Open to Hope Radio

  • Alternative Healing After Loss: Karen Noe

    April 23, 2015

    Karen Noe is a renowned New Jersey-based psychic medium, spiritual counselor, and healer. She is the founder of the Angel Quest Center in Ramsey NJ, where she teaches classes, gives readings, and practices alternative healing. She hosts The Angel Quest radio show and is the author of a number of books including “Your Life After […]

  • Growing From Life’s Disappointments: Harriet Hodgson

    April 16, 2015

    Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance writer for more than 36 years. She is the author of 33 published books, including eight grief resources. Her latest resource is Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss. Harriet has had numerous loses, including the death of her daughter. Harriet and her husband raised their twin […]

  • Creating a Grieving Sanctuary: Alexandra Kennedy MA MFT

    April 9, 2015

    Alexandra Kennedy MA MFT is a psychotherapist and author of Honoring Grief: Creating a Space to Let Yourself Heal, Losing a Parent, The Infinite Thread: Healing Relationships Beyond Loss,and How Did I Miss All This Before? Waking Up to the Magic of Our Ordinary Lives. She offers a unique perspective to grieving through her work […]

  • Writing Through Losses: Neil Chethik

    April 2, 2015

    Neil Chethik is the author of the book, FatherLoss: How Sons of All Ages Come to Terms With the Deaths of Their Dads. He is the articles editor of the Open to Hope website. He is also a bereaved sibling. In 2011, his brother Peter died at the age of 55 after 35 years of […]

  • Assisted Suicide and Grief: Dr. Robert Liner

    March 26, 2015

    Dr. Robert Liner is a graduate of Stanford University, Honors in Humanities, and the University of Rochester Medical School. He practiced and taught ob/gyn twenty years in San Francisco, was in private practice in the bay area, and served on the faculty of UCSF in their Prenatal Diagnostic Center. He is now retired and volunteers […]

  • Continuing Bonds After Death: Brittany Trauthwein

    March 19, 2015

    Brittany Trauthwein M.A. specializes in grief and loss and end of life matters. Her research was influenced by her own grief journey after the loss of family members. She studies how individuals continue bonds with loved ones who have passed away, particularly adult children remaining in relationship with deceased parents.

  • Grief Support: Lori Chinitz

    March 5, 2015

    Lori Chinitz is a Healing From the Core Certified Instructor, and Physical Therapist. Lori’s strengths as an instructor and practitioner flow out of her capacity to witness and support each person’s unique journey. Her gentle, down to earth style has often been a key to unlocking deeper doorways to healing.

  • Healing Through Grief: Sherry Cassedy

    February 26, 2015

    Sherry Cassedy, JD, MA, has practiced law and mediation for 29 years and currently has a mediation and private judging practice in Palo Alto, CA.  She is also a certified yoga instructor and spiritual guide, weaving yoga philosophy through her classes and offering spiritual guidance and seasonal retreats on spiritual topics.  She is the bereaved […]

  • Spirituality and Grief: Lisa Irish

    February 12, 2015

    Lisa Irish is no stranger to loss. At age 2, her mother’s paralyzing car accident changed a normal childhood. At 11, her father died, and at 25, her mother died. She learned to look through the lens of loss, felt its power and trusted its teaching. Today she understands herself as a woman of hope […]

  • Teen Grief and the Internet: Ilene Cupit

    January 29, 2015

    Dr. Illene Noppe Cupit is a Professor of Human Development at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. She teaches Dying, Death & Loss and recently coedited Dying, Death and Grief in an Online Universe. She founded Camp Lloyd for grieving children and adolescents, and is the past President of the Association for Death Education and Counseling.

  • Military Loss of a Son: Don Lipstein

    January 22, 2015

    Don Lipstein, is a Peer Mentor Support and Training Coordinator for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Military Loss (TAPS).  Don joined the TAPS Team in July, 2012, after receiving support due to the suicide death of his oldest son, Joshua.  He plays an important role in providing hope and healing to military survivors […]

  • Military Loss of a Spouse: Kim Ruocco MSW

    January 15, 2015

    Kim Ruocco MSW, is the Manager for Suicide Outreach and Education Programs at The Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Military Loss (TAPS).  In 2005 her husband Major John Ruocco, U.S. Marine Corps, a decorated Cobra gunship pilot and father of two sons lost his life to suicide. He had returned from a tour in […]

  • Wellness and Grief: Dr. Jane Bissler

    January 8, 2015

    Dr. Jane Bissler, LPCC, is a clinical counselor and the clinical director for Counseling for Wellness, LLP and Kelly’s Grief Center, a not-for-profit organization counseling those who have experienced the heartbreaking reality of the death of a loved one. Her latest book is for children titled:  Hoover and Honeybunch Find Comfort in a Sometimes Scary […]

  • Bereavement Support: Dr. Wendy Lichtenthal

    January 1, 2015

    Dr. Wendy Lichtenthal, PhD is a clinical psychologist who directs the Bereavement Clinic at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City.  Early losses have driven her to focus her research on developing effective interventions for the bereaved and identifying those in need of bereavement support.

  • Handling The Holidays After Loss: Melissa Pettignano

    December 25, 2014

    Melissa Pettignano is the CEO of MPettignano Enterprises, LLC. One of the biggest losses she had to deal with was losing a family member in the September 11th, 2001 World Trade Center Attacks. Melissa is an Award-Winning Professional Music Artist, Songwriter, Author, Entrepreneur, inspirational Speaker and Humanitarian.

Articles

  • A Post-Loss Walk through Memory Lane

    April 22, 2015

    As I passed their house gate, the heaviness in my heart amplified. I felt as if my heart was about to explode out of my body. I entered the house with my husband and congratulated the bride and groom and their parents and acted as normal as I could. The bride was my deceased daughter’s […]

  • 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 […]

  • Returning: When the Matriarch Dies

    April 11, 2015

    “Where are we going?” she asked again. “We are going to get your hair done,” I tell her for the third or fourth time in the last few minutes. I look over at my mother-in-law, “Min” as her grandchildren had renamed her. She nods and looks out the window. Her hair is a mat of […]

  • 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 […]

  • Mother’s Day: A Happy and Sad Occasion

    April 6, 2015

    One Mother’s Day after another passes by since I lost my daughter in September 2006. It does not get easier as years go by. How can this day not intensify my grief after losing one of my three children? Mother’s Day will never be the same ever! This day that used to bring me joy […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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, […]

  • After Loss: We Are Our Own Evidence

    February 20, 2015

    Validation Comes From Within If we need validation or proof of our own transformation after loss or other life altering events, we need look no further than ourselves.   We can only assess for ourselves the progress we have made on our journeys.  The validation from others regarding our progress is important but in reality it […]

  • Lent as a Verb, Not a Noun

    February 20, 2015

    In Christendom Lent, from the Latin for “forty,” is the annual season of fasting and penitence for 40 weekdays before Easter. But, as someone in mourning, I’m having a hard time thinking about giving up chocolate or staying off Facebook as anything as penitential as the sudden death of our son Mack, 8, on New […]

  • 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 […]

  • Cartoonist Keith Knight on How Words Live On

    February 9, 2015

    Keith Knight is a “gentleman cartoonist” whose various, nationally syndicated comics are published in the Washington Post, MAD, Daily Kos, Medium.com, and the Funny Times. Visit Keef on his website and watch the documentary on his work. A vet’s rates don’t come down just because it’s a dying rat Don’t rate a deathbed experience by the number of words exchanged Use a smart […]

  • 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 […]

  • Years After Daughter’s Death, an Extraordinary Day

    February 8, 2015

    I have been to our university’s graduation parties several times since my daughter passed away, but they were never held in the same hall that her high school graduation had taken place at. I did not step in that building since her graduation eight years ago. I woke up apprehensive of what was awaiting me […]

  • 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 […]

  • A Widow Goes Back to Work

    February 5, 2015

    When my husband died suddenly in 2000, the thought of walking on this earth 14 years later, much less enjoying a productive and rewarding life, seemed impossible. Never able to have children, John and I spent our 28 years of marriage entwined in each other’s lives. Losing him felt like I had lost myself and […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • When a Child Dies of Drug Addiction

    January 18, 2015

    Ben was an addict. That declaration is enormously painful and takes even more courage to write than Ben died at age nineteen. He was an honor student, football captain, neighborhood skateboard star, altar server, little league all-star, and lead singer in a punk rock band; he was handsome, popular, kind, and gentle. He was my […]

  • Remember Anyway

    January 15, 2015

    Remembering bears a weight of great responsibility and sometimes feels like a constant struggle to do justice to the memory of loved ones and all that they mean(t) to one’s life. Do we remember with painful grief? Do we seek healing to pay homage to the sanctity of life and those we have lost? Do […]

  • Is Grief Making You Feel Sick?

    January 13, 2015

    Recently I got an email from a woman who had lost her son a few years ago. She openly shared how much she had aged fast since her son’s passing. She listed a couple of her most urgent ailments and I quickly realized the process of grieving was taking its toll on her health. As […]

  • Writer Penny Slusher on Somber-Free Rites

    January 8, 2015

    Buying presents for the dead and gifting them; knowing your “mama dance” and texting as the deceased: this and more when memory artist, Nancy Gershman talks with writer and actress Penny Slusher about somber-free rites. Currently, Slusher is working on a one-woman show about the house she grew up in Bristol Tennessee, and how living with tragic events affected the family […]

  • Winter Without Son is Lusterless

    December 26, 2014

    When your child dies, the holidays quickly lose their luster. The entire spectrum of lights is muted to a dull gray, while the endless barrage of seasonal music only brings out the blues. When you combine that with freezing temperatures and the whirlwind of activities, it can lead to treacherous living conditions. Additionally, a string […]

  • Merry Christmas, Dad!

    December 25, 2014

    I sat in my car. I wasn’t sure I had the nerve to do it. I looked at the letter I held in my hand. Would this work? Could I possibly find peace after 26 years, merely by reading a letter aloud? It was a suggestion by a friend. Write your dad a letter and […]

  • How to Fill an Empty Stocking

    December 24, 2014

    It is the day after Thanksgiving, or “black Friday” as most of us refer to it these days. I imagine myself in my best holiday shopping outfit complete with new leather boots, a warm peacoat and a bright holiday scarf. I navigate the Vintage Faire Mall parking lot like a champion. With my non-fat, extra […]

  • Keep the Spirit of Your Loved One Alive at Christmas

    December 23, 2014

    When the holiday season arrives, it takes me back in time. It is a bittersweet relive of the memories of Christmas past. I gave birth to two sons, Chris was my youngest and Jason my first born. The boys were best friends and partners in crime. My holidays were full of joy and meaning because […]

  • We’ll Celebrate Her Life; We’ll Sing

    December 22, 2014

    When the doctor in the emergency room asked Dad, “How long has your daughter been drinking?”, it broke his heart and it made him mad. “You don’t know this girl,” he said. “You don’t know my daughter.” After Jilly died on July 3, 2014, Dad and I talked on the phone nearly every day for […]

  • How I Magically Found the Spirit of the Season

    December 21, 2014

    I thought this year was going to be different. The Thanksgiving holiday was here, and I showed no signs of the “Holiday Dreads.” That’s what I secretly call my emotional state when the holiday season arrives. You see, I am a 68 year old widow. I’ve been a widow since 2005, so I’m not a […]

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 40: Helping Families Deal With Drug and Alcohol Overdose

    January 14, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Barbara Allen whose son, Jim, overdosed on heroin and alcohol in 2003.  She is the founder of  “Shatter the Stigma” an organization with the goal of bringing the disease of addiction into the light of hope and healing.  Joining her on the show is […]

  • Episode 39: Finding Hope After Multiple Deaths

    January 14, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Jill Kraft Thompson an amazing woman who has re-built her life after losing five people she loved the most. She survived the car crash that killed five members of her family – her husband Bart, her two sons, Ben and Sam, her mom and […]

  • Episode 38: Traumatic Loss 9/11

    January 14, 2015

    On this show Dr. Heidi and Dr. Gloria Horsley interview Susan Esposito Lombardo whose father Billy Esposito, vice president and partner at Cantor Fitzgerald was killed on the 104th floor of the north tower on 9/11.  In his memory the family founded A Caring Hand, The Billy Esposito Foundation and Bereavement Program helping grieving children […]