Articles

  • The Chauffeur’s Flower: Memories of an Early Loss

    July 26, 2014

    The day of my father’s funeral stands out in my mind. I remember blue sky and sunshine. It was six days after my eleventh birthday. At the end of the day, the chauffeur from the limousine handed me a carnation he had been wearing. I took it home, pressed it and always remembered the kindness […]

  • Colors of the Spirit: We Are All One in Grief

    July 24, 2014

    Embracing Sacred Law From July 11, 2014 through July 13,2014, I attended the 37th National Conference of The Compassionate Friends in Chicago, Illinois.I have been attending and presenting workshops for this great organization whose focus is to provide hope and support to families who have experienced the death of a child, since 2008. I always […]

  • Grief Down Under: Australians React to Malaysia Airlines Crash with Compassion

    July 24, 2014

    I arrived in Belgium on 9-11-01, a visitor in a foreign country during a tragically tumultuous time of loss and confusion. Last week, I awoke in Australia to another civilian disaster — the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines plane — with the same ingredients linking global grief and sorrow. Outcries once again echoed across […]

  • Adult Sibling Loss: Interview with Dr. Brenda Marshall

    July 22, 2014

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Dr. Brenda Marshall about adult sibling loss. Brenda got into this field when her younger brother Brent died eight years ago. It was then that she realized there’s not very much support for siblings. That realization called on her to ask the […]

  • Heaven…When Malaysian Plane Arrives

    July 21, 2014

    Darkness spread throughout heaven…and, all of heaven was filled with sadness…the moment when God heard his children on Malaysia flight number MH17 cry out for help…and, the angel choirs were silent…and, God wept openly for his children… God wept openly as he heard from the pilots, flight attendants, and passengers on the plane that was […]

  • The Malaysian Airlines Crash: Reflections on Grief After Tragedy

    July 20, 2014

    This past Thursday (7/18/14), Malaysian Airlines flight MH 17 was hit by a missile while flying over the Ukraine. All told, 298 individuals from 11 countries, including 80 children were killed. Recalling My Past When I first heard of this tragic event, I immediately recalled the terrorist attack involving Pan Am Flight 103 on December […]

  • Teens and Homicide: Interview with Dr. Tashel Bordere

    July 19, 2014

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Dr. Tashel Bordere about her work with teens and the effects of homicide on their lives. In the video below, Tashel shares some of the most important things she has learned during her work with teens and homicide. Here are some key […]

  • Uncovering The Richer Connections in Our Signs

    July 16, 2014

    An Empirical Man For the majority of my life, I never bought in to the idea that our loved ones could survive death by communicating their continued existence to us. I was too busy trying to handle my day-to-day responsibilities of being a son, husband, father, and addictions counselor to give much thought to what […]

  • My Sister Died and I Waited 16 Years to Deal With It

    July 7, 2014

    I never expected to make a documentary film about my family. I didn’t think of myself as someone who had a story to tell. My sister had died when I was ten years old and by that time her illness seemed pretty normal to me. Aimee was diagnosed with leukemia when I was two years […]

  • Five Years After Son’s Death, Dad Wonders if ‘the Blue Skies are Coming’

    July 2, 2014

      As the weather finally begins to catch up with the seasons, I find myself looking back. Beyond the still blue waters and flowered meadows. Back to the time when the only contrast to the vast expanses of ice were the dirt streaked mountains of accumulated snow. When I think about this year’s record snowfall […]

  • Malaysian Airlines Aftermath: A Grandmother’s Perspective

    July 2, 2014

    As soon as I heard a Malaysian Airlines flight 370 had been shot down, I thought of the survivors. I have some understanding of traumatic death because our daughter, the mother of our twin grandchildren, suddenly died in a car crash. The cause of death was “blunt force trauma,” three words I didn’t want to […]

  • Breaking the Rules of Grief

    June 30, 2014

    An excerpt from the Introduction of Breaking the Rules of Grief, A Bereaved Mother’s Journey.  By Shannon Harris I should begin by warning you that there will be no substantial evidence supporting the ideas in this book. These are all my conflicted thoughts in black and white, perfectly spaced in Times New Roman size 12. Should […]

  • God’s Plan in the Grocery Store

    June 24, 2014

    With my whole heart I can say that I am not afraid of anything in life now that I’ve watched my son die.  Nothing can ever be harder than that moment in time; therefore, I have nothing to fear.  Death itself no longer scares me, either, knowing he is waiting for me on the other […]

  • Reflections of my Independence as a Widow

    June 20, 2014

    I consider myself an independent woman, something that when I was a young girl I would have been very proud of.  I would have been proud of the fact that I had a good job, proud of the fact that I had my own place, proud of the fact that I supported myself, and that […]

  • Depression in the Workplace Can Be Fatal

    June 16, 2014

    with workplace commentary by Sandra Turner, Ph.D In the early morning hours on March 29, 1999, our son Keith died by suicide. Keith suffered from depression caused by the stress he experienced in his place of work—a company where he had worked for only a short seven months of his life. Growing up, Keith was […]

  • Father-Daughter Bond Continues Beyond the Grave

    June 15, 2014

    My last visit with my father began three days before his passing. I had known him as a man of few words, so the intensity and depth of the conversation we shared about the life we had spent together marked me indelibly. He emphasized that he wished he “had been able to do more [for […]

  • Resilience After Death of a Daughter

    June 14, 2014

    Life did not prepare me for August 15, 2001. In one moment on a very ordinary day, the world as I knew it inexplicably changed. I answered the phone to the panicked voice of a friend telling me that my 18-year-old and only daughter Ashley had been killed in an automobile accident. Little did I […]

  • My Father’s Final Gift

    June 14, 2014

    I would like to share my father’s final gift with you – a gift he unknowingly gave to me in death.  I received this most precious gift on a beautiful sunny day in April.  I’ll never forget the sky, it was so blue and the air was so crisp – God had created a simply gorgeous […]

  • Letter to a Lost Father

    June 13, 2014

    Dear Dad, It’s been 26 years since we last celebrated Father’s Day together. I think about your time here on Earth and I rejoice in your spirit. Born in the early 1900’s, you saw so many things. You were raised Jewish, yet you chose to let us be who we were; it did not matter […]

  • Sitting in the Dark with Maya Angelou

    June 11, 2014

    Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~Maya Angelou~ I’ve always had the feeling that life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you, give you experiences. They may not all be that pleasant, but nobody promised you a rose garden. But more than likely if you […]

  • Lucky Charms: It Isn’t Just a Cereal

    June 10, 2014

    LUCKY CHARMS: It isn’t just a Cereal “See a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck.” “Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back.” “When you see a hummingbird, think of me.” I grew up hearing the first of these two “sayings” from my father, which resulted […]

  • Grief and the Loss of Control

    June 9, 2014

    Possibly one of the hardest aspects of grief for me has been that I can’t control it. I spent the majority of my life trying desperately to control everything in it. I wanted life to be predictable and – above all – peaceful. The problem has been what I tried to control and how I’d […]

  • Comedy About Widowhood

    June 9, 2014

    Marriage jokes about her late husband’s snoring. Widow jokes about their one-sided conversations. This and more when memory artist, Nancy Gershman talks with standup comedian and attorney, Anita Milner about roasting beloved partners who die. Anita works with many widowed men and women – from the well-adjusted to the lonely hearts. Visit Anita on www.anitamilner.com. Passing away quickly? […]

  • A Marriage Survives the Loss of a Child

    June 4, 2014

    We have been traveling this grief journey after the death of our son, Clint, for seven years. We didn’t know what to expect along the way for ourselves or for the marriage. In the beginning, we stayed together because we had no energy to do otherwise. Then the suggestion was offered, to stay together because […]

  • Messages of Love

    June 3, 2014

    Over the years since my son’s death by overdose in 2004, I have received many messages and signs from him. Some have come in dreams, some through songs on the radio. Perhaps the most powerful of all have been the heart-shaped stones and shells washed up by the sea to remind me that love never […]

  • Unravelling of Life … My Sweater

    June 3, 2014

    The sweater clothed me It sheltered me daily It covered my wounds It kept me safe It was comfortable   The occasional yarns that dangled or sprout forth Were quickly yanked away or shorn down No need for them. What I had clothed me   One day Father Jim hugged me A priest on a […]

  • Make Time Matter: A Lesson from My Dad

    June 2, 2014

    My father died from complications of bowel cancer, and I held his hand as he took his final breath. Being there, as hard as it was to experience, was a gift to me, and he told me that it was also a gift to him. He endured some very real physical pain and also the […]

  • How to Feel Better in Less Than an Hour

    May 31, 2014

    I often read internet postings from fellow bereaved parents expressing the terrible pain they are feeling after the loss of a child. I hear it in support groups and have lived through it myself. My son, Anthony, died when he was five years old to leukemia four years ago. As I hear and read these […]

  • Why Happy New Year is Tough on Bereaved Parents

    May 30, 2014

    When the ball at Times Square drops, champagne corks pop. Ample hugs and kisses are dispensed all around. A new year, new hope, new ventures, new possibilities. Wow, it’s all so exciting! However, for the parent who has lost a child in the previous year, the dawning of a new calendar year can be rough. […]

  • When a Mentor Dies

    May 29, 2014

    A special kind of pain is felt when your mentor’s time on earth is through. Whether the person is famous (like writer Maya Angelou) or a family member, the loss can throw you into a tailspin of sadness. Often times, when we are grieving a great teacher or guide, we are not only grieving the […]

  • Maya Angelou’s Death: Grieving Someone You’ve Never Met

    May 29, 2014

    With the death of Maya Angelou this week, millions of her advocates and fans will be mourning the loss of an exceptional woman. This grief may, to some, seem misplaced. Because, when any public figure passes a wave of “grief judgment” often follows, from family members, the media, even friends. People question the validity of […]

  • Playwright Ann Randolph on Writing about Grief

    May 28, 2014

    How is a performance and a post-show creative writing workshop sparking a national discourse on grief? This and more when memory artist Nancy Gershman sits down with playwright and comedian, Ann Randolph to talk about her one-woman show, LOVELAND – and the transformative and healing power of writing about grief.  Learn more about Randolph’s week-long “Write Your Life”workshops, by visiting […]

  • Grief as a Backpack

    May 27, 2014

    People seem to think the ache of missing our children would become more bearable over time. It doesn’t. In fact, some of my days now are more painful as the years go on, because I’m further and further since I last held my son safely in my arms. You’d think after all this time I’d […]

  • The Upside of Sadness in Our Grief Journeys

    May 19, 2014

    Entitled No More During the last few days of my existence, I have experienced more sadness than usual. Considering that I am a parent whose child died  over 11 years ago, I could justify my sadness as something that I was entitled to because of my daughter Jeannine’s death. However, entitlement hasn’t been a part […]

  • Healing Through Art: Interview with Sharon Strouse

    May 18, 2014

    At the annual ADEC Conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Sharon Strouse of The Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation and discuss with her ways to deal with grief after losing a child. Sharon is also the author of a book called Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing. Using her book, anyone can create their […]

  • Death, Dying and Grief in an Online Universe: Interview with Carla Sofka

    May 18, 2014

    At the annual ADEC Conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Carla Sofka and discuss with her how to deal with grief. Carla is the editor of the book Dying, Death, and Grief In An Online Universe. This book looks at grieving in an online world and talks about how it is affecting the […]

  • 3 Ways To Find Hope After Loss: Interview with Dr. David Meagher

    May 18, 2014

    At the annual ADEC Conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. David Meagher and discuss with him ways that people can find hope again after loss. Dr. Meagher is a pediatric surgeon who practices in Ohio, but he is originally from New York.  I’m a fellow New Yorker as well, and as we […]

  • What Gives Hope: Interview with Nancy Gershman, Memory Artist

    May 18, 2014

    For Open To Hope Foundation’s “What Gives Hope?” video, artist Nancy Gershman tells founder Gloria Horsley that her prescriptive photomontages give three reasons to hope.  From what she’s learned from her end of life clients and their bereaved families, these portraits are: Tangible objects that are wearable, mail-able, and displayable., but you can also talk to […]

  • Talking to Children about Suicide

    May 17, 2014

    Children and Suicide in Today’s World The topic of suicide and children is one that has been approached with great difficulty. All too often parents, educators, therapists, and other caring professionals are unwilling or unable to speak of the issues surrounding suicide with today’s youth. Yet in our nation and in our world the young […]

  • The Faces of Disenfranchised Grief: An Interview with Peggy Sapphire

    May 17, 2014

    The following are introductory remarks by Peggy Sapphire, author of two poetry collections (A Possible Explanation, Partisan Press, In the End a Circle, Antrim House ’09). I got into the field of death and dying to explore of my own “disenfranchised grief. In my case, my ex-spouse, diagnosed over the last seven years, with two […]

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  • Navigating Grief and Trials: Kathleen D. Hamilton

    July 24, 2014

    Kathleen D. Hamilton has suffered a number of tragedies including the deaths of her mother and twelve year old daughter.  She has coped with a brain-injured son and has grieved two broken marriages. Reaching out to help others she has been a facilitator with “The Compassionate Friends” and has worked in the funeral industry. She […]

  • Finances after Loss: Aaron Britz

    July 10, 2014

    Aaron Britz was 6 years old, when he lost his 62-year-old grandfather to a brain tumor. During the days and years that followed he watched his grandmother struggle with finances. This experience inspired him to become a financial planner specializing in helping people in grief, loss, or transition.  He is the President of Legacy Wealth […]

  • Handling Grief, Loss of Our Parents: Nina Impala

    July 3, 2014

    Nina Impala has both personal and professional experience with bereavement.  She has lost both parents and has recruited and trained hospice volunteers.  Nina is a Spiritual Grief Counselor who gives people tools to cope through her process of using HeartSight™.  She is the author of Dearly Departed: What I Learned About Living From The Dying.

  • Julie Saeger Nierenberg: Death of My Dad

    June 26, 2014

    Julie is a writer, editor and author coach. Inspired by the journey of love and release through her father’s end of life. Julie writes to contribute to a cultural shift in how we prepare ourselves and support others in the final chapter of life. She is the author of Daddy, this is it. Being-with My […]

  • Jill Kraft Thompson Rebuilding A Life After Losing Five People

    June 19, 2014

    Jill Kraft Thompson had a life filled with love: an adoring husband, two young precious sons, a devoted mother, and a close extended family. Jill’s story begins as everyone’s worst nightmare. In 2002 she lost five close family members in a car crash that she survived. Her beloved young sons, husband, mother and niece were […]

  • Brenda Marshall Ph.D.: Death of an Adult Sibling

    June 12, 2014

    Brenda Marshall Ph.D. is a speaker, coach and educator in the field of bereavement. Her interest in providing help to others, who have lost a sibling, came after the sudden death of her younger brother Brent. She is the author of Adult Sibling Loss:Stories, Reflections and Ripples.

  • Danita Ogandaga: Overcoming the Orphaned Spirit

    June 5, 2014

    Danita Ogandaga is the founder Hope Starts Today and the Orphan No More podcast. She lost both of her parents by the age of twenty-one. She teaches on the topics of grief, restoration, hope and resilience. She is the author of the audio book Overcoming the Orphan Spirit.

  • Susan Anderson: Abandonment Recovery

    May 29, 2014

    Susan Anderson is a psychotherapist, speaker and author.  She uses her personal experience and research to work with the victims of abandonment trauma, including divorce and death. She is the founder of the abandonment recovery movement.

  • Beth Marshall: Getting Unstuck from Grief

    May 22, 2014

    When Beth Marshall lost both her parents within a few short years, she searched for light at the end of the tunnel… hoping it wasn’t a train! Surviving loss, recovery and ultimately finding new purpose led her to write A Time to Heal, a grief journal.

  • Pilgrimage Through Loss

    June 10, 2014

      Linda Lawrence Hunt’s book, Pilgrimage through loss is available here.