Articles

  • Grieving Especially Tough During Easter Season

    April 12, 2014

    While most of us prepare for the Easter season, some people are struggling to survive the death of a loved one. I dedicate the entire month to everyone suffering with grief and sorrow. I too am grief-stricken and I too find April to be a difficult month, especially this year. This month marks the 10th […]

  • Can the Cycle of Domestic Violence be Broken?

    April 10, 2014

    If you or someone you know suffered domestic violence, ask yourself: Have I imitated violence in my home? And will my children do the same when they have their own homes? Have we mimicked violence or victimization from others and will our children do the same? It is up us to analyze our own situations […]

  • After Losing a Child to Violence

    April 2, 2014

    There is hope despite injustice for victims of crime. If you or someone you know experienced the loss of a child, then you can relate to this article. I never imagined that I would experience the devastation of losing a child at the hands of a cold-blooded killer. We sacrificed and worked hard to keep […]

  • Sister Unloads Grief Years After Brother’s Suicide

    August 7, 2013

    I was a sweet, blue-eyed seven-year-old girl watching The Parent Trap while my big brother was babysitting. He got me a cup of water after asking if there was anything I needed. Little did I know my answer should have been, “I need my big brother.” Only minutes later I heard a heart-stopping, deafening boom. […]

  • Poem: The Thief

    July 8, 2013

    The night was cold, the fire burning old And the shepherd couldn’t take his eyes off his flock His stare was dry, life the air of the night And his head he was able to move, could not. He was aware of the dangers Of the night’s freezing strangers So he had extra help, his […]

  • Poem: Whisper Goodnight

    July 3, 2013

    Whisper Goodnight Now I’m strapped to the bark of Innocent trees While evil angels commit to do their Evil deeds They mock the obscenities of Torturing screams— And they sing me to silence with their Sweet lullabies As fire is already burning At my side And all I can do is Whisper goodnight As they […]

  • After Boston, is Anyone Safe?

    April 27, 2013

    When I saw my daughter’s question on facebook after the Boston Marathon Bombing last week, I knew she was expressing a universal feeling of sadness and anxiety about the world we now live in. I knew she was worrying about the safety of the world my 4-year-old grandson is growing up in. As a Bostonian, […]

  • In Solidarity with the Boston Survivors

    April 23, 2013

    None of us are exempt from potential tragedy and no matter how close a relationship we have with our loved ones, or even with God, it does not keep us from experiencing tragedy from time to time. Nothing guarantees that we’ll be protected from harm. We see that in the news every day. Whether by […]

  • Pearls in Prison: Mother Opposes Parole for Son’s Murderer

    March 11, 2013

    My sisters, Sheridan, Michele and Kristin, have passed on my mother’s pearls to me. I wear them when I feel I need extra love and energy. I wore them to the parole hearing on July 26, 2012. The parole hearing brought up a lot of feelings, thoughts and memories my family and I have not […]

  • Here We Go: Mother Prepares for Parole Hearing for Son’s Murderer

    March 10, 2013

    I was visiting with my sisters in Seattle when a certified letter arrived in our mailbox back home. I had been checking the Parole Hearing website from Seattle and nothing was showing the schedule. Getting a certified letter is always unsettling, so when my husband Gary told me about mine, I was upset. What was this […]

  • Being Available to Others While Conserving My Strength

    February 11, 2013

    Since September, 2012, I have been writing a series of articles entitled, “A Forever Decision” based on my experience of losing my beloved dog Camilla. In October, I found that my Uncle Steve has terminal cancer. Uncle Steve is my favorite uncle and is one of the most important people in my life. I continued […]

  • Losing My Sister: A Boston Vigil

    January 27, 2013

    Below is an excerpt from With and Without Her: A Memoir of Being and Losing a Twin.  The piece begins the day my sister, a psychologist, was fatally shot by one of her patients.  My husband, Dan, and I have traveled from Knoxville, Tennessee, to the Lowell, Massachusetts, hospital where my sister lies dying. It […]

  • Newtown vs. San Francisco 49ers: How I Learned to Love Football-Dr Gloria

    January 8, 2013

    After two horrific days of watching the news and blogging for The Huffington Post and my site www.Opentohope.com and several Facebook sites, it was time to take a break and hang out with my husband, daughter, granddaughter, son-in-law and two grandsons. The men in the family are avid football fans. We live across the street from our […]

  • America Mourns Together and Heals Together

    December 17, 2012

    America is again shaken by the senseless deaths of loved ones in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre that resulted in the murder of 26 adults and young children. It is especially unnerving as those who were shot and those who died were doing an activity familiar to all of us: attending […]

  • Sandy Hook: As Senseless as it Gets

    December 16, 2012

    The Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting is about as senseless as senseless can get. After killing his mother at home, the murderer travels to the school to deliberately target the kindergarten students. There is still a question as to what connection his mother had with the class. The more we hear about this horrific crime, […]

  • September 25: Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims

    September 25, 2012

    September 25th is the national day of remembrance for all murdered victims. This year will mark the fifth year of a national day of remembrance to those victims our nation lost to murder. Communities across the nation will hold services throughout the day to remember loved ones who were murdered. Some will be candlelight vigils, […]

  • Aurora Tragedy Reminds Us What to Say to Bereaved — and What Not to Say

    July 23, 2012

    The massacre in Aurora, Colorado, brings up the idea of the fragility of life. Finding the “right” words to say to a grieving person can be a struggle. You want to offer comfort, but aren’t quite sure how to go about it. After losing my daughter, father-in-law, brother, and former son-in-law in 2007, I received […]

  • A New Year’s Hope: Prayer for Peace

    December 31, 2011

    Prayer for Peace If there is to be peace in the world, There must be peace in the nations. If there is to be peace in the nations, There must be peace in the cities. If there is to be peace in the cities, There must be peace between neighbors. If there is to be […]

  • Murder Victims and Letting Go of Regret

    December 14, 2011

    This past week, I spoke with a woman who was in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. Although she just got a restraining order, she regrets not getting out the relationship sooner. He tried to kill her and it was only after she almost died, that she went to the police. I also spoke with […]

  • Turning a Corner?

    December 8, 2011

    My sister, Sandra, was murdered. I say it, I write, I think it, and still, 26 months after her death, I have moments that I can’t believe it happened. I have moments that it still seems surreal. I have moments that I ask myself, how did this happen to my sister, our family. I did […]

  • Sister is Gone, Her Legacy is Immortal

    November 22, 2011

    “What we do for ourselves dies with us. What we do for others and the world, remains and is immortal”. ~ Albert Pine When I heard those words, I immediately thought about my sister. Sandra was a school teacher. She taught school for well over 30 years. She was passionate about her work, her students. […]

  • Aftershock of a Murder

    November 13, 2011

    It will soon be 26 months since my beautiful sister, Sandra, lost her life by the hands of a murderer. I think back on the last 26 months and all that happened, all I learned. I often described those months as a rollercoaster. Emotions and feelings were up and down, up and down. Lately, I’ve […]

  • Murder-Suicide: Family and Friends Faced with Questions

    October 20, 2011

    The Friedlanders were a family of four in Cross River, NY. They were found dead today in their home in an affluent suburb after what appeared to be a murder-suicide. Dad killed Mom with a 12 gauge-shot gun and then killed their two children, Molly, who was ten and her brother Gregory, who was only […]

  • October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month

    October 19, 2011

    Last week, Gloria Horsley invited me to the New Jersey Chapter of Compassionate Friends. Ed Pederson presented a concert on grief and loss and his songs were amazing. Thank you Gloria for asking me to attend this special night. As I introduced myself to those in the support group, they shared with me how much […]

  • Homicide: An introduction

    October 17, 2011

    Welcome to Open to Hope’s new blog for those whose lives have been touched by homicide, which is an intentional traumatic death. It refers to when one human being kills another human being. I want to start by sharing some information about homicide, which is the 15th leading cause of death. It can be justifiable […]

  • Guilty! Sister Comforted That Murderer is Confined Forever

    September 16, 2011

    The trial for my sister’s murderer ended yesterday. It was a very intense week to say the least. The state rested about 3:30 pm. The case was turned over to the jury about 4 pm. We waited. I felt confident. I knew the prosecutors had done their very best. Still we waited. Finally, about 4 […]

  • 10 Years Later, 9/11 Memories are Razor Sharp

    September 11, 2011

    Today is the 10th anniversary of the terror attack on the World Trade Center. Our hearts go out even now to the thousands of people who died that day: children, husbands, wives, sisters, brothers and friends. So many people mourned, are still mourning and will never forget the worst terrorist act on American soil. I […]

  • The 10th Anniversary of 9/11: How You Can Help

    September 8, 2011

    On September 11, 2011, we remember the 10th anniversary of the day when nearly 3,000 victims were killed after two airliners were crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City, another plane hit the Pentagon, and a final plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania. In 2001, the barrage of bruising images from […]

  • After 700 Days, a Jury Trial for Man Accused

    September 7, 2011

    On August 24, 2011, I attended our 8th pre trial hearing for my sister’s murderer.  Our first jury trial date was June 7, 2010, only to be continued until June 21, 2010, only to be continued to September 13, 2010, only to be continued until November 29, 2010, only to be continued until March 7, […]

  • Norway Killings: The ‘Why’ Lingers

    August 2, 2011

    When I first heard the news about the senseless murders in Norway, my thoughts immediately went to the survivors of the murdered people: the shock, the disbelief, the surreal  feelings they must be experiencing.   Followed by the questions, why, who, why, why, why!   Fortunately, the who has been answered. The why will linger for weeks […]

  • Mass Murder in Norway Triggers Anticipatory Grief

    July 30, 2011

    The recent murders of innocent children and adults in Oslo, Norway, are a national tragedy.  Like September 11th, this tragedy causes anticipatory grief.  Usually we associate anticipatory grief with the failing health of a family member, friend, or pet.  But anticipatory grief can affect an entire population. Anticipatory grief is a feeling of loss before […]

  • Forgiving Killers is a Process

    July 29, 2011

    They were just faces to me. I wouldn’t make eye contact. Instead I focused on their clothes . . . grey-white sweatshirts, denim shirts, jeans, white sneakers. They didn’t look like inmates, more like janitors to me. I was invited to the medium-security facility in a program of restorative justice sponsored by the University of […]

  • Casey Anthony Verdict Stirs Fears in Sister of Murdered Woman

    July 10, 2011

    Like many people this past week, I heard the verdict in the Casey Anthony trial.  I did not follow the trial closely so I really don’t know what evidence was presented.  I do know that I have read much of the evidence was circumstantial.  With my sister’s murder trial postponed for the 7th time recently, […]

  • Eighteen Years Later, Father Confronts Daughter’s Killer

    September 19, 2008

    By Lew Cox – In October 2005, I attended a California State parole hearing for the slayer of my daughter, Carmon. Carmon was 22 years old when she was murdered in 1987 in Los Angeles. The drive from Tacoma, Wash., to the Soledad Prison in central California was a philosophical time that gave me the […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • Theresa Freitas and Todd Matthews: Missing Children

    March 6, 2014

    Theresa Freitas son Jacob Whitt was 21-years-old when he went missing in 1997. DNA tests confirmed recently that a body buried in a “John Doe” grave in Texas was Jacob. Joining us on the show to discuss missing family members is Todd Matthews forensic expert with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS).

  • Jan Smolinski: Missing Children

    January 30, 2014

    Jan Smolinski is the mom of missing man William “Billy” Smolinski Jr, who disappeared Aug. 24, 2004, at the age of 31. Jan has gone on to not only search for Billy but also to advocate for changes in laws and to help others who have missing family members. Joining her on the show will […]

  • Franklin Cook: Dealing with Parental Suicide

    August 22, 2013

    Franklin Cook, whose father died by suicide in 1978, is a consultant, speaker, and trainer in peer grief support. After volunteering as a support group facilitator, he became an advisor to the Suicide Prevention Action Network and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, and he is now developing suicide survivor services based on life coaching principles.

  • Dean Smith Topic: Forgiving Murder

    March 29, 2012

    Dean Smith is the founder/director of ‘Live To Forgive. His passion is to help people break free from the burden of inability to forgive. Dean’s inspiring messages about forgiveness and love are based on his testimony of personal breakthrough after forgiving and loving his mom’s murderer.  

  • Tawna Righter; Murder and Suicide

    July 12, 2011

    Tawna Righter realized after suffering two profound tragedies, that there were men, women, and children who had suffered this same heartbreak—that of a murder-suicide of friends, loved ones.   As a result of her son killing his girlfriend and then himself and struggling with profound grief, Righter has followed a path toward recovery.  She is the […]

  • Dr. Richard Dew: Survival After Murder

    November 2, 2009

    Dr. Richard Dew discusses survival after a loved one’s murder. To Learn More About Richard

  • Tom Baer: Finding Hope Through Service, The Compassionate Friends

    June 12, 2008

    Tom Baer shares the story of the murder of his son on his college campus and how he and his wife have given back through the Compassionate Friends.

  • Katy Hutchison: “There Is No Rulebook,” Forgiveness After The Death of a Husband

    August 30, 2007

    Katy Hutchison speaks about forgiveness after the murder of her husband.

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 22: Missing Adults

    December 10, 2013

    On this show Dr. Heidi Horsley and Dr. Gloria Horsley discuss with Marc Klaas the challenges and heart break of dealing with a missing and then murdered adult child. Todd Matthews forensic expert with the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUS) discusses the difficulties of finding and identifying missing adults. The show closes with […]

  • Episode #15-Dealing With Death and Trauma

    November 10, 2013

    On this show Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi interview Liz Creel, Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Dr. Dan Rudofossi, Psychologist/Police Sergeant.  Liz and Dr. Dan share their experiences and give advice and tips for dealing with death and trauma. The show closes with singer songwriter Kate Mills preforming “Something to Say”.

  • Episode 8: Empowering Bereaved Families After a Murder-Grief Relief TV

    April 1, 2013

    On this show Stacey Redmond whose son was killed in a stabbing at the Giants ballpark in San Francisco and Lew Cox Victims Advocate from Tacoma Washington discuss the their losses and how they have used their grief to help others.

  • Episode 6: Traumatic Loss-Grief Relief TV

    March 20, 2013

    Dr Gloria and Dr Heidi Horsley host Michelle Miller, Dr Dale Larson, Todd Evans and Radha Stern in traumatic loss on Grief Relief Television brought to you by The Open to Hope Foundation.

  • When the Law is Involved: Dr Heidi Horsley

    February 25, 2013

    What do you do when your family is involved with a court case due to the loss of a loved one?  

  • Stigma Around Suicide and Murder: Dr Heidi Horsley

    February 25, 2013

    What is the stigma around suicide and murder, listen to what Dr Horsley has to say about it.  

  • Stigma around Sudden Death: Dr Heidi Horsley

    February 25, 2013

    Dr Heidi Horsley speaks on sudden death and the stigma that surrounds suicide and homicide.  

  • Dr Pauline Boss-Ambiguous Loss

    January 30, 2012

    Dr Pauline Boss and Dr Gloria Horsley discuss Ambiguous Loss at the annual ADEC (association of Death Education and Counseling) conference.