• 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

  • 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 […]

  • Thanksgiving Darkness

    November 12, 2014

    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 […]

  • A Widow Remembers the First Year of Holidays

    November 10, 2014

    Yes, they’re coming! We can’t hide, it’s inevitable. The holidays are here! Although my young children were grieving in their own ways, they looked forward to Christmas, presents, decorations, and celebrations. My oldest daughter was in second grade and my youngest was in kindergarten. This was the first year of holidays without their father. They participated in all […]

  • Do’s & Don’ts for the Widow/Widower Embracing New Love

    October 25, 2014

    Is it possible to mourn the loss of a beloved spouse and, while still grieving, to not only meet someone special, but fall in love and begin to build a new relationship that includes a commitment to sharing your lives? Can we overlap our loving and our grieving? The answer is a profound: YES! But, […]

  • A Baseball Cap of Memories

    October 11, 2014

    When my husband died, there were reminders of our life together everywhere I looked. Sweet, lovely memories surrounded me, and those memories gave me much needed comfort in those dark, dark, dark days of despair and loneliness. His favorite leather jacket hung in the closet next to my jackets and coats. His shoes lined the […]

  • Eight Hard Questions After a Spouse-Loss

    October 8, 2014

    Q: Why are holidays so hard? A: Holidays are reminders of family occasions and have, often painful, associations to events and people. They evoke memories, feelings and nostalgia for what was. It is helpful to do things in a different way at holiday time and to make plans to be with family or friends rather […]

  • When a Pregnant Woman Commits Suicide

    October 5, 2014

    Abel Keogh, author of Room for Two, was recently interviewed with Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley about the Loss of his wife and child to suicide and premature birth. Below is the interview:   G:        Hello, I’m Dr. Gloria Horsley with my co-host H:        Dr. Heidi Horsley. G:        Each week Heidi and I […]

  • Music Can Heal a Broken Heart

    October 3, 2014

    I love to write. I write about the spiritual in our everyday lives, and I write children’s books. Yes, I know that they are two completely different genres; yet both make me feel complete. I believe that writing about the spiritual is what I was meant to do. It is my reason for being here, […]

  • Quiet and Patience are Stepping Stones to Healing

    October 1, 2014

    The earliest feelings of mourning include the initial shock (this can’t be happening), the denial of the reality, and feeling overwhelmed and numb. It is not uncommon to feel some loss of self-esteem and extreme vulnerable. Symptoms usually include a variety of internal complaints, a great deal of crying, insomnia, waking from sleep or not […]

  • Music and Grief

    September 30, 2014

    I was afraid. If death could just sweep in and take Duane and Jody, then none of us is safe. Her death robbed me of an innocence of sorts…the belief that we all will live full lives surrounded by the people we love. But that all changed on January 26, 2003, and, now, I am […]

  • Happy Birthday to a Husband Gone

    September 30, 2014

    I wonder how your Retire-at-55 plan would be going by now? Would we be Florida-bound? Or woefully far from the dream? That seems to be how life goes. We smugly think our plans are well-made, well-plotted, that hard work and diligence paid. Or we think God had other plans or we missed the mark, failure […]

  • Sadness Creeps Back, Sometimes Out of the Blue

    September 27, 2014

    I lost my husband of 35 years nine years ago, and the overwhelming grief that I felt is somewhat of a distant memory. “Yes, somewhat of a distant memory, until something triggers that gut-wrenching heartache,” I mutter out loud as I write. It is strange how it manages to creep back into our lives, out […]

  • Already Among the Dead

    September 25, 2014

    I walk among the dead. This began when my wife died in April 2001. So when the planes slam into the World Trade Center, my heart doesn’t move. The towers collapse, sending clouds of dust billowing into the sky, people stumble into the streets stunned, and I feel nothing. Why should I cry? Why should […]

  • Easing The Way At the End of Life: A Conversation with a Palliative Care Doctor

    September 8, 2014

    Elaine Mansfield: My husband Vic was strong and fit when he was diagnosed with incurable lymphoma. He went through chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant with relative ease and regained his vitality. Eight months after the stem cell transplant, we went to the ER because of swelling and arrhythmia. I refused to leave the room […]

  • Wildest Dreams: How We Can Learn to Grieve

    September 8, 2014

    On the day my wife died, the house was overflowing. In the room with me were our kids, 2 1/2 and 14, and a few friends who had pretty much moved in with us those weeks when we knew it was the end. Out in the living room were people who had supported us through […]

  • Accepting a New Life After a Multiple Loss

    August 19, 2014

    When I was only thirty-three years old, suddenly one day I felt my life was over and my only future was my past. Up until then, my life seemed magical, full of much love and happiness. Everything had been going according to plan. My husband Bart and I had just finished building our house in […]

  • Dream After Husband’s Suicide Reassures Wife

    August 13, 2014

    Reprinted from the book, Special Dream, by Luellen Hoffman, following the death of Robin Williams Introduction: My husband suffered from what is now recognized as an obsessive-compulsive bipolar disorder. Greg committed suicide in 1987, when he was thirty-two years old. In his unfortunate brilliance, he was able to hide his problems from the psychiatrists with […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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? […]

  • 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 […]

  • Removing the Kimono of Mourning: Interview with Anne Carson

    May 17, 2014

    One of the most important things in anyone’s bereavement process is to find what works personally/individually. There is an opportunity for much creativity in this process. The video features me (Anne Carson) reading the title poem in my collection, Removing the Kimono, and describing how the death of my husband prompted me to write a […]

  • Losing a Fiance: Wedding Turned to Funeral

    May 15, 2014

    Recently my twenty-six-year-old niece Kate lost her fiancé in a car accident just two days before their wedding. In addition to her deep grief, Kate also had to face many issues because they were not yet married. First, I believe she was robbed of memories. When I lost my husband, at least I had almost […]

  • Reconciling Your Past, Present and Future After Loss

    May 15, 2014

    When you’re mourning the loss of a loved one, it’s very natural and easy to get trapped in your memories of the past and how things used to be. Let’s take a moment to examine your past, as well as the present and the future, and how this exercise can help you to better understand […]

  • Did I Say that I’d Never Marry Again?

    May 10, 2014

    So it was just over a year that I became a widow. I was doing ok. I had my good days and my not so good days. But over all, life was tolerable. I was getting used to being a single mom and accepting the fact that this was my new and permanent life. “Are you […]

  • Moving to a New Home Sparks Grief

    April 21, 2014

    My husband’s aorta split and during emergency surgery he had a spinal stroke. Now his legs are paralyzed and he can’t return to our current home, which has lots of stairs. So our home is for sale and I’m building a wheelchair friendly town home for us. It’s supposed to be finished in a month, […]

  • Conscious Uncoupling aka Readjusting the Picture of Your Late Spouse

    April 1, 2014

    Conscious Uncoupling. This is the new buzz word that is getting lots of play due to the announcement of Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin about their upcoming divorce. This concept is actually the brainchild of Katherine Woodward Thomas, a licensed psychotherapist who coined it to describe how she approached her own divorce process. I may […]

  • Guilt Over the Loss of a Spouse

    March 31, 2014

    One of my widowed friends recently told me, “I feel guilty being happy alone.” She had been happily married for over forty years and widowed for a few years. My friend explained that she had discovered how comfortable she was as a single woman. To her, being happy without her husband somehow reflected on how […]

Open to Hope Radio

Open to Hope TV

  • 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 […]