Articles

  • 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 […]

  • Writer Penny Slusher on Somber-Free Rites

    January 8, 2015

    Buying presents for the dead and gifting them; knowing your “mama dance” and texting as the deceased: this and more when memory artist, Nancy Gershman talks with writer and actress Penny Slusher about somber-free rites. Currently, Slusher is working on a one-woman show about the house she grew up in Bristol Tennessee, and how living with tragic events affected the family […]

  • The Greater Question

    January 5, 2015

    This article is an excerpt from “Living at God’s Speed, Healing in God’s Time” written by Charles W. Sidoti and Rabbi Akiva Feinstein. Seldom does a week (or even a day or an hour) go by when we are not confronted with the question “Why?”  Why are lives devastated by illness, hunger, and devastating loss?  […]

  • Merry Christmas, Dad!

    December 25, 2014

    I sat in my car. I wasn’t sure I had the nerve to do it. I looked at the letter I held in my hand. Would this work? Could I possibly find peace after 26 years, merely by reading a letter aloud? It was a suggestion by a friend. Write your dad a letter and […]

  • Keep the Spirit of Your Loved One Alive at Christmas

    December 23, 2014

    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 […]

  • How I Magically Found the Spirit of the Season

    December 21, 2014

    I thought this year was going to be different. The Thanksgiving holiday was here, and I showed no signs of the “Holiday Dreads.” That’s what I secretly call my emotional state when the holiday season arrives. You see, I am a 68 year old widow. I’ve been a widow since 2005, so I’m not a […]

  • 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 […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • Alternative Healing After Loss: Karen Noe

    April 23, 2015

    Karen Noe is a renowned New Jersey-based psychic medium, spiritual counselor, and healer. She is the founder of the Angel Quest Center in Ramsey NJ, where she teaches classes, gives readings, and practices alternative healing. She hosts The Angel Quest radio show and is the author of a number of books including “Your Life After […]

  • Continuing Bonds After Death: Brittany Trauthwein

    March 19, 2015

    Brittany Trauthwein M.A. specializes in grief and loss and end of life matters. Her research was influenced by her own grief journey after the loss of family members. She studies how individuals continue bonds with loved ones who have passed away, particularly adult children remaining in relationship with deceased parents.

  • Healing Through Grief: Sherry Cassedy

    February 26, 2015

    Sherry Cassedy, JD, MA, has practiced law and mediation for 29 years and currently has a mediation and private judging practice in Palo Alto, CA.  She is also a certified yoga instructor and spiritual guide, weaving yoga philosophy through her classes and offering spiritual guidance and seasonal retreats on spiritual topics.  She is the bereaved […]

  • Spirituality and Grief: Lisa Irish

    February 12, 2015

    Lisa Irish is no stranger to loss. At age 2, her mother’s paralyzing car accident changed a normal childhood. At 11, her father died, and at 25, her mother died. She learned to look through the lens of loss, felt its power and trusted its teaching. Today she understands herself as a woman of hope […]

  • 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 […]

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 […]