Articles

  • Grief’s Linking Objects: The Winnowing Process

    November 12, 2016

    Linking objects–things that belonged to a deceased loved one–are reminders of experiences and feelings. A bereaved son may wear his father’s watch, for example, and a bereaved daughter may use her mother’s dishes. At holiday time I put mother’s cut glass water decanter on the dinner table,  a reminder of her love, guidance, and all […]

  • Songwriting as Healing Art

    September 10, 2016

    I kissed your head Told you I loved you, ’cause I wanted You to know just how much that you impacted My life, so much more than I could ask for This is not good-bye, and yes, I will cry but that’s ’cause I miss your face This is not good-bye, I know I’ll see […]

  • Ode to an Urn Maker: Commemorative Urns of Eliza Thomas

    July 18, 2016

    Ceramic artist Eliza Thomas has a unique practice of creating commemorative urns and offering them to those grieving a loss. Hearing of this work, I was intrigued, and tried to track her down. When we finally meet at Caffe Borrone in Menlo Park, we are just a short walk from Stanford University. Next door neighbors […]

  • The Starriest Night: van Gogh’s Grief Illuminates Ours

    July 12, 2016

    As a psychology professor, I am fascinated by the works of great artists. These creative individuals can be those in visual arts, music, or literature. I believe that anxiety and depression, maybe all forms of human suffering, can be expressed through creative pursuits. Sigmund Freud used terms such as catharsis and sublimation to describe the […]

  • Go Ahead, Judge Me for My Tattoos: How Memorial Tattoos Help

    June 30, 2016

      “What an idiotic thing – to deface your own body,” an uncle said after I got my first tattoo. He wasn’t interested in the story behind it. Like many people, he’s one that goes through life without checking his assumptions and, as a result, often misses the opportunity to see beauty in unexpected places. […]

  • Hope After the Loss of a Spouse

    May 27, 2016

    Artist, poet, and writer Laurel Diane Rund talks about finding hope once again after losing a spouse. Losing her husband took her on a journey to sorrow and personal transformation. According to a Chinese proverb, birds sing because they have a song—not an answer. Rund didn’t have any answers or know how to grieve. However, […]

  • Dorenzer Thomas: Roberta’s House, Faith, Music and Grief

    May 21, 2016

      Dr. Gloria Horsley connects with Dorenzer Thomas of to talk about how faith and music can be integral to the healing process. She’s the Youth Coordinator of Programming and works closely with children and families who are bereaved. Located in Baltimore, Roberta’s House is the only such grief center in the area. Thomas also […]

  • A Daughter Remembers Her Father’s Creative Legacy

    May 9, 2016

    My father, Geoff Relf, a longtime San Diego advertising and communications figure passed away July 28, 2015, at 85, after battling cancer, surviving his wife, Connie by five years. The couple met at the University of Washington and moved to San Diego in 1956, then to La Jolla in 1959, where they raised four children: […]

  • Jill Cliffer Beratta: Healing Through Art

    March 15, 2016

    A teacher of enrichment art, Jill Cliffer Baratta has an MFA and talked with Dr. Gloria Horsley about how art can help in the healing process. Baratta lost her father, and immediately turned to her love of the arts to guide her own healing process. Her father died 45 years ago, right before her twelfth […]

  • Lynne Ann DeSpelder: Healing Through Art

    March 4, 2016

    A leader in the field of grief and loss, Dr. Lynne Ann DeSpelder talks with Dr. Heidi Horsley about using art to help heal from grief. Dr. DeSpelder is also a professor of psychology, counselor, and author of The Last Dance: Encountering Death and Dying (now in its eighth edition). When someone dies, think about […]

  • Dr. Carla Sofka: Museums as Healing Spaces

    February 28, 2016

    Museums can be a great site for healing according to Dr. Carla Sofka. A professor at Siena College, she points out that almost everyone has a memory of visiting a museum, and they serve a variety of purposes. They’re a place where learning can be fun. Since she began volunteering at New York museums following […]

  • Cindy Kort: Writing to Heal

    January 28, 2016

    During the National Alliance for Grieving Children conference, Dr. Gloria Horsley interviews Cindy Kort, who recently lost her mother and discovered that writing was one of her best ways to heal. Ellen Kort was a famous poet laureate for Wisconsin who worked closely in the grief and loss field. Cindy also lost her brother years […]

  • Josh Robinson: Expressing Grief Through Music

    December 2, 2015

    The Open to Hope Foundation’s Dr. Gloria Horsley talks with musician John Robinson about his work with grief and loss. He had a powerful experience playing music by his grandfather’s bedside in the hospital. After a heart attack, Robinson and his family found they didn’t have words to express how they felt. With music, Robinson […]

  • The Music of Life

    November 5, 2015

    In the happiest of times, life rings out like a soaring piece of orchestral music, a symphony for my soul. The violins are lovely; the trumpets glorious; the flutes and piccolos giddy with excitement. The notes from the cellos glide gracefully, elegantly, a swan on a lake. Poom-pooming, the bass drums pound out a rhythm, […]

  • Joy Berger: Using Music to Compose Life Out of Loss

    November 3, 2015

    The Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) features Joy Berger talking about the impact music and composition has made in her life. The founder of Composing Life, Berger is an advocate of using music to heal. She wrote Music of the Soul: Composing Life Out of Loss to help others use music in their […]

  • Making a Photomontage to Celebrate a Life

    October 27, 2015

    The Association for Death Education and Counseling (ADEC) organization features digital artist Nancy Gershman discussing legacy photomontages. It’s a tool to counter grief and regrets, and can help the bereaved move towards a place of acceptance. You can create a photomontage yourself, or rely on an artist like Gershman to create a keepsake for you. […]

  • John Fox: Poetry as Grief Therapy

    October 16, 2015

    Poetry is a fantastic avenue for art therapy. Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley welcome John Fox, a poet and certified poetry therapist. He’s the author of Poetic Medicine: The Healing Art of Poem-making and Finding What You Didn’t Lose. He’s also the president of The Institute for Poetic Medicine, a non-profit which was created in […]

  • Beryl Kaminsky: Journaling to Cope with Grief

    October 5, 2015

    Journaling can be a fantastic way to help you down your grieving path, and Beryl Kaminsky shares tips on how to journal from her own experience. As the author of Mending the Broken Heart: After Your Child Dies, Kaminsky shares with readers how she used journaling in her own healing process as a bereaved mother. […]

  • Grief Music with Singer Larry Stevens

    September 23, 2015

    Singer and songwriter Larry Stevens performs an acoustic set for The Open to Hope show. Music, art and other creative endeavors are fantastic tools for healing, but they can be difficult to incorporate into the grieving process. Music, whether performing or listening, can help address challenging emotions, but can also quickly become overwhelming. It’s just […]

  • Healing With Art and Humor

    September 22, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley host episode 25 of The Open to Hope show, which features art therapist Barbara ‘Basia’ Mosinski and comedic author Carol Scibelli. These experts offer insight into using art and humor to help with the grieving process of a death of a loved one—and both women have used these techniques themselves. […]

  • Sharon Strouse: Healing Through Art

    September 7, 2015

    Dr. Gloria Horsley interviewed Sharon Strouse at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference about Strouse’s book, Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing. Strouse lost her daughter to suicide and used art therapy herself to heal—today, she teaches others how to do the same. She was already an art therapist, but it took […]

  • Art Therapy Can Help in Healing from Grief

    September 3, 2015

    Artist and photographer Nancy Gershman, of Art for Your Sake, joins Dr. Gloria Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference to talk about art therapy as part of the grieving process. Gershman is a friend of The Open to Hope foundation and specializes in working with those who have lost a […]

  • Anne M. Carson: Writing Poems about Death of Beloved

    September 2, 2015

    Dr. Gloria Horsley interviews Anne M. Carson, a poet from Australia, at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. Carson lost her husband, which is what directed her latest work. However, she was a poet before this loss. In Australia, it’s a ten year apprenticeship to release a book of poetry, which Carson […]

  • 10 Artistic Activities to Help With Grief

    July 21, 2015

    The catacombs of my thoughts, as I grieved the loss of my husband, were painful and all-encompassing…if I didn’t distract myself. A comment, picture, motorcycle, or even a happy memory could throw me into a spiral that consumed my world for hours. One day, I got a package in the mail from my friend Jessica. […]

  • Healing through Expressive Arts: A Conversation with Patricia Rojas-Zambrano

    April 24, 2015

    Exploring the field of art therapy through a series of interviews with practitioners in the Bay Area and beyond has become a new focus for me. Last month I met with Patricia Rojas-Zambrano after learning about her art journaling workshops through a chance meeting with a regular attendee. I caught her in the middle of […]

  • Life Coach Empowers Clients Through Story and Craft

    January 25, 2015

    “What now?” It’s a phrase we might utter when we’re dealing with too much in our lives and maybe waiting for a let-up after a cascade of troubles, tragedies and grief strike us. It’s also a question we might ask when we are seeking some direction in our lives. We all get stuck. For those […]

  • Heart-Shaped Door: A Story of Kids and Art

    January 4, 2015

    “What do you think you’d want to draw that’s at home?” asks Gary Vasgerdsian, an artist who today is wearing his volunteer hat, participating in a unique program called Kids & Art. The two youngsters he is addressing are Bay Area kids who belong to a very special population of children. Their lives have been […]

  • 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, […]

  • 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 […]

  • Songwriter Helps Mother Let Son Go

    September 25, 2014

    Of all the songs I have ever been invited to compose, to assist with healing around a loss, the story of little 4-year-old Alex is the one that most deeply touched my heart. One day I got a call from Aimee, who had spent almost all of her family’s income on medical bills for her […]

  • Thoughts on 9/11: Holding onto Hope

    September 12, 2014

    I feel so much loss. It’s September 12th, 2014, thirteen years after the terror attacks that I witnessed while living in New York City. I kept a media blackout in my home and my heart yesterday. I don’t want any more images of those burning buildings to flash before my eyes. I don’t want to […]

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 87: Grief and Art

    October 23, 2016

    Are you looking for a unique way to memorialize or celebrate the life of your loved one? Then join Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley in an interview with memory artist Nancy Gershman and her client Debla Hargreaves for whom Nancy created a dream scape in memory of her father. Documentary film maker Kate Rolston […]

  • Episode 86: Spouse Loss

    October 9, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interviewed Dawn Jiosi, creator of the New Dawn that was inspired by the shattering life events of her husband’s death eight years ago. Our second guests were Caryl Fried Feldmann and her daughter Sara Feldmann Sheehan, Executive Producer of Mortal, a film inspired by the […]

  • Episode 79: Spouse Loss, What About Dating?

    July 1, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview three bereaved spouses; Dr. Joanne Moore, physical therapist and author of After the Loss of a Spouse: What’s Next?, comedian Carol Scibelli author of Poor Widow Me and her partner Mickey Bayard.  They discuss among other issues coping with spouse loss and dating.  The show will […]

  • Episode 72: Coping After Child Loss

    May 9, 2016

    On this show Dr’s. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview bereaved parent and creator of the Grief Diaries brand of books, webinars, and film. The second guest is Barbara Hopkinson, bereaved parent and author of A Butterfly’s Journey To A New Normal. She is a certified Grief Recovery Specialist and a Compassionate Friends Chapter Leader. We […]

  • Episode 68: Grief Quest/ Music and Healing

    April 26, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Lilly Juliian bereaved parent/spouse and founder of COPE and her partner Jerry Winestock bereaved spouse about their book Grief Quest and their retreats and camps that have inspired thousands of individuals and families to find hope and healing. Jerry is also the author […]

  • Episode: 66: Mortality; Living Your Best Life

    April 26, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Sara Feldman Sheehan and her husband Bobby Sheehan producers and directors of Mortal the first documentary that addresses the shifting paradigm in how we view life and death. The second guest is Lilly Julian bereaved parent of Michelle and founder of COPE with the mission of […]

  • 65: Sibling Loss

    March 9, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss the impact of losing a sibling with Elizabeth Devita-Raeburn whose brother Ted, died of an immune disorder. She is the author of “The Empty Room: Losing a Brother or Sister At Any Age”. The second guest will be Molly Gandour a documentary Filmmaker and […]

  • Episode 61:Finding Hope During The Holidays: Tips and Advice

    December 14, 2015

    On this Holiday show Dr. Gloria Horsley and her co-host Alan Pedersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends discuss with Dale Dullabaun and Denise Petersen, bereaved parents of little Dale and Sean, the challenges of getting through the holidays after a loss. Tips and techniques are given to reduce holiday stress. Denise shows crafts that […]

  • Episode 54: The Healing Power of Art

    October 27, 2015

    On this show Dr. Heidi Horsley and Dr. Gloria Horsley interview Hal Bromm, owner of the Hal Bromm Art Gallery, and Doneley Meris, founder and executive director at HIV Arts Network, discussing their experiences with art and grief.  Hal shows images made by deceased artists Keith Haring, David Wojnarowicz, Luis Frangella, and Carlos Alfonzo. Video […]

  • 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 33: Spirituality and Healing

    November 11, 2014

    On this show Dr. Heidi Horsley and Dr. Gloria Horsley discuss with Sherry Cassedy and Faith Freed helpful ideas on getting through a crisis.  Sherry is an attorney who has practiced law and mediation for 29 years and currently has a mediation and private judging practice in Palo Alto, CA.   She has served as […]

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