Since publishing a memoir about my dad’s end of life, I received an outpouring of support from others who experienced the loss of loved ones in their own lives. Many sent heart-felt comments and poignantly precious memories. Some sent books they wrote as part of their own journey with […]

  • Everything Happens for a Reason? Not Necessarily

    August 30, 2014

    Everything happens for a reason. We hear it all the time. I have been hearing it for years from my Psychology students. Part of my job as their instructor is to teach them the art of critical thinking. Yet, when my students get involved in a discussion especially of a senseless tragedy, inevitably many of […]

  • Comic Yisrael Campbell on Uplifting the Dying

    August 23, 2014

    How can you use your talents to make the dying feel like they’re at the center of your universe? Be a DJ on a pretend radio station with your friend’s name in the call letters: this idea and more when memory artist Nancy Gershman speaks with Yisrael Campbell (born Chris Campbell): a comedian of Irish and Italian descent, who […]

  • Another School Year Begins

    August 19, 2014

    We hosted a college graduation party at our house for our nephew last weekend. My husband’s family was here, including our 95-year-old great-grandmother, all four grandparents in various levels of physical health. This made five generations gathered to hear my brother-in-law speak of his three children, who have now all graduated from college, and we […]

  • Looking Back – From the Moon!

    August 11, 2014

    This article is an excerpt from Living at God’s Speed, Healing in God’s Time. One of the most enlightening films I have ever seen is Ron Howard’s 2007 documentary In the Shadow of the Moon.  In the film, Apollo astronaut Jim Lovell reflects upon his amazing experience of looking back at the Earth while orbiting the […]

  • Wanted: Soul Sister in Grief

    August 6, 2014

    I have secretly been looking for a place to post a want-ad for a partner in grief.  In my small hometown, I don’t know anyone who has lost a child.  There is a support group about 30 minutes away but despite my efforts to connect with any of these women outside of the group that […]

  • How to Receive Signs from Your Deceased Loved Ones

    August 1, 2014

    Our deceased loved ones are not gone. They are able to be with us whenever they choose, and are even able to help and guide us throughout our lives. If you’d like to hear from them, all you need to do is to ask them to give you “without a doubt” signs to let you […]

  • Colors of the Spirit: We Are All One in Grief

    July 24, 2014

    Embracing Sacred Law From July 11, 2014 through July 13,2014, I attended the 37th National Conference of The Compassionate Friends in Chicago, Illinois.I have been attending and presenting workshops for this great organization whose focus is to provide hope and support to families who have experienced the death of a child, since 2008. I always […]

  • Heaven…When Malaysian Plane Arrives

    July 21, 2014

    Darkness spread throughout heaven…and, all of heaven was filled with sadness…the moment when God heard his children on Malaysia flight number MH17 cry out for help…and, the angel choirs were silent…and, God wept openly for his children… God wept openly as he heard from the pilots, flight attendants, and passengers on the plane that was […]

  • Uncovering The Richer Connections in Our Signs

    July 16, 2014

    An Empirical Man For the majority of my life, I never bought in to the idea that our loved ones could survive death by communicating their continued existence to us. I was too busy trying to handle my day-to-day responsibilities of being a son, husband, father, and addictions counselor to give much thought to what […]

  • Lord, Help Me Let You Be the Shepherd of My Life

    July 1, 2014

    This article was wrtten by Charles W. Sidoti and Rabbi Akiva Feinstein.  It is an excerpt from Living at God’s Speed, Healing in God’s Time. The Psalms are unique among the books of the Bible, revealing a mysterious healing quality in their ability to connect with us at a personal and profound level.  It is […]

  • Do You See the Mystery?

    June 24, 2014

    The first time I saw the ocean, I was fifteen. I walked up a slight hill. The water was not yet in view, but the sky already seemed different, as if it knew what I was about to behold. No buildings, no trees obscured my view. I reached the top of the hill and there […]

  • I Found Hope, Healing and Grace in the Humanity of Christ

    June 24, 2014

    An excerpt from Fortune Cookie Wisdom: a contemplative perspective This reflection is about how we discover the truth in our lives. “From error to error, one discovers the entire truth” – Dr. Sigmund Freud, Austrian psychologist (1856-1939).  Could Jesus, while he walked the earth, identify with Freud’s statement?   If the words are applicable to the human […]

  • God’s Plan in the Grocery Store

    June 24, 2014

    With my whole heart I can say that I am not afraid of anything in life now that I’ve watched my son die.  Nothing can ever be harder than that moment in time; therefore, I have nothing to fear.  Death itself no longer scares me, either, knowing he is waiting for me on the other […]

  • Reflections of my Independence as a Widow

    June 20, 2014

    I consider myself an independent woman, something that when I was a young girl I would have been very proud of.  I would have been proud of the fact that I had a good job, proud of the fact that I had my own place, proud of the fact that I supported myself, and that […]

  • Father-Daughter Bond Continues Beyond the Grave

    June 15, 2014

    My last visit with my father began three days before his passing. I had known him as a man of few words, so the intensity and depth of the conversation we shared about the life we had spent together marked me indelibly. He emphasized that he wished he “had been able to do more [for […]

  • My Father’s Final Gift

    June 14, 2014

    I would like to share my father’s final gift with you – a gift he unknowingly gave to me in death.  I received this most precious gift on a beautiful sunny day in April.  I’ll never forget the sky, it was so blue and the air was so crisp – God had created a simply gorgeous […]

  • Surviving Grief without Losing Your Mind

    June 12, 2014

    Losing someone you love is like having part of your heart ripped out. Whether death came through sudden catastrophe or a drawn-out disease where there was time to prepare, grief often leaves us with more questions than answers. •What do I do with all the regrets? •Why do people say crazy things when they’re trying […]

  • Lucky Charms: It Isn’t Just a Cereal

    June 10, 2014

    LUCKY CHARMS: It isn’t just a Cereal “See a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck.” “Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back.” “When you see a hummingbird, think of me.” I grew up hearing the first of these two “sayings” from my father, which resulted […]

  • Messages of Love

    June 3, 2014

    Over the years since my son’s death by overdose in 2004, I have received many messages and signs from him. Some have come in dreams, some through songs on the radio. Perhaps the most powerful of all have been the heart-shaped stones and shells washed up by the sea to remind me that love never […]

  • Ministry of Bereavement: Interview with Ronald Ritter

    May 17, 2014

    Today, we had the privilege to interview Ron Ritter about a very basic tool that will assist people of faith to minister intelligently and effectively to those who grieve. The turning point for Ritter was when the shackles of clinical depression were removed five years after his son Steve’s death when he could focus his […]

  • Childhood Grief: An Interview with Chase Roberts

    May 17, 2014

    In this video, Jesse Roberts, the author of Katie the Ladybug: Explaining Emotions of Grief to a Child, speaks of his own experiences and encourages those who are helping grieving children to be honest, concrete, and sensitive when discussing the topic of death. Losing both of my parents before the age of 16 inspired me […]

  • Creating Sacred Space: Interview with Rev. Ian Smith

    May 17, 2014

    This was a brief interview done with Dr. Gloria Horsley on April 24, 2014 at the 36th Annual Conference of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) from April 23-26 in Baltimore, MD. The speaker is Rev. Ian Smith. I am an ordained minister of the United Church of Canada and working as a […]

  • How to Help Someone In Pain

    May 10, 2014

    A lot of people truly, deeply want to be of help to those they love as they are grieving. They just don’t know what to do. And there are a lot of people in pain wishing they could tell you exactly what they need in their grief. They just don’t have the energy or the resources […]

  • Grief After Suicide is Particularly Complicated

    May 7, 2014

    One person dies by suicide every 13.7 minutes in the United States, according to the American Suicide Prevention Foundation. You never think your family will become part of such a heartbreaking statistic. From the outside, my uncle’s life seemed perfect — lots of friends, a terrific job and a family who adored him. My mom’s […]

  • Letter to God

    May 2, 2014

    Dear God, First I want to thank You for answering my previous letters. When as a doctor I couldn’t understand why You made a world filled with disease, war, cruelty and all kinds of difficulties, You pointed out to me that a perfect world is not creation. That there would be no need for doctors […]

  • Unending Love: Death Does Not End the Relationship

    April 29, 2014

    One of the things that makes it so difficult to adjust after losing a loved one is the absence of their physical presence, and while there is no denying that we cannot see them anymore, the love is still there, and that love is a link that cannot be broken. One could even say it […]

  • Grieving Especially Tough During Easter Season

    April 12, 2014

    While most of us prepare for the Easter season, some people are struggling to survive the death of a loved one. I dedicate the entire month to everyone suffering with grief and sorrow. I too am grief-stricken and I too find April to be a difficult month, especially this year. This month marks the 10th […]

  • Our World, God’s World: Handling Significant Change

    April 7, 2014

    Coming to terms with life’s constant change is one of the greatest challenges that we face.  It is interesting to note, however, that there are many areas of life in which we often have little or no trouble accepting change.  Sometimes we welcome it with open arms; at other times we may find it bittersweet.  […]

  • Watching for Signs

    April 5, 2014

    I sat in the sunshine by the community pool and I overheard several sweet little voices call out, “Watch, Papa, watch.” This universal call of a child reminded me of all the times parents watch their children. For mothers, this watching began the moment she found out about the pregnancy. She watched the foods she […]

  • Finding Grace in Grieving

    March 28, 2014

    An excerpt from “Fortune Cookie Wisdom: a contemplative perspective” by Charles W. Sidoti Have you ever experienced a severe episode of anxiety or what is commonly referred to as a panic attack? It may be triggered by something obvious like a traumatic event or a tragic loss; or it can seem to come out of […]

  • God Hears the Prayers of those Dealing with Loss

    March 11, 2014

    Derek Redmond, a twenty-six-year-old Briton, was favored to win the four-hundred-meter race in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Halfway into his semifinal heat, a fiery pain seared through his right leg. He crumpled to the track with a torn hamstring. As the medical attendants were approaching, Redmond fought to his feet. “It was animal instinct,” he […]

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 33: Spirituality and Healing

    November 11, 2014

    On this show Dr. Heidi Horsley and Dr. Gloria Horsley discuss with Sherry Cassedy and Faith Freed helpful ideas on getting through a crisis.  Sherry is an attorney who has practiced law and mediation for 29 years and currently has a mediation and private judging practice in Palo Alto, CA.   She has served as […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • Rabbi Daniel Greyber: Friends: Forgotten Mourners

    August 28, 2014

    When Rabbi Daniel Greyber ‘s best friend Jay died at age twenty-five Daniel moved on, keeping his faith, and becoming a rabbi.   After losing a second friend he lost faith and struggled to find his way back. In his book Faith Unraveled he writes of the profound pain experienced by friends.  He is the rabbi […]

  • Beth L. Hewett, Ph.D. : Father and Sibling Loss

    April 17, 2014

    Beth L. Hewett understands the pain and anguish of grief. A facilitator and trainer for the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved (NCMB).  She has in recent years lost her brother, sister and father. She is the author of the Good Words For Grieving series.

  • Monique Cerundolo: Dealing With Grief Through Poetry and Quilting

    April 3, 2014

    Monique Cerundolo is a chaplain at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Twenty-five years ago she started quilting and was attracted by the beauty and the possibilities of this art form. She is the author of Seasons of Grief and Hope.

  • Coping With the Death of a Parent: Galen Goben

    March 27, 2014

    Galen, a Certified Thanatologist, is one of the Grief Support Coordinators for Forest Lawn in Southern California. He is responsible for providing grief education and services to the community and to the grieving families served by Forest Lawn. Galen is an ordained Disciple of Christ minister.

  • David B. Gladson, M.Div., CACII: Holistic Living After Loss

    March 20, 2014

    David Gladson is the Bereavement Manager with Interim Healthcare Hospice in Upstate South Carolina. He is a counselor, group leader and clinical supervisor for the grief and spiritual care department.

  • Figuring Out Life and Death: Musings, Stories and Questions About Suicide

    March 24, 2014

    There are a myriad of reasons why people decide to take their own lives, although there is a preponderance of suicides due to mental illness, maybe even as high as 90%. What about the other 10%? These are people who may have found themselves depressed due to a certain event or set of circumstances; perhaps […]

  • 52 Secrets on How You Can Cope With Your Grief

    March 24, 2014

    If your life is a story, then your past or history is the preface to the rest of your life. When you learn and remember the lessons learned through dealing with difficult circumstances, such as the loss of a loved one, you are afforded an opportunity to foster beneficial changes to utilize in the continuing […]

  • Suddenly Single: How To Find Renewal After Loss

    March 24, 2014

    Death is the great equalizer. Be you rich or poor; savvy or naive; any religion; or any race, there is not a family that goes untouched by death or some other type of loss and the subsequent grief that follows. After the death of a loved one, a person is usually vulnerable and, consequently, open […]

  • Words of Comfort To Pave Your Journey of Loss

    March 24, 2014

    Every mourner is afforded the opportunity on how he will view the loss of his loved one. Without negating one’s loss, it is beneficial to look at loss from a variety of perspectives, for as John Lubbock said, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”  If a mourner gets stuck in a […]