• Hope

    After Loss of a child

After Loss of a child

We know the pain can be unbearable. Read stories and find community. You need not be alone in your journey.

Articles

  • Forgiveness in Grief

    September 2, 2015

    I visited my 95-year old grandmother recently. She lives over 300 miles from me, so I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like. As we sat catching up, she mentioned that she had been having more and more thoughts about times earlier in life when, in her words, she did things that […]

  • R-A-W Emotions

    August 27, 2015

    We often hear that the death of a loved one brings people closer together. When we feel safe and can share with others, we move in and out of grief feeling supported and stable in the love that we have for the deceased. If people are fighting instead, feelings of loss may be compounded. In […]

  • What Prison Inmates Taught Me about Drug Addicts

    August 27, 2015

    Normally when I write, I write from the standpoint of someone who has lost a child to cancer. But tonight I am compelled to write from a different perspective for parents who have lost a child to drug addiction. Allow me to explain. Prior to my Anthony’s death, I had always been a work-a-holic, single […]

  • Scripting Our Own Paths After The Death of Our Children

    August 17, 2015

    My sincere and heartfelt thanks to both Susan Roback and Patty Furino for inspiring much of the content for this post. Deepening Bonds and  Linking Objects The relationship that I continue to share with my daughter Jeannine following her death in 2003 has on most days, allowed me to embrace a peaceful perspective.  As part of our […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Don Lipstein: Losing a Soldier Son to Suicide

    July 27, 2015

    In this episode of The Open to Hope Radio show, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Don Lipstein, who is a Peer Mentor Support and Training Coordinator for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Military Loss (TAPS). Lipstein began working with TAPS in the summer of 2012, shortly after the suicide death of his […]

  • 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 […]

  • Richard Sightings

    July 20, 2015

    Soon after my beloved son Richard died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism at age 46 in September of 2014, my family and I began experiencing what we call ‘Richard Sightings’. For us, a ‘sighting’ is a coincidence or synchronicity that reminds us of him or causes us to feel his presence. Richard was my only […]

  • Sherry Cassedy: Spiritual Journey After the Loss of a Son

    July 17, 2015

    This Open to Hope Radio show episode showcases the interview of Sherry Cassedy, JD, MA by Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley. Dr. Cassedy has practiced law for nearly 30 years, and owns a mediation/private judging practice in the Palo Alto area. A certified yoga instructor, she excels in combining yoga philosophy with spiritual guidance in […]

  • Memoir of a Spirit

    July 6, 2015

    Many of us grapple with the thought of our own mortality. It’s a frightening unknown cloaked in mystery, but it doesn’t have to be. My son, Erik, took his own life just after his 20th birthday. Since he was 14 years old, he struggled with severe bipolar disease. On top of this, he had odd […]

  • 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 […]

  • A Father ‘Hears From’ His Deceased Son on Father’s Day

    June 15, 2015

    Hi Dad, I have been thinking awhile of what I would write to you on Father’s Day, what I want to tell you, as well as what you need to hear.  For Father’s Day, a day that you have never embraced since the loss of your father so long ago, God has finally let me […]

  • 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 […]

  • Renaming the Stages of Grief

    April 28, 2015

    Chances are, you’ve heard of the stages of grief Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced in her 1969 book, “On Death and Dying.” The stages are: 1. Denial 2. Anger 3. Bargaining 4. Depression 5. Acceptance It is a very nice idea that you can break grief down into defined segments that have a clear beginning and […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Finding Christmas and Peace after the Death of a Child

    December 12, 2014

    Decades have passed since my infant daughter’s first Christmas. Baby Helen was only a month old when Christmas came. Because my husband and I were financially strapped, there were few presents under the tree, and most were for the baby. When I went to bed on Christmas Eve, I barely slept. All I could think […]

Open to Hope Radio

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 45: The Compassionate Friends: Groups Helping Parents, Siblings and Grandparents

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Michele Muro and Babe-Anthony Muro, bereaved parent and stepparent of Lori who was killed in an automobile accident while serving in the U.S. Navy. Also on the show are Arnie and Varda Wendorf. Their daughter Lauren was also killed in an automobile accident. Michele […]

  • Episode 43: Military Related Suicide

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Janet Burroway, New York Times best selling author, her book “Losing Tim” a memoir about the death of her oldest son, Tim, a U.S. soldier and contractor who served in Iraq and died by suicide in 2004 at age 40. They then show a […]

  • Episode 42: Saving At Risk Children

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Tashel Bordere Ph.D., CT regarding her work in death, dying and bereavement with black families. A video clip is shown featuring Harlem Mother’s S.A.V.E. followed by an interview with founder Jackie Rowe-Adams bereaved mother of Anthony and Tyrone who lost their lives to gun […]

  • 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 […]