Open to Hope Radio

Articles

  • Birthdays … Beautiful and Bittersweet

    January 11, 2017

    I turned 60 in October, the day filled with a range of emotions. Etched in my brain and soul was the last time I saw my sister Jane, to celebrate my 25th birthday. For 35 years, my birthday held a cloud, never the joy of celebrating me on my birthday, always the pain of the […]

  • ‘Do You Cook for Yourself?’: How to Remember a Loving Husband

    January 7, 2017

    “Do you cook for yourself?”  a new acquaintance asks me. I smile to myself. She has no idea. She has opened the door wide. I begin: “No, I do not cook. My husband did everything with joy and skill for the entire time of our marriage.” I have one subject that fills my soul: the […]

  • One Mother’s Grief: Embracing ‘Fierce Growth’

    January 6, 2017

    A lightning bolt ripped through me and froze my being as I listened to the piercing words of my friend. “Your daughter has been in a bike accident. She died.” I felt everything and I felt nothing. The grieving started with a pattern of feeling split wide open, raw, bleeding; then followed moments of nothing […]

  • My Second Chapter: Life, Marriage, Family

    January 4, 2017

    Many people ask me, What’s it really like being re-married? My widow(er) friends want to know if I’m as happy as I was in my first marriage, if I compare my two husbands, why I’d risk being a widow again, and most importantly, if my new husband is understanding. Can you talk about James with him? […]

  • David Meagher: Children and Pet Loss

    December 7, 2016

    How can you help children address pet loss? David Meagher, a professor emeritus at The City University of New York, explains that pets genuinely become part of a family. The grief many feel for their pets is on par with grief they may feel for a close family member. Dr. Gloria Horsley of the Open […]

  • December is the Longest Month of Grief

    December 6, 2016

    December is the most difficult time of year for those of us who have children who are physically no longer with us. For me it begins in late September, with the anniversary of the day my son Richard died. Followed by Halloween. Richard loved Halloween…he took a lot of pleasure in introducing his youngest daughter to […]

  • What Do the First Five Years Look Like?

    November 29, 2016

    Exactly five years ago today, our daughter, Becca, left this earth. I have been doing a lot of thinking and reflecting, trying to put so many abstract thoughts and feelings into something concrete, like words on a page. How is my life different now, besides the obvious? What is good, what is bad, and what […]

  • Valarie Molaison: Communicating with Children after a Suicide

    November 28, 2016

    How can you talk to children following a suicide? That’s the question Dr. Heidi Horsley tackles with Dr. Valarie Molaison, the clinical director at Supporting Kids, a non-profit based in Delaware. She’s also a licensed psychologist and a specialist in grief and loss. Suicide is a stigmatized loss already. Should children be told the truth […]

  • Thanksgiving Darkness

    November 24, 2016

    Coming home after work in late November, I hear the sounds of children laughing and look down from the BART station at the playground of St. Leander’s School. Children are running around, playing kickball, and delighting in life. My wife Evelyn tutored at the school after hours for several years as her health slowly improved […]

  • Lunch Date with Resilience: Sisu After Pregnancy Loss

    November 8, 2016

      “I like the concept of Sisu: perseverance, guts, determination. But I also think that’s what gets me in trouble.” With family hailing from Finland, Sisu is a common household word, encouraging bravery and resilience. But for my new friend, Heather, it’s extra pressure that makes her feel like she should be able to “do […]

  • Christmas Grief

    November 1, 2016

    Even though our daughter, Cyndi, died over 11 years ago, the season of Christmas is still the hardest time for me.  Remembering our little girl opening presents and playing with her five siblings as a child still sears my mind, and constricts my heart.  My husband and I were blessed with six children in 12 […]

  • Día de Muertos: Eat, Speak, and Remember

    October 28, 2016

    The Oxford English dictionary defines “remember” as to “have in or be able to bring one’s mind an awareness of someone or something from the past.” I have thought a lot about remembering or memory since our son Mack died on New Year’s Eve 2012, two weeks shy of his 9th birthday. Often a memory […]

  • Adult Children and the Loss of Elderly Parents

    October 22, 2016

    Registered drama therapist and licensed counselor Deborah Antinori discusses the loss of elderly parents with Dr. Heidi Horsley. As adult children, losses can be minimized and disenfranchised. Loved ones don’t offer the same level of support or seem to worry as much about adult children compared to teens and young children—however, our parents are our […]

  • Families For Safe Streets: Preventing the Death of a Child

    October 20, 2016

    The Families for Safe Streets was founded by a group of bereaved parents committed to increasing their children’s safety. Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Amy Cohen—Sammy’s mother—who works closely with this organization. She’s a founding member, along with Dana Lerner (mother of Cooper) who’s a psychotherapist. Sammy was killed while crossing the street in […]

  • How Child-Loss Changes Your Relationships

    October 5, 2016

    There is a great divide between the relationships I have with those in my life six years ago and those just getting to know me. The more time that passes since watching my son take his last breath, the greater this divide grows.  I was reminded of this today when confronted with some difficult situations […]

  • From Motherless to ‘Motherfull’

    September 25, 2016

    Knowing our role or function among our friends and family isn’t something we intentionally think about; it’s just natural. Knowing our role at work is necessary and obvious. I didn’t realize every character (aka: people around me) in my story (aka: life) had been playing a role in my life for years. Not just Mom, […]

  • When Sorrow and Joy Collide: Coping with Opposite Emotions

    September 23, 2016

    In 2007, my husband and I became guardians of our twin grandchildren. Our elder daughter, their mother, died from the injuries she received in a car crash. Six months later the twin’s father died from the injuries he received in a car crash. Two more family members died as well, and we were stunned by […]

  • Birds in the Rain: Discovering Serendipity After Pet Loss

    September 22, 2016

    The Eternal Rock When I woke up on Easter Sunday morning, one of the first things that I did was open the drapes covering our French door and said “Good Morning Bootsy.” I uttered those same words to our cat every day for twenty plus years of my life.  This morning was different however; I […]

  • My Ten-Year Journey After Losing My Daughter

    September 18, 2016

    I experienced the saddest moments of my life, as the unthinkable happened to my family, when Samar, my 18-year-old daughter died ten years ago. I never thought that what happened to some parents would ever happen to us. But it did. The death of my youngest daughter was the biggest blow I had in my […]

  • Active Grieving Can Help After Sibling Loss

    September 17, 2016

    “Every loss is unique. The truth is, the worst loss is the one that is happening to you, the one that has picked you up and thrown you down and left you struggling to put your life back together.” (Devita-Raeburn, 2004, p. 184) When I was 20 years old, I was awakened in the middle […]

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  • When Tragedy Strikes By Laura Diehl

    November 28, 2016

    After the death of a child, there is no closure. It is like learning how to live with an amputation—you are forever changed and need to learn how to live a new “normal.” There can be a feeling of desperation to find someone farther ahead on the path who can understand the crushing pain that […]