• Hope

    After Loss of a sibling

After Loss of a sibling

Do you feel your loss is overlooked? Find inspiration in stories by others who have lost siblings.


  • What Loss Has Taught Me: Everybody’s on the Tightrope

    July 7, 2015

    The other day, I went out running to clear my head, something I often do in a continuing quest to manage my grief over the loss of my brother a year ago. I had my iPod on a random shuffle. Janelle Monáe’s song, “Tightrope,” came on after I had gone about a mile and a […]

  • Unleash the Silence: Compassion for Surviving Siblings

    May 11, 2015

    Losing my beloved sisters Jane and Margie impacted my life in ways I did not comprehend until years later. Their passing shaped the person I am today. With hard work, support, guidance, and the cheering of many, I re-discovered Judy after 30 years. The topic I choose to unleash, although extremely sensitive, needs to be […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • What No One Ever Told Me About Grief

    November 24, 2014

    Last Valentine’s—that rose-scented, chocolate-infused day, God reached a hand down, scooped my brother’s soul in his Godly palm without asking if we were ready, if Rocky was ready, to transition from this world into the next. He was plucked from our lives without any warning at all, leaving a jagged hole in our wholeness, sending […]

  • My Brother, My Best Friend

    September 30, 2014

    Alison Smith, author of Name All the Animals: A Memoir, opens up about her brother and best friend today with Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley. Enjoy the full interview: G:        Hello.  I’m Dr. Gloria Horsley with my co-host H:        Dr. Heidi Horsley. G:        Each week we welcome you to Healing the Grieving Heart, a […]

  • When it’s Grief, Not Depression

    September 9, 2014

    One sleepless night, I tiptoed down the stairs, slipped outside and stared up at the low-hanging moon, so close to me it looked as if it had been pinned against the black canvas with a thumb tack. I reached out a hand to snatch if from the sky, tuck it inside my heart, feel its […]

  • Peanut Gallery, a Documentary: Interview with Molly Gandour

    August 6, 2014

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling) conference, I spoke with Molly Gandour about her documentary ‘Peanut Gallery’. Her film explores the death of her sister and how she and her parents just recently learned to talk about it. Molly went home to Indiana a few years ago, where she grew up, […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

  • Ministry of Bereavement: Interview with Ronald Ritter

    May 17, 2014

    Today, we had the privilege to interview Ron Ritter about a very basic tool that will assist people of faith to minister intelligently and effectively to those who grieve. The turning point for Ritter was when the shackles of clinical depression were removed five years after his son Steve’s death when he could focus his […]

  • When the Mirror Breaks

    September 25, 2013

    “Siblings are the only relatives, and perhaps the only people you’ll ever know, who are with you through the entire arc of your life…Your parents leave you too soon and your kids and spouse come along late, but your siblings know you when you are in your most inchoate form.”  – writer Jeffrey Kluger observed to […]

  • When the Mirror Breaks: Loss of a Close Sibling

    August 26, 2013

    “Siblings are the only relatives, and perhaps the only people you’ll ever know, who are with you through the entire arc of your life…Your parents leave you too soon and your kids and spouse come along late, but your siblings know you when you are in your most inchoate form.” – writer Jeffrey Kluger observed […]

  • The Basics of Sibling-Loss

    August 13, 2013

    I would like to take some time to focus on parents who have lost a child and have other living children. I plan to talk about the sibling survivor experience to give you an idea of what they are going through. I would like to start by talking about their grief. While I was attending […]

  • 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. […]

  • A Haunting Disturbance: A Poem

    July 15, 2013

    Maybe I’ll always be tortured by loud noises The sudden silence after it echoes through the trees Maybe my skin will always develop goosebumps As I hear the little girl inside of me Soundlessly scream—no, no more—please. The emptiness that is momentarily formed in my heart Soon fills with dread From the conclusion of the […]

  • Poem: Eleven Years

    July 2, 2013

    Eleven Years My love for you is unconditional However, so is my anger And I have waited eleven years For this devastation to be over But it has only just begun: The torture that makes me want to scream— And I just want to run away From this awfully dreadful scheme. Oh, how badly I […]

  • Dressing a Sister for the Afterlife

    February 20, 2013

    Below is an excerpt from With and Without Her: A Memoir of Being and Losing a Twin. My identical twin sister, a psychologist, has died in Lowell, Massachusetts, from a head wound inflicted by a former patient. We have brought her home to Philadelphia, where my mother and I go to the funeral home to […]

  • Struggling with older brother's suicide

    February 4, 2013

    It’s been 11 months (as of yesterday) since I lost my older brother, my only full sibling, to suicide. I still struggle on a daily basis to accept the fact that he is gone and I will never see him again. My heart aches thinking about the emotional turmoil he was going through alone, and […]

  • 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 […]

  • Loss of a sibling before you were born

    January 24, 2013

    My parents lost my older brother Ben when he was just two days old. He was born with a rare heart condition and was never going to survive. Ben was born 4 years before I was and so I never met him, but I still grieve for him and find that many people don’t really […]

  • Little Blue Box — By Savannah Daly

    December 25, 2012

    “I love your shoes, Mommy!” I shout excitedly while wobbling toward her wearing her black heels. “Thanks Nannah!” My mom says happily, gently pulling more shoes out of her messy closet. Contributing writer Amy Daly’s daughter, Savannah, wrote this article. She lost her sister several years ago. “I love your shoes, Mommy!” I shout excitedly […]

  • Twin-Loss: Healing Memory of Early Twinship

    September 29, 2012

    Mother announces, “School’s out. It’s time you two had your own gardens. No more family victory garden like we had in Washington. You are old enough to grow your own vegetables. We can eat them at home or maybe if they are really nice, you can try to sell them to your Grandmother and Grandfather.” […]

Open to Hope TV

  • 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 37: Sibling Loss

    November 30, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with comedian Jordon Feber and Keith Singer the impact of the loss of their siblings and how they have found hope after loss and gone to inspire others who have lost brothers and sisters.  Both Jordon and Keith are involved with The Compassionate Friends […]

  • Episode 35: Grieving Disability and Death

    November 11, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with  Louise Bruce, bereaved mom the experience of losing two special needs children, Laura and Chris.   Louise has honored the children by starting the LaChris Connection serving families of kids with disabilities.  The second guest is Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, Hospice social worker, Cystic […]

  • Episode 31: Forgiveness

    February 12, 2014

    On This show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Fred Luskin Ph.D. the rationale for forgiveness and why forgiveness is necessary. Radha Stern author and victims advocate will join Dr. Luskin to discuss how she deals with forgiveness when the man who murdered her son shows no remorse. The show closes with […]

  • Episode 29: Holiday Candle Lighting and Cooking

    February 12, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with the executive director of The Compassionate Friends, Alan Pedersen, bereavement advice for getting through the holidays. Included is a segment from The Compassionate Friends, Midpensula Chapter, National Candlelighting. Katie Morford registered dietician and author of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook closes the show with ideas […]

  • Episode 28: Grief Styles: The Enneagram

    February 12, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss grieving styles given Enneagram personality types with the author of the Enneagram Made Easy, Elizabeth Wagele, and Jan Conlon, grief support expert. Katie Morford registered dietician and author of Mom’s Kitchen Handbook gives tips for healthy eating during stressful times.

  • Episode 27: Grieving Styles: Myers Briggs

    February 12, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Lisa Prosser-Dodds, PhD, Therapist and Author regarding individualized grief responses based upon Jungian personality types, measured by the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (GRIEFtype). Musician discusses how his grief type is expressed through his music.

  • Episode 24: Siblings the Forgotten Mourners

    December 10, 2013

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Dana Brophy and Zander Sprague author of MAKING LEMONADE: Choosing A Positive Pathway After Losing Your Sibling the impact of having an adult sibling die.  Zander and Dana discuss their personal responses and give suggestions for promoting health and healing.  Billy Bensing singer […]

  • Episode # 14 Grief Relief TV: Coping With Death of a Twin

    November 10, 2013

    On this show Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi discuss with Mary Rockefeller Morgan, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and author, the devastating death of her twin brother, Michael, when her father, Neilson Rockefeller, was governor of New York. Carolyn Shane executive director of Temple Emanu-El, Westfield, NJ also discusses the death of her twin and how […]

  • Episode 4: Bereaved Siblings-Grief Relief TV

    March 18, 2013

    Co-hosts:Gloria Horsley Ph.D. and Heidi Horsley Psy.D with guests: Alijah Marquez, bereaved sibling of Chris; Jason Stout, bereaved sibling and Outreach Manager for the Colorado Outward Bound, program “Heroic Journey for Grieving Teens”. Gloria Horsley Ph.D. and Heidi Horsley Psy.D. bereaved mother and sibling, are a bicoastal mother and daughter team who are experts on […]

  • Episode 1:Handling the Loss of a Child”-CreaTiVe TV Award Winner-Grief Relief TV

    March 7, 2013

    CreaTiVe TV Award Winner “Grief Relief: Handling the Loss of a Child” with guests Patricia Loder, Dr. Ken Druck, Chris Donohoe and hosts Dr. Heidi Horsley and Dr. Gloria Horsley. Pat Loder of The Compassionate Friends discusses the Compassionate Friends and her loss as a parent, Ken Druck discusses the loss of daughter Jenna and […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • A Good Goodbye: Gail Rubin

    December 18, 2014

    Gail Rubin, CT, is author and host of the award-winning book and television series A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. She’s a Certified Thanatologist, that’s a death educator, a Certified Funeral Celebrant and a speaker who uses humor and films to get conversations started on death, dying, advance directives […]

  • Jill Smolowe: Resilience In A Time of Grief

    October 16, 2014

    Within 17 months award-winning journalist and author Jill Smolowe lost her husband, sister, and mother.   Jill, a senior writer for People, desiring to help others, used her experience to write Four Funerals and a Wedding:  Resilience In A Time Of Grief. Jill then became a grief and transition coach helping clients learn how to restore […]

  • 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.

  • Beth Rotondo: Hope For Those Who Grieve

    May 8, 2014

    Beth Rotondo has worked in the bereavement for 20 years.  She has lost an infant, parent, and sibling.  Her losses and expertise have made her a comforting companion for those who grieve.  She is the author of Threads of Hope and The Big Chair.

  • Beth L. Hewett, Ph.D. : Father and Sibling Loss

    April 17, 2014

    Beth L. Hewett understands the pain and anguish of grief. A facilitator and trainer for the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved (NCMB).  She has in recent years lost her brother, sister and father. She is the author of the Good Words For Grieving series.

  • Coping With the Death of a Parent: Galen Goben

    March 27, 2014

    Galen, a Certified Thanatologist, is one of the Grief Support Coordinators for Forest Lawn in Southern California. He is responsible for providing grief education and services to the community and to the grieving families served by Forest Lawn. Galen is an ordained Disciple of Christ minister.

  • George Herald Jennings: Spiritual Dimensions

    January 2, 2014

    George-Harold Jennings Ph.D. has experienced numerous spiritual events throughout his life. Most recently in reliving the physical death of his sister and through this experience connecting spiritually with his mother. As a psychologist, he believes the mainstream members of his discipline should be more readily open to exploring the spiritual dimensions of being human.  He […]

  • Dorothy Foltz-Gray: Loss of a Twin

    August 1, 2013

    Dorothy Foltz-Gray is the author of five books including With and Without Her: A Memoir of Being and Losing a Twin. A winner of the Tennessee Arts Commission Poetry Fellowship and other awards, she has written for magazines such as O — The Oprah Magazine; Bon Appetit; More; and Real Simple.

  • Rebecca Guevara: Hero’s Journey Through Grief Transformation

    April 11, 2013

    Rebecca had a business career and was tentatively starting to enjoy writing when her brother, her only sibling, took his life. In grief’s tailwind she left writing, losing the ability to be her true self. Years passed before she believed it was okay to enjoy life. Finally she returned to writing and began teaching and […]

  • Erika R. Barber: Navigating Life Stages Post Sibling Death

    March 28, 2013

    Erika R. Barber lived the first fifteen years of her life as a sibling and has since lived as a sibling survivor. Following her sister’s suicide, Erika embarked on a life-long endeavor to merge these familial roles and discover her own unique identity. Her workbook, Letters from a Friend: A Sibling’s Guide for Coping and […]

  • Barbara Allen: Shatter the Stigma of Death to Overdose

    March 7, 2013

    Barbara is a leadership coach, yoga teacher, writer and bereaved parent and sibling.  She lost her son Jim, brother Bill, and niece Amanda to the disease of addiction.  Her foundation, James’ Place Inc. serves to educate and offer hope for all who suffer this disease and all who love them.

  • Mary Rockefeller Morgan: Grieving the Loss of a Twin

    January 24, 2013

    Mary R. Morgan, L.M.S.W. is a licensed psychotherapist and bereaved sibling specializing in working with twinless twins.  She lectures on the subject of twin loss and has led a bereavement group for twins whose twin died in the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster.

  • John Duffy; Being Present in Relationships

    January 3, 2013

    John Duffy is a clinical psychologist, certified life coach, relationship expert, and the author of  “The Available Parent”.  He is no stranger to loss as ten years ago his younger brother committed suicide.  He uses his experiences to help others.  His focus is on optimizing satisfaction and joy in relationships, while minimizing fear, judgment and […]

  • Carl David; Suicide Support

    December 13, 2012

    Carl David is the third descendant of a four-generation art dealer family specializing in American and European nineteenth- and twentieth-century art.  He is the author of  “Bader Field; How My Family Survived Suicide” the story of how his family lived through his brother’s shocking death by suicide when Carl was just sixteen years old.