Articles

  • Lynne Ann DeSpelder: Death Rituals

    June 25, 2016

    Lynne Ann DeSpelder talks with Dr. Heidi Horsley about death rituals during the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) conference. DeSpelder is a counselor, professor of psychology, and co-author of the book The Last Dance: Encountering Death and Dying, which is now in its eighth edition. A leader in the industry, DeSpelder got into […]

  • Isabel Stenzel Byrnes: Facing Mortality

    June 21, 2016

    During the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley connects with Isabel Stenzel Byrnes about finding hope and balance while living with an illness. Born with cystic fibrosis, Byrnes wasn’t given many years to live—but she has proven doctors wrong again and again. She attended CF-related camps as a child and […]

  • Shep Jeffreys: Helping Grieving People When Tears are Not Enough

    June 21, 2016

    Open to Hope Foundation’s Dr. Gloria Horsley interviews Shep Jeffreys for the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) organization. What happens when tears aren’t enough to help you grief? Jeffreys is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University. He’s also a psychologist and grief counselor with a private practice. He’s also the […]

  • 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 […]

  • Valarie Molaison: Supporting Grieving Families for the Long Haul

    June 12, 2016

    Right after someone passes is often the most difficult period. Dr. Heidi Horsley interviews Dr. Valarie Molaison about how to handle this time, and what you can do to help support grieving families. Dr. Molaison is the clinical director at Supporting Kids in Delaware. Dr. Horsley points out that society gives people a lot of […]

  • Father’s Day After Your Father Has Died

    June 11, 2016

    It’s Father’s Day, and for more than 100 million Americans whose fathers have died, it will be a day of missing Dad. What can these fatherless Americans do to make the holiday meaningful? For my book, FatherLoss, I interviewed several hundred people about the death of their dads. And some were actually a little relieved […]

  • ‘Were You Two Close?’ Reflections on the Death of my Virtual Father

    June 7, 2016

    When I was in my mid-20s, my mother married a charismatic photographer named Tom. He was the owner of a photography studio and son of a LIFE magazine photographer, and he and I connected on the subject of art and entrepreneurship. I was an art history major, and had just started my own business as […]

  • Disenfranchised Grief

    May 30, 2016

    Disenfranchised grief is a type of grief that a majority of people stigmatize and/or don’t feel comfortable talking about. This can include suicide, pet loss, death from an overdose, and other losses that aren’t considered mainstream. Dr. Gloria Horsley interviewed Dr. Ken Doka at the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) conference to talk […]

  • You’ve Got a Friend: Spending Time with Fellow Grievers

    May 25, 2016

    As a psychologist, I have learned how important the human need to belong and feel appreciated is to mental health. But what happens when we lose an important relationship, especially during childhood? How does the death of a close loved one affect a little one, when personality and self-esteem are still in the formative stages? […]

  • Therese Wenner: Cranial Sacral

    May 24, 2016

    If you haven’t heard of cranial sacral work before, you’re not alone. Dr. Gloria Horsley interviews Therese Wenner at the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, and discusses the benefits of this form of therapy. Based in Olympia, Washington, Wenner has a private practice that focuses on cranial sacral therapy. For those in grief, this […]

  • Love, Separation, and the ‘Dance Full of Mystery’

    May 23, 2016

    The author of How We Grieve: Relearning the World, Dr. Tom Attig, talks about love and separation with the Open to Hope Foundation. As a philosopher, Dr. Attig takes a unique approach to teaching and talking about grief. Loving someone is a dance full of mystery, he explains. With every dance partner, you can feel […]

  • Years of Love: Measuring a Life After a Loss

    May 22, 2016

    Years astound me. Forever etched in my mind a calculation of time, reminders, anniversaries, dates, and birthdays. I still find it hard to believe August 1, 2015, marked the 25th anniversary we lost my beloved sister Margie. To celebrate my 25th birthday in October 1981 marked the last time I saw my beloved sister Jane […]

  • Jamie Yetter: Families and Organ Donation

    May 20, 2016

    The family services coordinator with the Arkansas Regional Organ Recovery Agency (ARORA), Jamie Yetter, sat down with Dr. Gloria Horsley to discuss organ donation. Families and organ donation is a tricky subject. As a chaplain, Yetter gets referrals from hospitals about someone who potentially is an organ donor. Yetter goes on-site to see if the […]

  • Managing A Death Anniversary

    May 19, 2016

    After losing my husband to brain cancer last year, I was often warned about the one-year anniversary of losing a loved one. The Death Anniversary. I was no stranger to this feeling; I had lost my father when I was a kid and my mother passed away the year before last… except this time was […]

  • Mother’s Day Memories

    May 17, 2016

    Let me just start by saying it was a wonderful Mother’s Day surprise to see that the Open to Hope Foundation wanted me to write articles for them!  It made getting up at 4am today to catch my 5am bus all worth it. My Mother’s Day was not one of the best, and therefore I […]

  • Spring—A Haunted Season

    May 11, 2016

    We are all haunted by the dead, and that reality, like so many others, is both challenge and comfort. Autumn with its Halloween, falling leaves, frosty air and increasingly bare branches is usually thought of as the season of haunting, but we grieving people know that spring has ghosts of its own. Mother’s Day, Father’s […]

  • A Letter to My Living Children for Mother’s Day

    May 3, 2016

    Dearest ones, Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. Each year, I’ve received beautiful hand drawn cards or beautiful crafts from you that I cherish and save. Your words of love and appreciation are an echo of the profound love and appreciation I feel for each of you. Not just on Mother’s Day, but every day. And […]

  • By Adversity Our Hearts Are Made Better: How Loss May Strengthen Us

    April 29, 2016

    It was so ironic that as I was flying home on a wonderful United Airlines flight at some 300 mph from the ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling) conference, I was reading David McCullough’s book, The Wright Brothers.  It is ironic because the conference had a lot to do about sharing the best of […]

  • Seasons of Remembering: Spring Brings Needed Change

    April 28, 2016

    It is amazing how tangible things can evoke some memory tucked away in the secret chambers of our thoughts. Like the changing of the seasons, like Spring. Trees that just yesterday were leafless and barren, now burst with leaf and  bud. And within the intricate xylem tissue, water and minerals are transported from the roots […]

  • When Lupines Bloom, I Think of Him

    April 25, 2016

    My husband Vic and I planted many pounds of wildflower seeds in our fields over the years. Wild grasses devoured some of them, but the lupines thrived and self-seeded on broad hillsides. On the day of Vic’s death in June 2008, lupines bloomed with wild abandon, erupting from the earth with thousands of tall purple […]

  • Returning to the Land of Loss: ‘Enfranchising’ our Grief

    April 21, 2016

    My cousin died last year, at least that’s how it felt for me. She actually died seven years ago, so my delayed sojourn into Loss has been very private…very lonely. Let me explain. I grew up in California and made family trips to Seattle to see my three cousins: Sarah, Susan and Sally. I am […]

  • The Quest for Closure

    April 16, 2016

      I often hear people speak about finding closure after a major life trauma or loss. When a loved one dies or a relationship ends, we say we are seeking closure. We long for relief from the voices in our heads telling us that we should have done more or loved better. We may hope […]

  • Eight Years Later: My Five Stages Of Grief

    April 15, 2016

    The Swiss psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, wrote in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, about the various stages of grief that the bereaved know all too well. I’m sure many of us have heard this from our shrinks or bereavement groups. As I reflect back on the eight years since my 17-year-old daughter Casey’s suicide, […]

  • I Still Grieve my Father’s Silence

    April 13, 2016

    My wife pointed to a curved red slash on my leg. “Where’d you get those scrapes?” “Maybe from the dog when we played a couple of hours ago?” Our dog has raggedy claws and abundant enthusiasm. Two cats also own us and one, Milo, randomly treats our flesh like a pincushion. An errant branch could […]

  • 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 […]

  • Helpful vs. Harmful Thoughts

    April 12, 2016

    In our culture, we tend to be overly self-critical.  Sometimes we are so preoccupied, we aren’t even aware of how harmful our thoughts can be to our well-being.  We are hard on ourselves when it comes to our weight and appearance, whether we are achieving enough in our workplaces and in our homes, and whether […]

  • Kathleen Gilbert and Gloria Horsley: How Family Members Grieve Differently

    April 9, 2016

    Dr. Gloria Horsley of the Open to Hope Foundation interviews Kathleen Gilbert, an associate professor at Indiana University. How do different family members grieve? According to Gilbert, there’s differential grieving. After a loss, people think their grief doesn’t match their loss. Who you are going into the grief is different than who you are now. […]

  • Acceptance or Letting Go?

    April 7, 2016

    I pick Acceptance.  It makes me cringe if I am in a conversation with someone who is grieving or missing a loved one in any way shape or form and I hear the words, it’s time to let go or you need to let go. I am sure their intentions come from a loving place. […]

  • Entering into a New Relationship after the Death of a Life Partner

    April 2, 2016

    How many photos are too many? One of the most charming questions I ever received in one of my second year spousal loss classes came from a middle-aged man named Sam. He said, “If I were to invite a woman over to dinner, how many framed pictures of my deceased wife would be too many?” […]

  • Spousal Loss: What Legacy of Loss Are You Passing on to Others?

    March 28, 2016

    The loss of your life partner is especially complex to manage because the two of you functioned as a couple for so long. As a result, you are not only dealing with the loss of your partner, but also the loss of your sense of self that was constructed through your interactions. The question becomes: […]

  • Ron Villano: Finding ‘Zing’ in Your Life After the Loss of a Child

    March 24, 2016

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley welcome Ron Villano to a webinar about finding your “zing” after you’ve lost a child. Villano is a licensed psychotherapist, bereavement coach, national speaker, and author. Villano lost his son, Michael, and knows exactly how it feels to lose a child. His first tip is to give yourself permission to […]

  • Blueprint for a Difficult Conversation: How to Stand Up for What You Need

    March 21, 2016

    In my last published article for OpenToHope, I shared the letter I wish I could’ve received after my husband was killed. It focused on validation and simplifying expectations for the truly important things to do in those initial months. It also held hope: for various coping mechanisms, helping others through grief, and in someday being […]

  • It’s Never Too Late to Grieve

    March 19, 2016

    How do I make peace and forgiveness with myself for not grieving and mourning my sisters Margie and Jane for 30 years? It is more the regrets, of years lost, of memories forgotten, of a soul missing, of dreams shattered, of a hole in my heart. Was the the pain too hard? I got used […]

  • Jon Reid: Depression or Grief

    March 18, 2016

    Dr. Jon Reid, a Professor of Psychology and Counseling at Southeastern Oklahoma State, talks about depression following grief with Dr. Heidi Horsley at the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) conference. He’s a certified fellow in thanatology from ADEC. “How do I know if I’m depressed or just grieving?” That’s a common question from […]

  • 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, […]

  • Continuing Connections to a Deceased Loved One

    March 16, 2016

    The founders of the Open to Hope Foundation, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley, share how they got into the grief and loss field—it’s often a story with terrible beginnings. For this mother-daughter duo, it was the death of Scott at 17 years old that catapulted both of them onto their own unique journey. He was […]

  • Taking Care of Your Health While Grieving

    March 11, 2016

    The Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends, Alan Pederson, joins the president of the Open to Hope Foundation, Dr. Gloria Horsley, to discuss the importance of health while in the grieving process. Grief is a natural response to loss, but it can be devastating. Special guest Dr. Coralease Ruff is featured, a registered nurse, professor, […]

  • Dr. Ken Doka: How Women and Men Grieve Differently

    March 5, 2016

    It’s no surprise that men and women grieve differently. Dr. Gloria Horsley interviews Dr. Ken Doka, president and consultant to the American Hospice Foundation, at an Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) conference. It’s no longer solely an issue of gender—and “some” men grieve differently than women. There are, instead, many ways of grieving. […]

  • Dr. Ira Byock: Nurturing a Relationship During Grief

    March 2, 2016

    Professor at Dartmouth Medical School Dr. Ira Byock shares with the Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) four key items to keep in mind in order to maintain a whole relationship. He’s also the Director of Palliative Medicine, and has been involved with hospice care for over 30 years. In emergency medicine and private […]

Open to Hope Radio

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 74: Grief Diaries

    May 10, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Lynda Cheldelin Fell, Linda Bateman Gomez , Carol Scibelli and Christine Duminiak. These four women have found hope after loss and have contributed to the Grief Diaries brand of books created by Lynda Fell. Lynda is also the executive president of the newly formed National Grief […]

  • Episode 68: Grief Quest/ Music and Healing

    April 26, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Lilly Juliian bereaved parent/spouse and founder of COPE and her partner Jerry Winestock bereaved spouse about their book Grief Quest and their retreats and camps that have inspired thousands of individuals and families to find hope and healing. Jerry is also the author […]

  • Episode 67: Finding Hope After A Terrorist Attack

    April 26, 2016

    Joining Dr’s. Gloria and Heidi Horsley on this show are Melissa Pettignano, singer and songwriter and her mother Evelyn whose aunt/sister Arlene was killed in the World Trade Center and Mary Fetchet who Co-founded Voices of September 11th in 2001 following the death of her son Brad on 9/11. A clinical social worker, Mary created […]

  • Episode: 66: Mortality; Living Your Best Life

    April 26, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Sara Feldman Sheehan and her husband Bobby Sheehan producers and directors of Mortal the first documentary that addresses the shifting paradigm in how we view life and death. The second guest is Lilly Julian bereaved parent of Michelle and founder of COPE with the mission of […]

  • Episode 64: Talking About Grief

    March 9, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Rachael Stephenson an advocate for honest and open discussions regarding grief. A clip is shown from Rachael’s Ted Talk Against Grieving in Silence. Their second guest is John Welshons author of Awakening From Grief; One Soul, One Love, One Heart and When Prayers Aren’t […]