• Hope

    After Loss of a spouse

After Loss of a spouse

Find hope and support by reading, listening and watching stories of spouse loss and recovery.

Articles

  • 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 […]

  • Homesick This Summer: Widows Miss Their Men

    July 17, 2016

      A few days ago, I boarded a flight to St. Louis to visit my son who had recently moved there for his job.  As I sat in my seat, a white-haired lady walked down the aisle of the plane, and she had a big smile on her face, like she was glad to see […]

  • Hope After the Loss of a Spouse

    May 27, 2016

    Artist, poet, and writer Laurel Diane Rund talks about finding hope once again after losing a spouse. Losing her husband took her on a journey to sorrow and personal transformation. According to a Chinese proverb, birds sing because they have a song—not an answer. Rund didn’t have any answers or know how to grieve. However, […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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, […]

  • 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: […]

  • Amy Florian: Finding Hope After the Loss of a Spouse

    March 23, 2016

    The founder and CEO of Corgenius, Amy Florian, shares her thoughts on losing a spouse and finding hope in the aftermath. As a bereavement consultant, she pursued her career based on her own experience. Her husband, John, was killed in an accident when they were in their 20s. She was shocked that the world kept […]

  • Stephanie Groepper: Spouse Loss

    February 29, 2016

    Losing a spouse is unexpected, since you see yourself growing old with this person. Dr. Heidi Horsley talks to Stephanie Groepper, a military widow. She’s a psychology student and the founder of Washington Warrior Widows, a non-profit for widows and widowers in Washington State. Groepper’s daughter is seven years old, and was only four months […]

  • Twelve Years Later: Love Really Is Both Sides Now

    February 20, 2016

      February is anniversary month, when loss rises like nausea, climbing and swelling until the day itself, February 21. This is the day my first husband Brett died of a brain tumor, a medulloblastoma. He was witty, green-eyed, and just shy of his fortieth birthday. I was 37, and our twins, well, they were less […]

  • A Letter to Myself (as a New Widow)

    January 9, 2016

    I’ve always been a planner. When I was 8, I had Christmas presents wrapped and cards made in July. When I was 14, I researched all of my college options. When I was 19 and graduated college, I knew that 26 was going to be the best year of my life. After all, at 26, […]

  • Grief and Healing: Against the Odds

    December 22, 2015

    This is my story of being widowed at 25 and again at 55, and the deaths of my beloved wives—the first in November 1984 and the second in February 2014.  It’s not only that I lost both of these women to an early death, but also that these relationships were once-in-a-lifetime love affairs. Becky and […]

  • Then and Now: The Roller Coaster of Being ‘Thankful’

    November 16, 2015

    THEN (2008) “Michelle? Are you there?” It was a good question. As the basket passes with blank cards – a tradition in our family for Thanksgiving – my arm seizes, refusing to lift itself and accept the basket. I know what is coming, and so the logical and emotional sides of my brain slip on […]

  • Letter to a Loved One, Twenty Years Later

    November 1, 2015

    Dear Joanne, Today marks twenty years since I walked you over the threshold and out of your life on this earth. It feels like yesterday. It feels like 100 years ago. I cried last night at the benefit for the Breast Cancer Fund. It’s complicated when I cry like that. I’m crying because you are […]

  • Spousal Loss: Spiritual and Physical Aspects of Loss

    September 25, 2015

    Body work expert Dr. Lyn Prashant joins Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley on this special episode of The Grief Relief show. Prashant lost her husband at a young age—they were both in their mid-30s when he passed away. She had worked in the grief field for years, and says that “talk therapy” was the standard […]

  • AmyJo Mattheis: Loss of Identity

    September 25, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley talked with AmyJo Mattheis about losing your identity in grief. When Mattheis’ father died, she kept getting the feeling that “he’ll come back.” A former pastor and teacher at Pacific University in California, Mattheis blends her theological background with her professorship. She’s the author of Religion Made Me Fat, and […]

  • Diane Dettmann: Sudden Death of a Husband

    September 24, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley welcome Diane Dettmann to The Open to Hope show. Dettmann lost her husband and literally wrote the book on it. She’s the author of Twenty-Eight Snow Angels: A Widow’s Story of Love, Loss and Renewal. It’s a memoir about the unexpected death of her husband, who was 54 when he […]

  • The Way Love Feels Now

    September 18, 2015

    Two years after my husband Vic’s death, I drive home to the Finger Lakes of New York after visiting my son in North Carolina. I’m on familiar roads, but get lost three times—once by turning too soon, twice by driving past my exit. Maybe I’m distracted by listening to a CD, but the real issue […]

  • Anne M. Carson: Writing Poems about Death of Beloved

    September 2, 2015

    Dr. Gloria Horsley interviews Anne M. Carson, a poet from Australia, at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. Carson lost her husband, which is what directed her latest work. However, she was a poet before this loss. In Australia, it’s a ten year apprenticeship to release a book of poetry, which Carson […]

  • Giving Back After Coping with a Loss with Dr. Janna Henning

    August 7, 2015

    When Dr. Janna Henning experienced her own loss, it encouraged her to help others in similar situations heal. Dr. Henning talked with Dr. Heidi Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. Dr. Henning was in a car crash when she was 22, and literally experienced having her best friend die on […]

  • Elaine Mansfield: Rituals after a Spouse-Loss

    July 25, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Elaine Mansfield during this episode of the Open to Hope Foundation show. Mansfield is an Open to Hope author and Jungian student of over 40 years. After losing her husband, she embarked on a personal journey for hope, healing and recovery. She met her husband when she was 21 […]

  • The Far Territories of Grief

    July 19, 2015

    I lay you down in the resting place. As for me, I will let my hair grow matted, put on a lion skin, and roam the steppe. — Epic of Gilgamesh, Tablet VIII In the early days of grief, it felt like I had been thrown into the far territories of human existence. No one knew what […]

  • ‘Lonely’ Not Powerful Enough Word to Describe Widowhood

    July 16, 2015

    Loneliness is not a surprising by-product of widowhood.  I mean, even for the people who have never been through it, it’s a no-brainer.  But frankly, I think that lonely is not a strong enough word. There is a deep silence that comes with losing your spouse.  And it doesn’t matter if you’re standing in the […]

  • Dawn Nargi and Roselyn Drake: Widows Helping Widows

    July 15, 2015

    In this episode of The Open to Hope show, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley talk with Dawn Nargi and Roselyn Drake about The W Connection. This organization began in 2009 “out of necessity,” says Nargi. She shares that in 2007, she and her husband became pregnant—their son was born two months premature. Shortly after bringing […]

  • Nancy Sharp: Both Sides Now

    July 9, 2015

    Nancy Sharp, author of Both Sides Now, talked to Dr. Heidi Horsley during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. The day Sharp gave birth to twins, she learned that her husband’s cancer had returned in full force. Holding both life and death in the same moment became the foundation of her birth. […]

  • Sheryl Sandberg Redefines Empathy in Eloquent Reflection on Grief

    June 20, 2015

    Sheryl Sandberg and Dave Goldberg Sheryl Sandberg’s recent Facebook post (bit.ly/sandbergempathy), written a month after her husband died, is a wise reflection on the rawness of grief — and a testament to the resiliency of those who grieve. Her heart-rending story gives us a hundred gifts, perhaps the greatest of which has not as much […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Holiday Letter to a Young Widow

    December 13, 2014

    Dearest Heart, This season reminds me of endings, but also of a December long ago that was a beginning. After one of the most challenging periods of Gary’s cancer and time at an alternative clinic, he returned looking much healthier. With both of us rested, we could breathe, share a beautiful Christmas, and re-embrace each […]

  • One Solstice: A Family Ritual of Love, Remembrance, and Hope

    November 27, 2014

    My son Anthony arrived from California around three a.m. After a few hours’ sleep, he woke up groggy-eyed, made a pot of coffee, and took a run. He didn’t have much to say, so I let my words rest. My sons and I have been through big changes since their dad, my husband Vic, died […]

Open to Hope Radio

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 86: Spouse Loss

    October 9, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interviewed Dawn Jiosi, creator of the New Dawn that was inspired by the shattering life events of her husband’s death eight years ago. Our second guests were Caryl Fried Feldmann and her daughter Sara Feldmann Sheehan, Executive Producer of Mortal, a film inspired by the […]

  • Episode 83: Spouse Loss

    August 21, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview bereaved spouses Audrey Pellicano. RN MS Health Counselor and educator, and Rabbi Jeffery Sirkman, Senior Rabbi of Larchmont Temple, regarding the challenges of lousing a spouse and how they have again found hope. Joining in the discussion of finding hope after the loss of a partner […]

  • Episode 79: Spouse Loss, What About Dating?

    July 1, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview three bereaved spouses; Dr. Joanne Moore, physical therapist and author of After the Loss of a Spouse: What’s Next?, comedian Carol Scibelli author of Poor Widow Me and her partner Mickey Bayard.  They discuss among other issues coping with spouse loss and dating.  The show will […]

  • Episode 70: Tuesday’s Children

    May 3, 2016

    On this show Dr’s, Gloria and Heidi Horsley discuss with Eileen Lynch MSW the loss of both her husband and brother-in-law on September 11, 2001 in the Twin Towers. The second guest is Sallie Lynch Development Consultant for Tuesday’s Children, Sallie discusses the lessons learned regarding community healing and resilience. A Tuesday’s Children video clip […]

  • Episode 46: Widow’s Helping Widows

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Dawn Nargi and Roselyn Drake how the loss of their husbands inspired them to help widows through The W Connection. The second guest will be Audrey Pellicano nurse, mother, wife and widow, who will give tips on how one can tap into the […]

  • 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 […]

  • For the Ones Left Behind: A Guide for Helping Loved Ones After a Death

    May 23, 2016

    A death can shatter the lives of those left behind. Now, there are so many things to do. Who do you call? Where do you start? How can you help? Managing to survive in the aftermath of a loved one’s death is a daunting task. For the Ones Left Behind, A Guide for Helping Loved […]

  • Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey Through Grief

    September 13, 2015

    Elaine Mansfield’s memoir, Leaning into Love: A Spiritual Journey Through Grief, won the Gold Medal 2015 IPPY (Independent Publisher’s Book Award) Award Winner for Aging/Death & Dying. Leaning into Love captures the heart—from the extraordinary closeness of Elaine’s marriage to how she and her husband Vic transform their struggle with cancer and despair into a […]