• 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

  • 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 […]

  • Comic Janice Messitte on Being a Newly Wedded Widow

    March 24, 2014

    In the space of two weeks, newly wedded  Janice Messitte – stand-up comic, singer and actress  – went from planning a dream “Jewnorican” wedding to planning her husband’s funeral.  Hear how she used her comic’s wit to survive, as she sits down with memory artist, Nancy Gershman to recall the details. Double check on your husband […]

  • Redefining Your Life After The Loss of a Spouse

    March 18, 2014

    The inconceivable has occurred – your partner has died. Perhaps, it was sudden and unexpected. However, even if it took place after an illness or at an older age, your loss surely came too prematurely from your point of view. Your life is now changed forever. Consequently, you may feel that you have also lost your […]

  • The Grief of Disability is Powerful and Life-Changing

    February 12, 2014

    In October, my husband’s aorta split for the second time. He had three operations in less than a week. The third one, to remove blood and insert grafts, took 13 hours. Unfortunately, he had a spinal stroke during the operation. When he agreed to have the surgery my husband understood the odds, a 20 percent […]

  • Moving after Loss: The Grief of Leaving the Home You Love

    January 17, 2014

    Moving is one of the most stressful experiences of life. My husband and I have moved so many times we’ve lost count and we’re good at moving. We’ve lived in our present house for 20 years, the longest time we’ve lived anywhere, and made the house our own. This house has nurtured us through some […]

  • New Year’s Resolutions After a Spouse-Loss

    January 1, 2014

    Give yourself a big pat on the back! You’ve just survived the holidays, one of the toughest times for anyone grieving a loss. Now you’re probably looking ahead and wondering how you’ll ever make it through the next twelve months. Here are five suggestions to help gently ease you along the bumpy road of bereavement: […]

  • How Do I Handle the Family of My Former Spouse?

    December 17, 2013

    When I lost my husband, I didn’t realize how deeply that would affect other relationships—particular with his family. When ties are broken by death, relationships with former family members often change. Of course remarrying completely shifts things, but even if you don’t remarry, your relationships are usually different after the loss of your spouse. You will […]

  • After Eight Years, It’s Getting Better at the Holidays

    December 4, 2013

    Thanksgiving is here. I am grateful for many, many things. Every day I count my blessings…really. My life is pretty, dang good most days. Sure I have struggles and challenges, everyone does. Widowed and non-widowed alike will have moments of acute gratitude and acute pain. It is what it is. People have joy and sorrow […]

  • Holidays and Bereavement: A Different Way to Cope

    November 27, 2013

    All over the web, people are posting “how to survive the holidays” articles. It’s true – this time of year adds an extra measure of pain to people already bearing more than they can, more than they should ever have to. There is the empty seat at the table, the heaviness of all the ways the […]

  • Mindfulness and Bereavement

    November 25, 2013

    If you’re interested in self-development, you’ve probably heard the term “mindfulness.” Over the last decade, mindfulness meditation, sometimes called mindfulness-based therapy, has been researched as an aid to anxiety, stress, depression, chronic pain, and other human conditions. Once largely confined to the realm of therapists’ offices or yoga studios, mindfulness has begun to show up […]

  • Love and Loss: Marriage and Bereavement at the Holidays

    November 22, 2013

    In her most recent addition to the wildly popular Bridget Jones’ series, Mad about The Boy, Helen Fielding portrays the bubbly and erstwhile boy-crazy Bridget struggling with the untimely death of her husband Mark. We see Bridget five years after Mark’s death still struggling to adjust to the reality and learning how to respond appropriately […]

  • Use Your Bereavement Support System Wisely

    November 20, 2013

    Two weeks ago, I was planning my husband’s memorial service. Now I think he will survive the three emergency operations he has had, but may not walk again. His kidneys may not function either. As you might imagine, I’m experiencing intense anticipatory grief and using my grief support system. I’m trying to use it wisely. […]

  • Time Sequences of Bereavement: Moving Through Loss

    November 18, 2013

    The loss of a spouse is one of the most difficult losses we experience as our entire day-to-day life is turned upside-down. The bereavement process following this loss may be divided into five time sequences. One to four months could be called SHOCK; five to eight months is DENIAL; nine to twelve months is ANGER; […]

  • Embracing Holiday Bereavement

    November 18, 2013

    I had to face it, holidays would never be the same after my husband died. I soon realized that I was never going to share time with my loved one again. There would never be the traditional Christmas shopping together, putting up Christmas decorations, shopping around town for a real Christmas tree, or going to a Christmas party […]

  • The Irreverent Widow, Sandi Amorello on Young Widows with Kids in Tow

    November 3, 2013

    What the bereavement support group dress code should be and why widows often say they’ve “thrown out the rule book”: this and more when memory artist Nancy Gershman talks to Sandi Amorello, humorist, artist, and author of The Irreverent Widow: Shockingly true tales of love, death and dating…with children in tow. Sandi is also founder of Girl Scout Dropout, […]

  • Don’t Believe One Widow’s Experience Will be the Same as Yours

    October 23, 2013

    You know…I always hesitate before I write about something hard I’m going through.  There is always a fear that a new widow will read it and think, “My gosh…I’m just trying to get through today.  This woman has been at it for almost four years and she’s still having a hard time???”  I’m always worried […]

  • Missing my Husband, Missing my Champion

    October 22, 2013

    When Eat, Pray, Love released years back, I read it.  I enjoyed it and I even read Liz Gilbert’s sequel to it and enjoyed it too.  When the movie came out, I wanted to see it.  I never caught it in the theater, but remember watching it at home.  I remember not really liking it […]

  • Something’s Not Right: Remembering a Husband Near the End

    October 7, 2013

    During our twenty-eight years of marriage, whether we drove to a northern Minnesota resort for a weekend, canoed on a Boundary Water lake or flew to a faraway city, my husband John and I, enjoyed sharing time together. In 1999, when we flew to Carmel, California, where we spent our honeymoon in 1972, I never […]

  • A Husband’s Voice Lives On

    October 5, 2013

    “Help me die!” Not a sound came out of his mouth, but I could magically decipher the startling message by reading his lips, the only body parts, along with his eyelids, that he could still move. My husband of fifteen years, David, lay motionless on white pristine sheets on a hospital bed that rocked back […]

  • How Do I Go On After Losing a Loved One?

    September 10, 2013

    The other day, I received this question from one of my followers. She recently lost her husband and asked me, “How do I go on after losing a loved one?” When I read this question, I got a little bit tearful as I remember this feeling oh so well. This is a soul layer question and […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • 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 […]

  • Nita Whitaker LaFontaine: Death of a Husband

    April 24, 2014

    After twenty years of marriage, three daughters, and an active career in music and film, nothing could have prepared Nita for losing her husband to cancer. Her acclaimed memoir Finding My Voice exposes readers to the pain she suffered and how she learned to live in a world without her greatest love.

  • Audrey Pellicano R.N.,M.S.: Wise Widow

    April 10, 2014

    Audrey Pellicano is a nurse, mentor, educator, speaker, author, mom, wife and widow.   Audrey helps clients tap into the power of their minds to heal from loss. Audrey hosts Death Café at The Open Center of New York City and is the author of the handbook  Six Secrets to Surviving Widowhood.

  • 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.

  • Tom Zuba: Recovering from Multiple Losses

    February 6, 2014

    Tom Zuba is a life coach, author and speaker teaching a new way to do grief. In 1990 Tom’s daughter Erin died suddenly. His wife Tricia died in 1999 and his son Rory died in 2005. He is the author of the upcoming book Permission to Mourn: A New Way to Do Grief.

  • Jennifer Rouse: Loss and the Fight for Happiness

    October 31, 2013

    Jennifer Rouse, Woodbridge Va., is the author of  Infelicity: Life, Loss and the Fight for Happiness.  On this show Jennifer shares with us her experience of being a single mother of an only child.  She tells us how she made it through tragedy, what she did that worked and things she learned could have been […]

  • Laurel Rund: Transformation After the Death of a Husband

    October 24, 2013

    It all began in 2009 when a life-changing event would begin the transformation of Laurel Rund into the woman she is today. Never would she have imagined that the death of her 42 year old husband would send her  on a journey through loss and grief to a redefined sense of self.  Laurel is the author […]

  • Abel Keogh: Getting it Together After Loss

    September 26, 2013

    Abel Keogh is author of the memoir Room for Two, the story of the year of his life following his late wife’s suicide and the corresponding death of their unborn child. He is also the writer of the relationship guides Dating a Widower, Marrying a Widower, and Life with a Widower. Now remarried, he and […]

  • Steve Harris: Men and Grief: Dating and Re-marriage

    September 19, 2013

    Steve Harris is the president of Creative Edge Communications, a production company in Southern California. He wrote and produced About Tomorrow, an hour-long CD full of encouragement for those in the first six months after loss, featuring interviews with real people who have been there, along with his own experience losing his wife to cancer.

  • Understanding Grief From A to Z

    March 24, 2014

    “Understanding Grief From A to Z” presents an alphabet soup of emotions that mourners may experience in response to the loss of their loved one. After each emotion is described, the reader is given an actionable suggestion on how to develop a change in perspective that can help him/her move from the darkness of grief […]

  • If You Want To Be Terrific, You Need To Be Specific: 50 Tips on How To Heal Your Heart After A Relationship Has Ended

    March 24, 2014

    If you want to be terrific, you need to be specific! This is great advice for any venture you may undertake, including learning how to heal your heart after a relationship has ended due to divorce, death or break-up. Mourning the demise of a relationship is a time of uncertainty, which can be regarded as […]

  • 25 Inspirational Thoughts on How To Cope With Your Grief

    March 24, 2014

    How does one learn to cope with grief and loss? Unfortunately, there’s no instruction book on how to move through grief in a successful and healthy manner. “25 Inspirational Thoughts on How To Cope With Your Grief” utilizes the wisdom of the ages by picking appropriate quotes and sayings and then provides commentary with suggestions […]

  • 52 Secrets on How You Can Cope With Your Grief

    March 24, 2014

    If your life is a story, then your past or history is the preface to the rest of your life. When you learn and remember the lessons learned through dealing with difficult circumstances, such as the loss of a loved one, you are afforded an opportunity to foster beneficial changes to utilize in the continuing […]

  • Suddenly Single: How To Find Renewal After Loss

    March 24, 2014

    Death is the great equalizer. Be you rich or poor; savvy or naive; any religion; or any race, there is not a family that goes untouched by death or some other type of loss and the subsequent grief that follows. After the death of a loved one, a person is usually vulnerable and, consequently, open […]

  • Love After Loss: Writing the Rest of Your Story

    March 24, 2014

    “Love After Loss: Writing the Rest of Your Story” chronicles the author’s journey as she moved through her young widowhood to find new love and life. Through a series of coaching exercises and real-life dating stories that underscore the “Rules and Tools” for developing healthy and successful relationships, the reader is presented with a workable […]

  • Words of Comfort To Pave Your Journey of Loss

    March 24, 2014

    Every mourner is afforded the opportunity on how he will view the loss of his loved one. Without negating one’s loss, it is beneficial to look at loss from a variety of perspectives, for as John Lubbock said, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for.”  If a mourner gets stuck in a […]

Open to Hope TV

  • 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 25: Healing With Art and Humor

    December 10, 2013

    On this show comic writer and comedian Carol Scibelli and art therapist Barbara ‘Basia’ Mosinski give Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley tips and insight into how humor and art helped them to get through the deaths of family members including a spouse, step-son, and parent.  Carol is the author of Poor Widow Me. […]