• Continuing Bonds with Brittany Trauthwein

    August 14, 2015

    A doctoral student at the Chicago Professional School of Psychology, Brittany Trauthwein, spoke with Dr. Heidi Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) conference about continuing bonds after a loss. Her dissertation is specifically on continuing those bonds after the death of a parent. Trauthwein began her research after connecting with […]

  • Sue Gammill: Family and Staff Support in Critical Care

    August 13, 2015

    “I have always believed that how we handle death in healthcare is important to the survivors,” says Sue Gammill. She serves as a liaison between patients and medical staff, acting as a buffer and “translator.” Gammill works in the pediatric intensive care unit of a hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. This type of environment, especially working […]

  • Parent Loss with Barbara Scharf

    August 13, 2015

    At the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling Conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley interviewed Dr. Barbara Scharf about losing a parent as an adult, which is often a minimized loss—and a very difficult one. Your parents are your parents, no matter what your age. Unfortunately, those around you (including those you thought would be part […]

  • William Buckley: Doing the Next Loss Differently

    August 13, 2015

    If you feel you didn’t deal with a previous loss in your best way, don’t despair. Dr. William Buckley explains to Dr. Gloria Horsley that you can take steps to handle loss and grief differently next time. They spoke at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference, where Dr. Buckley provided tips and […]

  • Roberta Moore on the Power of Near Death-Experiences

    August 11, 2015

    Author, speaker and filmmaker Roberta Moore talked with Dr. Heidi Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference about grief, loss and near death experiences. Having a near-death experience can change how people deal with grief and loss. For Moore, she had a near death experience at 13 years old, which led […]

  • Christa Scalies: Healing Grief Through Laughter

    August 10, 2015

    Christa Scalies is interviewed by Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley during this special episode of The Open to Hope Radio show. Scalies lost two friends to suicide, which is the foundation for her book Suicide Sucks, available to download for free. In her book, Scalies outlines ten steps to help with holistic recovery after losing […]

  • Positive Psychology with Dr. Judith Stillion

    August 8, 2015

    At the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley spoke with Dr. Judith Stillion about how to balance a positive life while in grief. It’s all about consciously choosing positive acts for yourself every day, with Dr. Stillion suggesting art or reading as a positive approach to healing. However, it may […]

  • Delayed Guilt: An Unwelcome, Unproductive Feeling

    August 8, 2015

    I wasn’t prepared for the thoughts I had the other day, guilty thoughts that suddenly surfaced in my mind. Although guilt can cause positive change, for the most part, I think it’s a non-productive feeling. Guilty feelings can tug a bereaved person backwards on the recovery path, when the goal is to move forward. Guilt […]

  • Susan Anderson: Recovery from the Ultimate Abandonment

    August 7, 2015

    Susan Anderson is interviewed by Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley for The Open to Hope foundation radio show. Anderson has extensive personal experience with loss and works as a psychotherapist helping others address their own grief hurdles. She’s also a speaker and author, as well as the founder of the Abandonment Recovery Movement. “Abandonment issues […]

  • Giving Back After Coping with a Loss with Dr. Janna Henning

    August 7, 2015

    When Dr. Janna Henning experienced her own loss, it encouraged her to help others in similar situations heal. Dr. Henning talked with Dr. Heidi Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. Dr. Henning was in a car crash when she was 22, and literally experienced having her best friend die on […]

  • Tolerating the Intolerable: Beyond Numbing

    August 6, 2015

    When the death of a loved one happens suddenly and unexpectedly, it can crack your heart wide open. The shock and pain of the loss is numbing at first because the reality that you will never see your loved one again is intolerable and overwhelming. Numbing feelings in a sense protects you from experiencing them […]

  • Since Nobody’s Perfect, May We Speak Ill of the Dead?

    August 5, 2015

    In our grief support groups, we often use this question somewhere along the way: “Since ‘nobody’s perfect,’ what are some things that were not perfect about the person who died?” For some, the answers come pretty easily, but for many, this is a difficult question to consider and some pass on responding. Our frequent tendency […]

  • Set Free to Grieve and Heal

    August 5, 2015

    In the Bible, Jesus healed on the Sabbath. Bad Jesus! Law-breaking Jesus! Once he was accused of healing a woman who’d been in physical agony for nearly two decades. Jesus replied (Luke 13:16) to his critics with, “And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set […]

  • Using the Pain of Grief as a Catalyst for Personal Growth

    August 4, 2015

    We all have defining moments. In fact, our lives are filled with them. I would describe these moments as stepping though a portal of experience that reshapes the world you live in. Once you’ve been through one of these portals, you can never return to the world you once knew; you can never un-learn what […]

  • Purposeful Tears

    August 4, 2015

    I spent two of my weekends this July presenting and speaking at national conferences for grieving parents, grandparents, and siblings. Needless to say, during these weekends I encountered more than a few people who were battling tears. It seems like an obvious statement to say that people who had lost dear members of their family […]

  • 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 […]

  • Gail Rubin: Death Cafe

    July 26, 2015

    Gail Rubin is the owner of Death Cafe and author of the book A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. “My motto is, ‘talking about sex won’t make you pregnant and talking about funerals won’t make you dead’,” she says, which is why she specializes on using a light touch […]

  • Elaine Mansfield: Rituals after a Spouse-Loss

    July 25, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Elaine Mansfield during this episode of the Open to Hope Foundation show. Mansfield is an Open to Hope author and Jungian student of over 40 years. After losing her husband, she embarked on a personal journey for hope, healing and recovery. She met her husband when she was 21 […]

  • Yie Foung: Donor Care

    July 24, 2015

    Yie Foung is a former Designated Requestor at Live On New York, and currently works closely with donor families. She spoke with Dr. Heidi Horsley, the Executive Director of the Open to Hope Foundation, during the Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. “A lot of my work is working with bereaved families,” she explains. […]

  • Vicki Panagotacos: Gaining Traction in the Second Year

    July 23, 2015

    The author of the book Gaining Traction, Dr. Vicki Panagotacos, spoke with Dr. Gloria Horsley during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. In addition to operating her own therapy practice, Dr. Panagotacos is a researcher and committed to sharing suggestions on coping with grief—particularly beyond that tough first year. Many times the […]

  • Ed Salisbury: Helping Men find Hope after Loss

    July 22, 2015

    “Brother Ed,” a Texas native, welcomed Dr. Gloria Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. When asked what advice he had for men who were in grief, Salisbury says, “First and foremost, schedule time to be still. Pause. Reboot. When I get into my car, every time I sit in my […]

  • The Compassionate Friends; People Helping People through Bereavement

    July 21, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interviewed married couple Michele Muro and Babe-Anthony Muro on The Open to Hope Foundation show, in collaboration with The Compassionate Friends. The Muros lost daughter/stepdaughter Lori in an automobile collision while she was serving in the military. Gloria and Heidi also interview Arnie and Varda Wendorf, who also lost their […]

  • 10 Artistic Activities to Help With Grief

    July 21, 2015

    The catacombs of my thoughts, as I grieved the loss of my husband, were painful and all-encompassing…if I didn’t distract myself. A comment, picture, motorcycle, or even a happy memory could throw me into a spiral that consumed my world for hours. One day, I got a package in the mail from my friend Jessica. […]

  • 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 […]

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