Articles

  • At My Father’s Desk: Dementia’s Silent Toll

    July 20, 2015

    Grief can elbow its way into life long before death. This I remember . . . I visit my parents’ home. Only Mom lives there now. Because of dementia, Dad has resided in a memory care facility for nearly three months. He sleeps often. Awake he can be silent. Alert, he will often express himself […]

  • Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley: Finding Hope After Loss

    July 19, 2015

    Drs. Gloria Horsley and Heidi Horsley talked with one another during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. This mother and daughter are leaders of The Open to Hope Foundation, and their personal experience has driven them to dedicate their life to grief counseling. Gloria lost her son, who was also Heidi’s brother, […]

  • 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 […]

  • Brittany Trauthwein: Continuing Bonds

    July 19, 2015

    The Open to Hope Foundation radio show was the first outreach strategy, and continues to be a fantastic means of support for those who have lost a loved one. In the “Continuing Bonds” episode, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley talk with Brittany Trauthwein, MA, a specialist in end of life, grief and loss. Trauthwein has […]

  • The Compassionate Friends Conference Offers Support and Love

    July 16, 2015

    Alan Pederson, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends, welcomed experts from around the world at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling Conference. The 2015 theme “Hope Shines Bright…Deep in the Heart” was held in Dallas, Texas at the Hyatt Regency Downtown. Joanne Campbell, co-chair of the 38th annual conference, encouraged everyone to attend […]

  • Nancy Sharp: Both Sides Now

    July 9, 2015

    Nancy Sharp, author of Both Sides Now, talked to Dr. Heidi Horsley during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. The day Sharp gave birth to twins, she learned that her husband’s cancer had returned in full force. Holding both life and death in the same moment became the foundation of her birth. […]

  • Dr. Jon Reid: Chinese Culture and Grief

    July 8, 2015

    Dr. Jon Reid is a past president of the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC), and he spoke with Dr. Gloria Horsley during the 2015 ADEC conference about Chinese culture and grief. “There’s a much greater reluctance to talk about death and dying in Chinese culture, mostly because it’s considered bad luck,” Dr. Reid […]

  • What Loss Has Taught Me: Everybody’s on the Tightrope

    July 7, 2015

    The other day, I went out running to clear my head, something I often do in a continuing quest to manage my grief over the loss of my brother a year ago. I had my iPod on a random shuffle. Janelle Monáe’s song, “Tightrope,” came on after I had gone about a mile and a […]

  • Bob Neimeyer: How to Grieve as a Couple

    June 30, 2015

    One of Open to Hope’s Board members, Bob Neimeyer, spoke with Dr. Gloria Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference about grieving as a couple.  “You’ve told me for many years that I don’t have to give up memories of my child,” she tells Neimeyer. Sadly, Neimeyer explains that one of […]

  • What is Strength in the Face of Grief?

    June 26, 2015

    “You’re so strong.” If you’ve suffered the devastating loss of a loved one, you’ve probably heard the phrase. I certainly have after the death of my 4-year-old daughter, Margareta, in 2009. But what does it really mean, anyway? What exactly is the definition of strength in the wake of a loved one’s death? Chances are […]

  • Tom Attig: Death Rituals and Traditions

    June 25, 2015

    Tom Attig’s book, Death, Dying and Bereavement in Contemporary Society explores the rituals, evolutions and traditions of how we handle death. He spoke about his work with Dr. Gloria Horsley of The Open to Hope Foundation during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling 2015 conference. Together with his co-author, Judy Stillion, they decided […]

  • 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 […]

  • Running from Dad’s Death

    June 16, 2015

    “I need to see Dad,” I said to Mom. I stood in my parents’ bedroom. My mother’s clothes were strewn on the floor and the bed was unmade. “I’m in a hurry, Elaine. I have to get to the hospital.” “I know,” I said. “Take me with you. I want to see Dad. He’s MY […]

  • The Death of My Father: Lingering Guilt

    June 13, 2015

    January 11, 2003, I sat on my father’s bed chatting with him at the Mercer Island Care Center. At age 80, he was attempting to recover from a bout of pneumonia. At around 9:30 pm, I kissed him good-bye, got up from the bed and said I’d see him tomorrow. I can still see him […]

  • Mitch Carmody: Proactive Grieving

    June 12, 2015

    Grieving shouldn’t just be a passive process—but many people need help being proactive about it. Dr. Gloria Horsley from the Open to Hope Foundation recently spoke with proactive grieving expert Mitch Carmody of Heartlight Studios about what it means to grieve in a proactive manner. Carmody brings his own experience to the table, having lost […]

  • As Life Ended, He Knew He Had Done the Best He Could

    June 11, 2015

    Developmental theorist Eric Erickson1 described our final developmental task as being the need to review our life to determine if the gods are pleased. In doing a life review, we sort through the various aspects of our life and conclude either with believing we have done the best we could, or determining there are things […]

  • Gone Too Soon: A Father’s Day Remembrance

    June 8, 2015

    Fathers are so important in our lives. To those fathers who are still with us, Happy Father’s Day. To those fathers who preceded us in death, who are gone too soon, we remember you. A special shout-out to all of the single fathers, stepfathers, grandfathers, father figures, uncles, clergy, godfathers, neighbors, counselors, support group facilitators, […]

  • Sheryl Sandberg’s Public Grief a Gift to All

    June 3, 2015

    Facebook executive and author Sheryl Sandberg used her personal facebook account today to speak out about the pain of losing her young husband last month and to thank friends and fans for their support in the aftermath. In a poignant 1,700-word post, Ms. Sandberg also took the opportunity to provide a virtual checklist of lessons […]

  • Howard Winokuer: Having Hope

    June 3, 2015

    “It’s okay to see past some of the issues,” urges Dr. Howard Winokuer, the founder of The Winokuer Center for Counseling and Healing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Speaking with Dr. Heidi Horsley at the Association of Death Education and Counseling conference in 2015, he explains that, “It’s okay to have hope even if things don’t […]

  • Lyn Prashant: Body Work After Loss

    May 28, 2015

    As a bereaved spouse herself, Lyn Prashant specializes in “body work” after loss. She recently talked with Dr. Gloria Horsley from the Open to Hope Foundation about options for those in various stages of grieving when it comes to using the body as part of the healing process. “After my husband died, I found that […]

  • Be Aware of Anticipatory Grief

    May 27, 2015

    Sooner or later, we all experience anticipatory grief—a feeling of loss before a death or dreaded event occurs. Unfortunately, many people do not realize they are going through this process, and think something is wrong with them. You may be experiencing anticipatory grief now. Nothing is wrong with you; it is a normal response to […]

  • Trust Heals: Journeying With Faith, Hope and Patience

    May 18, 2015

    “With Open Hands” –  Free me, Lord, from the inner bondage and endless cycle of what I think needs to happen before I can be happy.  Free me, Lord, from my idea of the solution. Help me to wait with open ended, joyful expectation; and help me to experience your peace. Amen  (Charles W. Sidoti). […]

  • Unleash the Silence: Compassion for Surviving Siblings

    May 11, 2015

    Losing my beloved sisters Jane and Margie impacted my life in ways I did not comprehend until years later. Their passing shaped the person I am today. With hard work, support, guidance, and the cheering of many, I re-discovered Judy after 30 years. The topic I choose to unleash, although extremely sensitive, needs to be […]

  • Renaming the Stages of Grief

    April 28, 2015

    Chances are, you’ve heard of the stages of grief Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced in her 1969 book, “On Death and Dying.” The stages are: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance It is a very nice idea that you can break grief down into defined segments that have a clear beginning and […]

  • Kaleidoscope: Rearranging the Pieces After Loss

    April 17, 2015

    It’s been 80 months since I became a widow, 21 months since I said vows for the second time, and two months since my first child was born. Sometimes I need to pinch myself. As I tenderly rock my little girl in my arms, I can’t help but remember the reason I got this rocking […]

  • Pain is Inevitable; Suffering is Optional

    April 10, 2015

    “Does time heal all wounds?” If you are a griever, you have no doubt heard this cliché more than once. On April 16, 1993, our son, Chad, died as a result of suicide. Family and friends know that it doesn’t pay to ask, “Do you ever get over it?” Our response will always be the […]

  • 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 […]

  • Grief in Spring?

    March 23, 2015

    If Spring makes you feel better and to feel new hope, that is a good, positive and nurturing thing. But it may not be true for everyone, and no one should feel they have to hide their true feelings. It is perfectly normal to experience new heightened grief and/or grief-related anxiety in Spring, just as […]

  • Reaching Out, Sharing Grief

    March 22, 2015

    When our son, Timmy, died at age 20 from a skateboard accident, many of our friends, searching for words, said “I can’t imagine…” And of course they can’t. It is beyond our expectations, beyond our understanding of reality, that a vibrant, young person could be plucked from the world so suddenly. It was certainly beyond […]

  • When Grief Subsides….What’s Beyond?

    March 20, 2015

    Grief a major part of a widow/widower’s life. Although everyone works through grief in their own way, there are still some similarities. I’d guess the majority of widow/widowers go through various stages of shock, denial, guilt, anger, depression, and hopefully acceptance. But every journey will also be unique. Once we work through our stages of grief and accept our loss, the grief […]

  • 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 […]

  • Can Grief Be a Friend?

    March 7, 2015

    Anne LaMott, in her book Traveling Mercies, writes,  “Don’t get me wrong. Grief sucks; it really does. Unfortunately, though, avoiding it robs us of Life, of the now, of the sense of living spirit…The bad news is that whatever you use to keep the pain at bay robs you of the flecks and nuggets of […]

  • Loving My Wife through Her Grief

    March 3, 2015

    This article was written by John Thompson, husband of Open to Hope contributing writer Jill Kraft Thompson. March 25, 2015, will mark the thirteenth anniversary of the day my wife Jill lost her family. Of course, I am not talking about our son Franklin and me, but Jill’s previous husband Bart; their two young sons, […]

  • Why I Can Be Open to Hope

    March 2, 2015

    I can’t always hope. But I can be open to it. When people are in mourning, those who care about them often search for some way to help them feel better. It’s awful to see someone you love feeling such pain. You want to take away the suffering, fix the problem, bring your loved one […]

  • ‘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 […]

  • Grieving a Future I’ll Never Have

    February 19, 2015

    When grief is new, it is excruciating and overwhelming. Many people get stuck in a quicksand of pain that is so thick and intense, it feels impossible to escape. As you struggle through those first few days, weeks, and months, you begin to be pulled so far down into it, you can’t imagine how you’ll […]

  • ‘Moving On’ vs. ‘Moving Forward’: The Preposition Matters

    February 10, 2015

    Have you ever told someone, with the best of intentions, “You’ve got to look at all the positives and try to move on”? Sure you have. I have, too. But not since I lost my husband and realized the toxicity that lives within both of those phrases. As Dr. Michael Lerner asserts in “The Difference […]

  • The Fierce Tribe of After: Grief, with Attitude

    February 10, 2015

    Don’t make the mistake. It’s not anger you see on my face. It’s attitude. My wife died suddenly in her forties of an unknown heart problem. If you don’t know what to say to me about that, if you feel uncomfortable when I’m around because I make you worry that your spouse is about to […]

  • Keeping Lost Siblings In Your Heart

    February 8, 2015

    I am a sister who sadly lost both my sisters. Although I will permanently have a hole in my heart, I am learning to embrace my beloved sisters to encompass an important place in my life. My sisters Margie and Jane are forever part of me, who I am, past, present and future. My heart […]

  • Writing the Gratitude!

    February 6, 2015

    When Daniel died, I wanted more. More smiles, more birthdays, more words, more experiences. Like any mom, I wanted my child to have a full and healthy life. When Daniel breathed his last, all I had was four years and five months and eight days. He hadn’t made it to five; he hadn’t even made […]

  • 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 […]

  • Why Affirmation Writing Helps Grief Healing

    January 26, 2015

    Grief experts recommend writing as a healing tool because it works. Putting your thoughts in writing makes them real and, more important, validates your thoughts. I started writing one-sentence affirmations after four family members died in 2007 and have been writing them ever since. Affirmation writing has many benefits and there are some of them. […]

  • Denial and Disbelief in Grieving

    January 23, 2015

    I was in denial from the first moment. And for a while thereafter. On a sunny Saturday in June, I had just finished a mud run with my son, and we were walking back to our car in late morning, covered with mud and laughing. My husband called my cell, from our home phone, I […]

  • Behind the Veil

    January 21, 2015

    When you see me, you probably see what you would consider to be a strong person. You see someone who appears to be living the American Dream — juggling a successful career, a beautiful family, a healthy social life, and even time to volunteer for a good cause. You see a person who came back […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • Recovering From Traumatic Stress Guest: Bessel van der Kolk

    July 2, 2015

    Dr. Bessel van der Kolk is a psychiatrist, founder and medical director of the Trauma Center in Boston, Mass and is a professor in the department of psychiatry at Boston University Medical Center.  He is a world leader in dealing with traumatic stress.  His latest book is “The Body Keeps the Score:  Brain, Mind, and […]

  • Christopher Jones: Mitchell’s Journey a Personal Story of Reflection and Discovery

    June 11, 2015

    Christopher Jones is the author of Mitchell’s Journey, a Facebook blog which has nearly 300,000 followers. Chris began the blog a few years prior to his son, Mitchell’s death from heart failure caused by Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy. He has along with his family and friends shared with the world his personal journey of reflection and […]

  • Finding Joy Again After Loss: Beth Marshall

    May 21, 2015

    Beth Marshall is a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation, and the author of two grief-related journals. Her newest book, Grief Survivor~ 28 Steps Toward Hope and Healing was designed to help people write and remember their loved one; and realize there really can be a joy-filled life after loss!

  • Finding Joy Again After Loss: Beth Marshall

    May 21, 2015

    Beth Marshall is a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation, and the author of two grief-related journals. Her newest book, Grief Survivor~ 28 Steps Toward Hope and Healing was designed to help people write and remember their loved one; and realize there really can be a joy-filled life after loss!

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 49: Trauma Treatments

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma EMDR and Neurofeedback for repairing faulty connections and connectivity patterns. Dr. David Fajgenbaum joins the group to discuss how the death of […]

  • Episode 48: Trauma/Heal The Body

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Dr. Bessel Van der Kolk author of The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma how yoga and other physical activities help the bereaved. Bereaved spouse Dr. Lyn Prashant PhD, FT, joins the discussion of helping the […]