• 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 […]

Articles

  • 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 […]

  • Memoir of a Spirit

    July 6, 2015

    Many of us grapple with the thought of our own mortality. It’s a frightening unknown cloaked in mystery, but it doesn’t have to be. My son, Erik, took his own life just after his 20th birthday. Since he was 14 years old, he struggled with severe bipolar disease. On top of this, he had odd […]

  • The Relationship Continues, the Context has Changed

    June 17, 2015

    I spoke to Bridget, who nearly one year after her dad’s passing at the age of sixty-four was missing him terribly. She always had a close connection to her dad and was one of his caretakers while he was quite ill the year before he passed away. She believes in an afterlife and believes that […]

  • A Father ‘Hears From’ His Deceased Son on Father’s Day

    June 15, 2015

    Hi Dad, I have been thinking awhile of what I would write to you on Father’s Day, what I want to tell you, as well as what you need to hear.  For Father’s Day, a day that you have never embraced since the loss of your father so long ago, God has finally let me […]

  • My Fathers in Heaven

    June 11, 2015

    Both my fathers are in Heaven. For me, it has always been this way. If God watched me from the moon, Daddy rested on the brightest nearby star. I grew up dreaming of the time I would get to meet my Daddy, face to face. I sought out his footsteps, so I could somehow follow […]

  • Avoid the Grief Pitfall of Isolation

    April 8, 2015

    Once a loved one dies, the desire to isolate can be overwhelming. Spending time alone to rest, meditate, and remember is restorative, but grief experts tell us shunning others ultimately won’t bring peace. It’s important to find people who can help us work through the grieving process. Sometimes these people can be family members and […]

  • Turning Tragedy into Hope

    March 17, 2015

    March 17th is normally for most people a day of celebration – St. Patrick’s Day. What a saint he was too, not only bringing a message of hope to the Irish, but also to the rest of the British Isles during his lifetime. March 17th, 2011, was a day that changed my life for all […]

  • Signs From Heaven

    March 5, 2015

    Many of us who have lost a loved one have received signs from them after they passed away. These could be small signs like a significant song playing on the radio or seeing a butterfly. You can also experience things such as vivid dreams with your loved one, who appear healthy and happy. Cherish these […]

  • ‘Have Faith and Pursue the Unknown End’

    February 21, 2015

    What life still holds for us after significant loss is one of life’s many “unknown ends.” You may be old enough to remember the 1960’s television game show, “Let’s Make a Deal,” hosted by Monty Hall. A hallmark of the show was that people sitting in the audience would dress in silly and outrageous outfits […]

  • Lent as a Verb, Not a Noun

    February 20, 2015

    In Christendom Lent, from the Latin for “forty,” is the annual season of fasting and penitence for 40 weekdays before Easter. But, as someone in mourning, I’m having a hard time thinking about giving up chocolate or staying off Facebook as anything as penitential as the sudden death of our son Mack, 8, on New […]

  • Years After Daughter’s Death, an Extraordinary Day

    February 8, 2015

    I have been to our university’s graduation parties several times since my daughter passed away, but they were never held in the same hall that her high school graduation had taken place at. I did not step in that building since her graduation eight years ago. I woke up apprehensive of what was awaiting me […]

  • A Personal Egypt: Accepting God’s Guidance in Our Journey Toward Inner Peace

    February 6, 2015

     We were slaves to the Pharaohs in Egypt, but the Lord led us out of there with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. (Deuteronomy 6:21) One of the keys to a more peaceful life is learning when to allow oneself to be led and when to take life by the horns.  Both of these […]

  • God Wants Us to Grow and Evolve in Our Grief

    February 4, 2015

    The sense of separation when a loved one dies 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, there is no separation. One love, […]

  • Shifting: Child-Loss Splits Mom Between Heaven and Earth

    February 3, 2015

    For all accounts and purposes I am a strong woman. I have been through some extraordinary situations and lived to tell about them. And the telling has been my mission for the last six months. Sharing my story, educating fellow child-loss survivors about meditation, energy and intuition. I preach about connecting with your child after […]

  • Remember Anyway

    January 15, 2015

    Remembering bears a weight of great responsibility and sometimes feels like a constant struggle to do justice to the memory of loved ones and all that they mean(t) to one’s life. Do we remember with painful grief? Do we seek healing to pay homage to the sanctity of life and those we have lost? Do […]

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