Articles

  • Random Acts of Kindness

    November 26, 2014

      by Sandy Fox As a way for families to honor their child and to help themselves heal, MISS Foundation began “The Kindness Project” in 1997. By 2007, more than 750,000 Kindness Project cards have been used around the globe to perform random acts of kindness in memory of a child, parent, friend, or spouse […]

  • 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 ❂ ❂ ❂

  • 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 […]

  • Friends of Bereaved: Don’t Do These Things

    October 15, 2014

    The bereaved often feel upset by the things people say to them. Of course, they often feel that nothing is a comfort and anything that is said is offensive. If we are feeling terribly wounded, words don’t comfort; comforting hugs or an arm around your shoulder feel much better. Statements and questions such as, “How […]

  • Writer J.W. Basilo on Starting Fresh When the Old Guard is Gone

    October 1, 2014

    How can you use a death and a birth to foster a new culture of decency around the dinner table? This and more when memory artist Nancy Gershman talks with Chicago-based writer, performer, and director J.W Basilo. A National and World Poetry Slam finalist, Basilo is also a PushCart Prize Nominee, and co-host of the Uptown Poetry Slam. His work […]

  • The Terms of My Surrender

    September 17, 2014

    From the moment you came into my life, I hated you. I despised you. You came on the heels of my worst nightmare come true – the death of my young daughter. I didn’t know your name at the time. I just knew that you brought with you all the horrible feelings and emotions I […]

  • Easing The Way At the End of Life: A Conversation with a Palliative Care Doctor

    September 8, 2014

    Elaine Mansfield: My husband Vic was strong and fit when he was diagnosed with incurable lymphoma. He went through chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant with relative ease and regained his vitality. Eight months after the stem cell transplant, we went to the ER because of swelling and arrhythmia. I refused to leave the room […]

  • Joan Rivers’ Last Days Reminds Us Importance of Living Wills

    September 8, 2014

    This week, the world lost another comedic icon – Joan Rivers. I must confess, I was sad at the passing of this woman. I grew up watching her on television. It was announced that she was on life support. To imagine a woman this vital on a ventilator is almost unthinkable. And yet, every day, […]

  • Beyond Williams and Rivers, the Everyday Superstars: The Caregivers

    September 8, 2014

    Over the past few weeks, we’ve lost two major comedic forces, Robin Williams and Joan Rivers, both of whom brought great joy and laughter to our world. Accolades and impact statements have flooded the Internet, along with heartfelt condolence messages. How wonderful for their families to feel this outpouring of love and respect. Yet away […]

  • Robin Williams’ Death: When Living is Hard

    August 12, 2014

    Robin Williams’ apparent death by suicide is especially hard for me to fathom. His jocular, insightful, heart-warming and spirit-lifting public presence brought much joy to my life. His creative expressions of talent and spontaneity inspired many throughout the world to bring forth their own unique artistic abilities. Robin had a profound influence on our society’s […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Sitting in the Dark with Maya Angelou

    June 11, 2014

    Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~Maya Angelou~ I’ve always had the feeling that life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you, give you experiences. They may not all be that pleasant, but nobody promised you a rose garden. But more than likely if you […]

  • In Praise of Friendship: Maya Angelou and Mrs. Flowers

    May 30, 2014

    Sometimes gifted writers, like Maya Angelou, feel like a friend because they invite you into their heart and mind with such a generosity of spirit. It’s no wonder that millions around the world are grieving her death. Though we didn’t ‘know’ her, we came into her world through the 31 books, essays, plays and poetry […]

  • Why Happy New Year is Tough on Bereaved Parents

    May 30, 2014

    When the ball at Times Square drops, champagne corks pop. Ample hugs and kisses are dispensed all around. A new year, new hope, new ventures, new possibilities. Wow, it’s all so exciting! However, for the parent who has lost a child in the previous year, the dawning of a new calendar year can be rough. […]

  • Playwright Ann Randolph on Writing about Grief

    May 28, 2014

    How is a performance and a post-show creative writing workshop sparking a national discourse on grief? This and more when memory artist Nancy Gershman sits down with playwright and comedian, Ann Randolph to talk about her one-woman show, LOVELAND – and the transformative and healing power of writing about grief.  Learn more about Randolph’s week-long “Write Your Life”workshops, by visiting […]

  • Shared Hope: A Source of Comfort and Energy

    May 19, 2014

    For six months, my husband has been hospitalized, recovering from a dissected aorta and a deep surgical wound. His scar is closing and he will need ongoing physical therapy for his paralyzed legs. Many patients would be discouraged by these health challenges, and my husband admitted that he burst into tears one day. Still, he […]

  • Death, Dying and Grief in an Online Universe: Interview with Carla Sofka

    May 18, 2014

    At the annual ADEC Conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Carla Sofka and discuss with her how to deal with grief. Carla is the editor of the book Dying, Death, and Grief In An Online Universe. This book looks at grieving in an online world and talks about how it is affecting the […]

  • What Gives Hope: Interview with Nancy Gershman, Memory Artist

    May 18, 2014

    For Open To Hope Foundation’s “What Gives Hope?” video, artist Nancy Gershman tells founder Gloria Horsley that her prescriptive photomontages give three reasons to hope.  From what she’s learned from her end of life clients and their bereaved families, these portraits are: Tangible objects that are wearable, mail-able, and displayable., but you can also talk to […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • In Case of Grief, Break Glass

    March 27, 2014

    Recently, I was reading an article written by Mitch Carmody, ( a fellow author here on the Open to Hope site) introducing his concept of “Proactive Grieving.” Mitch is a multi-talented man with a broad pallet of expressive and creative ways to facilitate healing and personal growth. His piece addressed the attitudes and expectations men […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • Dr. David Fajgenbaum: Support Network For Grieving College Students

    November 20, 2014

    While a student at Georgetown University, David Fajgenbaum, MD, MSc founded Students of National Students of AMF Support Network, a peer-led grief support group and service program, in memory of his mother, Anne Marie Fajgenbaum. Dispite health challenges David carries on with his work and is currently an MBA Candidate at The Wharton School of Business.

  • Michele Neff Hernandez: Soaring Spirits

    November 13, 2014

    Michele Neff Hernandez is a bereaved spouse and the founding President, and Executive Director of the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation providing resources and peer support to people grieving the loss of a partner. Soaring Spirits has met the needs of over 500,000 widowed people around the world, and continues to increase their reach through innovative […]

  • Sheila Himmel: Changing the Way We Die

    November 6, 2014

    Sheila Himmel is a Psychology Today blogger and the coauthor of Hungry: A Mother and Daughter Fight Anorexia and Changing the Way We Die. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, the Washington Post, and the Robb Report.

  • Rebecca Soffer: Modern Loss Coping with Grief in a Digital World

    October 30, 2014

    Rebecca Soffer is the co-founder of Modern Loss a website geared to young adults addressing the many permutations of loss, from miscarriages to a parent’s death.  Ms. Soffer lost both her parents, her mother to an automobile accident and her father to a heart attack.

  • Cornelia Cannon Holden: Miscarriage

    October 23, 2014

    Cornelia Cannon Holden is a social entrepreneur and educator. Through her company, Mindful Warrior, she is dedicated to helping her clients reach their performance potential.  In 2013 Cornelia was 18 weeks pregnant when she learned that her pregnancy was no longer viable.  As a body-centered psychotherapist she shares with others her path to recovery.  

  • Jill Smolowe: Resilience In A Time of Grief

    October 16, 2014

    Within 17 months award-winning journalist and author Jill Smolowe lost her husband, sister, and mother.   Jill, a senior writer for People, desiring to help others, used her experience to write Four Funerals and a Wedding:  Resilience In A Time Of Grief. Jill then became a grief and transition coach helping clients learn how to restore […]

  • Rosalie Deer Heart: Healing Grief

    September 18, 2014

    Rosalie Deer Heart is a veteran of grief who chose to open her heart even wider to love after the sudden death of her teenage son, Mike. She is the author of eight books including Healing Grief—A Mother’s Story.

  • Gerry Cox: Grief, Religion and Culture

    September 11, 2014

    Dr. Gerry R. Cox, Ph.D., is a Professor Emeritus of Sociology at University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. He served as the Director of the Center for Death Education & Bioethics. He has over one hundred publications including seventeen books. He has served as editor of Illness, Crisis, and Loss and for The Midwest Sociologist.

  • Linda Hunt: Finding Strength and Renewal After Child Loss

    September 4, 2014

    Linda Lawrence Hunt’s 25-year-old daughter Krista was killed while volunteering with her husband in Bolivia.  She and her husband co-founded the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship.  Linda is the author of Pilgrimage through Loss: Pathways to Strength and Renewal after the Death of a Child.

  • Jon Reid: Dealing With Grief and Loss

    August 21, 2014

    Dr. Jon Reid is a Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Southeastern Oklahoma State University.  He is the president of the Association of Death Education and Counselors (ADEC) is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Fellow in Thanatology.

  • K. Paul Stroller: Writing a Posthumous Memoir

    August 14, 2014

    Dr. K. Paul Stroller, MD, started his medical career as a pediatrician and currently uses hyperbaric medicine to treat brain-injured children and adults.  He is the bereaved father of Galen who in 2007 at the age of sixteen was killed in train collision.  He is the editor of My Life After Life:  A Posthumous Memoir […]

  • Candace Lightner: Death and the Hero’s Journey

    July 31, 2014

    Candace Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980 after the death of her daughter Cari.  She continues working both nationally and internationally to promote highway safety.  She is founder and executive director of We Save Lives working on THE 3 D’s: DRUNK, DRUGGED AND DISTRACTED driving.

  • Death and the Hero’s Journey : Candace Lightner

    July 31, 2014

    Candace Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980 after the death of her daughter Cari.  She continues working both nationally and internationally to promote highway safety.  She is founder and executive director of We Save Lives working on THE 3 D’s: DRUNK, DRUGGED AND DISTRACTED driving

  • Navigating Grief and Trials: Kathleen D. Hamilton

    July 24, 2014

    Kathleen D. Hamilton has suffered a number of tragedies including the deaths of her mother and twelve year old daughter.  She has coped with a brain-injured son and has grieved two broken marriages. Reaching out to help others she has been a facilitator with “The Compassionate Friends” and has worked in the funeral industry. She […]

  • The Death Class: Erika Hayasaki’s and Norma Bowe

    July 17, 2014

    Dr. Norma Bowe, RN Ph.D. is a tenured Professor in the College of Education at Kean University in Union N.J. She developed the course curriculum for Death in Perspective which has a three year waiting list and is the subject of the book The Death Class: A True Story About Life, by Erika Hayasaki a […]

  • Finances after Loss: Aaron Britz

    July 10, 2014

    Aaron Britz was 6 years old, when he lost his 62-year-old grandfather to a brain tumor. During the days and years that followed he watched his grandmother struggle with finances. This experience inspired him to become a financial planner specializing in helping people in grief, loss, or transition.  He is the President of Legacy Wealth […]

  • Jill Kraft Thompson Rebuilding A Life After Losing Five People

    June 19, 2014

    Jill Kraft Thompson had a life filled with love: an adoring husband, two young precious sons, a devoted mother, and a close extended family. Jill’s story begins as everyone’s worst nightmare. In 2002 she lost five close family members in a car crash that she survived. Her beloved young sons, husband, mother and niece were […]

  • Brenda Marshall Ph.D.: Death of an Adult Sibling

    June 12, 2014

    Brenda Marshall Ph.D. is a speaker, coach and educator in the field of bereavement. Her interest in providing help to others, who have lost a sibling, came after the sudden death of her younger brother Brent. She is the author of Adult Sibling Loss:Stories, Reflections and Ripples.

  • Danita Ogandaga: Overcoming the Orphaned Spirit

    June 5, 2014

    Danita Ogandaga is the founder Hope Starts Today and the Orphan No More podcast. She lost both of her parents by the age of twenty-one. She teaches on the topics of grief, restoration, hope and resilience. She is the author of the audio book Overcoming the Orphan Spirit.

  • Beth Rotondo: Hope For Those Who Grieve

    May 8, 2014

    Beth Rotondo has worked in the bereavement for 20 years.  She has lost an infant, parent, and sibling.  Her losses and expertise have made her a comforting companion for those who grieve.  She is the author of Threads of Hope and The Big Chair.

  • Cendra Lynn: Web Based Grief Support

    May 1, 2014

    Cendra Lynn Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist, certified traumatologist, and a pioneer in the field of grief and loss. She is the founder of the web sites GriefNet and KIDSAID, where over 50 email support groups enable grieving people to safely write others with a similar loss.

  • 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.

  • Audrey Pellicano R.N.,M.S.: Wise Widow

    April 10, 2014

    Audrey Pellicano is a nurse, mentor, educator, speaker, author, mom, wife and widow.   Audrey helps clients tap into the power of their minds to heal from loss. Audrey hosts Death Café at The Open Center of New York City and is the author of the handbook  Six Secrets to Surviving Widowhood.

  • Galen Goben: Coping With the Death of a Parent

    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

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 35: Grieving Disability and Death

    November 11, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with  Louise Bruce, bereaved mom the experience of losing two special needs children, Laura and Chris.   Louise has honored the children by starting the LaChris Connection serving families of kids with disabilities.  The second guest is Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, Hospice social worker, Cystic […]

  • Episode 34: Making Meaning After Loss– Golden Gate Bridge

    November 11, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Sue Story and David Hull both bereaved parents whose children died after jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.  Sue and David have gone on to honor their children by advocating for safety changes in the bridge and suicide prevention.  David is the co-founder of […]

  • Episode 32: Treating Trauma (EMDR)

    November 11, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Dr. Christopher Sato-Perry and Dr. Jean Schellenberg their use of Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) in treating trauma. The show closes with music by Peter Anderson and Randy Cookson.