• 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

  • 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 […]

  • 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 […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • Dating After The Loss of a Spouse and a Child; Guest: Abel Keogh

    December 11, 2014

    At age twenty-six, after the tragic suicide of his wife and the death of their 9 day old baby Abel Keogh unexpectedly found himself a young widower and bereaved parent.  Abel works in marketing for a technology company and is also the author of the memoir Room for Two, and four relationship guides. His current book […]

  • Michele Neff Hernandez: Soaring Spirits

    November 13, 2014

    Michele Neff Hernandez is a bereaved spouse and the founding President, and Executive Director of the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation providing resources and peer support to people grieving the loss of a partner. Soaring Spirits has met the needs of over 500,000 widowed people around the world, and continues to increase their reach through innovative […]

  • Allen Klein: The Healing Power of Humor

    September 25, 2014

    Allen Klein discovered the therapeutic value of humor after his wife died at thirty-four. He now shows others how to lighten up loss. He is the author of 19 books including The Healing Power of Humor and Learning to Laugh When You Feel Like Crying.

  • 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.

  • 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.