Open to Hope Radio

Articles

  • Where Do They Go?

    September 14, 2017

    Recently, I have received phone calls from dear friends who have lost people they love. Lost. That word, it is so final, but do we really know? Still, there is that empty space of where are they? What’s it like? Are they happy and safe? It is so difficult to wrap our human brain around […]

  • Antonio Sausys: Healing the Body, Mind and Spirit

    September 8, 2017

    During the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference, Dr. Heidi Horsley spoke with Antonio Sausys from Uruguay. Sausys operates a program that integrates yoga techniques and therapies that combine the mind, body and spirit “in order to help grievers go through the difficult process.” Contrary to popular belief, grief is not purely emotional—or […]

  • Galen Goben: Faith and Healing After a Death

    August 15, 2017

    The Grief Support Coordinator for Forest Lawn, Galen Goben, spoke with Dr. Heidi Horsley of the Open to Hope Foundation during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference about having faith after a death. Forest Lawn is an organization in California that helps people plan ahead for death, including full funeral, crematorium and […]

  • How Can I Connect With My Child-In-Spirit?

    July 25, 2017

    If you are reading this article, let me first say that I am so sorry for your loss. No one understands the wounds of loss better than another bereaved parent. Nothing is more devastating than attending your own child’s funeral and I’m sorry to be welcoming you to this club. That said, let me share […]

  • Becoming Aware of God’s Presence

    May 23, 2017

    “We have what we seek. We don’t have to rush after it. It was there all the time. If we give it time it will make itself known to us.” – Thomas Merton As a young child I remember a picture hanging on the wall in my grandfather’s house. It showed Jesus standing outside a door and patiently […]

  • Finding God in Daily Life

    April 5, 2017

    God isn’t removed from us, sitting on some throne up in heaven somewhere. The “universal creative life energy” is found within the created world, within life’s natural cycles. From womb to tomb, our lives are fundamentally affected by the cycles and rhythm of life. The beat of our hearts and our breathing, without which nothing else […]

  • Seven Years Later, the Grief Lingers

    March 9, 2017

    7 years seems like such a long time, yet it also seems like such a small amount of time as well. 7 years full of birthdays, holidays, weddings, birth of nieces and nephews, beginnings and endings of friendships, and cross country moves. March 9th is the 7th anniversary of my beloved Greg being with Jesus. […]

  • You Can’t Sleep With a Butterfly

    February 17, 2017

    Several years ago, one of the cancer patients I counseled told me she was going to the Hawaiian island of Kauai, where her mother lived, to resolve her difficulties with her mother and die there. She accomplished all that she had hoped for and died there feeling loved, complete and at peace with herself. About […]

  • Día de Muertos: Eat, Speak, and Remember

    October 28, 2016

    The Oxford English dictionary defines “remember” as to “have in or be able to bring one’s mind an awareness of someone or something from the past.” I have thought a lot about remembering or memory since our son Mack died on New Year’s Eve 2012, two weeks shy of his 9th birthday. Often a memory […]

  • 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 […]

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 98: Dr. Jason Stroller and Dr. Matthew McKay: Exploring The Invisible Universe

    January 5, 2017

    Where do we go what happens after death?  On this show Dr. Gloria and Alan Pedersen Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends explore the invisible universe with two bereaved dads Dr. Jason Stroller author of My Life After Life Matthew McKay Ph.D. author of Seeking Jordan regarding their books written in collaboration with their deceased […]

  • Episode 85: Transforming Grief After The Death of A Mother and Daughter with Lo Anne Mayer

    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 with Audrey Pellicano and Rabbi Jeffery Sirkman

    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 with Zander Sprague, Koshin Ellison and Robert Campbell

    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 […]