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    After Loss of a child

After Loss of a child

We know the pain can be unbearable. Read stories and find community. You need not be alone in your journey.

Articles

  • Finding a Silver Lining in Living with Loss

    October 28, 2014

    Can we find anything at all in living with loss that in some way we might benefit from? Is it possible that something as terrible as loss, so final and irreversible, can contain a silver lining? Maybe this isn’t exactly a silver lining, but I’ll tell you about something that has dawned on me as […]

  • Learning to Live Again After Loss: Interview with Alan Pederson

    October 28, 2014

    In a recent interview, Alan Pedersen opened up with Dr. Gloria Horsley about Learning to Live Again After Loss and the trials he faced after his great loss. Below is the interview: G:        Hello.  I’m Dr. Gloria Horsley with my co-host Dr. Heidi Horsley.  Welcome to the show today.  We’re so happy to have you on […]

  • Wedding Day a Lesson in Process of Grief

    October 24, 2014

    In 2007, my twin grandchildren’s parents died from the injuries they received in separate car crashes. The twin’s mother, our daughter, listed my husband and me as the twin’s guardians in her will. Suddenly we were GRGs, grandparents raising grandchildren. The twins, one boy and one girl, came to live with us when they were […]

  • My Way of Living with Death

    October 22, 2014

    If there is one word to describe me, it would be “Mother.” When I hear “Mom” in a grocery store, I turn, ready for action. I want every one of all ages to be happy, healthy and well cared for. It is in my DNA. My son, Christopher Robin Hotchkiss, was murdered by his roommate, […]

  • Ask, Seek, and Knock Loudly on God’s Door

    October 10, 2014

    On the snowy night of December 30, 2012, I was reflecting on the past year in my journal. I have journaled regularly since 1990, when I lived in the bush in West Africa and had little else to occupy myself during the silent nights in my mud brick house. I wrestled for a while as […]

  • When an Adopted Daughter Takes her Own Life

    October 7, 2014

    We had a big fight with our 17-year-old daughter Casey that weekend in January, 2008 – yelling, crying, slamming doors, saying ugly things we didn’t really mean. A typical teenage power struggle. I left her in a puddle of tears in her room cursing me, practically counting the days until she went off to college […]

  • 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 […]

  • As Seasons Change, So Does Grief

    October 2, 2014

    Grief is a very difficult passage to make. We hope when we are grief stricken that someday we will no longer grieve. The reality in grief is that we really don’t “get over” it; we learn instead to live with it. I lost my son to an opiate addiction in 2007. As you can imagine, […]

  • Preparing for Winter Blues, Anniversary Reactions, and the Unwelcome Return of Grief

    September 29, 2014

    Fall has come to Minnesota. The trees are turning gold and orange and red. White-winged Juncos, birds in the sparrow family and harbingers of winter, have returned to the backyard feeders. Nights are colder, and there is frost on the lawn in the mornings. Much as I love fall, I’m always a bit uneasy because […]

  • 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 […]

  • Helping the Bereaved Parent Survive the ‘Season of Cheer’

    September 23, 2014

    Once you become a bereaved parent, events that you once looked forward to, you now dread. Everything from the start of the school year right through to Memorial Day is filled with memories that now evoke as much pain as laughter. For most of us, however, it is that period of time between Thanksgiving and […]

  • ‘Würmchen is Dead’

    September 18, 2014

    There’s an old pear tree in our back yard. It’s too close to the house. One of these days, a windstorm will blow one of the high branches onto the roof, and we’ll wish we’d had it removed earlier. Already, windstorms have taken down the three ancient apple trees that were on the property when […]

  • The Terms of My Surrender

    September 17, 2014

    From the moment you came into my life, I hated you. I despised you. You came on the heels of my worst nightmare come true – the death of my young daughter. I didn’t know your name at the time. I just knew that you brought with you all the horrible feelings and emotions I […]

  • Because My Son is in a Box

    September 6, 2014

    Because my son is in a box on my shelf, I no longer give a shit about how I appear to the outside world.  I do not care that I am misunderstood.  I do not care that I am offensive or seem selfish. For once in my life I have no desire to explain myself.  […]

  • We Would Have Died For You: The Journey of Bereaved Parents

    August 19, 2014

    From the moment we found out you were coming into our lives, we felt electric: a mix of excitement, adrenalin, and a dose of fear for good measure. We dutifully began plotting the course of our lives together – starting with milestones like kindergarten, puberty, graduation, career, wedding, grandchildren, etc. Then we began making our […]

  • 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 […]

  • Another School Year Begins

    August 19, 2014

    We hosted a college graduation party at our house for our nephew last weekend. My husband’s family was here, including our 95-year-old great-grandmother, all four grandparents in various levels of physical health. This made five generations gathered to hear my brother-in-law speak of his three children, who have now all graduated from college, and we […]

  • Loss, Bereavement and Robin Williams

    August 13, 2014

    I have been a Robin Williams fan since he appeared on television as the funny alien in Mork and Mindy, “Na Nu, Na Nu.” As the years went on, I came to see that there was a deep and sensitive side to Robin, because it came through his work and yet I, like many of […]

  • Message of Robin Williams’ Death: Mental Illness Can Kill

    August 12, 2014

    Robin Williams got the world’s attention by making us belly laugh. He was also able to bring tears to our eyes by the meaningful messages he would leave us in a profound line of a movie or a conclusion of a stand-up comedy act. Now that our country is in a crisis due to drug-related […]

  • Wanted: Soul Sister in Grief

    August 6, 2014

    I have secretly been looking for a place to post a want-ad for a partner in grief.  In my small hometown, I don’t know anyone who has lost a child.  There is a support group about 30 minutes away but despite my efforts to connect with any of these women outside of the group that […]

  • Colors of the Spirit: We Are All One in Grief

    July 24, 2014

    Embracing Sacred Law From July 11, 2014 through July 13,2014, I attended the 37th National Conference of The Compassionate Friends in Chicago, Illinois.I have been attending and presenting workshops for this great organization whose focus is to provide hope and support to families who have experienced the death of a child, since 2008. I always […]

  • Uncovering The Richer Connections in Our Signs

    July 16, 2014

    An Empirical Man For the majority of my life, I never bought in to the idea that our loved ones could survive death by communicating their continued existence to us. I was too busy trying to handle my day-to-day responsibilities of being a son, husband, father, and addictions counselor to give much thought to what […]

  • Five Years After Son’s Death, Dad Wonders if ‘the Blue Skies are Coming’

    July 2, 2014

      As the weather finally begins to catch up with the seasons, I find myself looking back. Beyond the still blue waters and flowered meadows. Back to the time when the only contrast to the vast expanses of ice were the dirt streaked mountains of accumulated snow. When I think about this year’s record snowfall […]

  • Breaking the Rules of Grief

    June 30, 2014

    An excerpt from the Introduction of Breaking the Rules of Grief, A Bereaved Mother’s Journey.  By Shannon Harris I should begin by warning you that there will be no substantial evidence supporting the ideas in this book. These are all my conflicted thoughts in black and white, perfectly spaced in Times New Roman size 12. Should […]

  • God’s Plan in the Grocery Store

    June 24, 2014

    With my whole heart I can say that I am not afraid of anything in life now that I’ve watched my son die.  Nothing can ever be harder than that moment in time; therefore, I have nothing to fear.  Death itself no longer scares me, either, knowing he is waiting for me on the other […]

  • Depression in the Workplace Can Be Fatal

    June 16, 2014

    with workplace commentary by Sandra Turner, Ph.D In the early morning hours on March 29, 1999, our son Keith died by suicide. Keith suffered from depression caused by the stress he experienced in his place of work—a company where he had worked for only a short seven months of his life. Growing up, Keith was […]

  • Resilience After Death of a Daughter

    June 14, 2014

    Life did not prepare me for August 15, 2001. In one moment on a very ordinary day, the world as I knew it inexplicably changed. I answered the phone to the panicked voice of a friend telling me that my 18-year-old and only daughter Ashley had been killed in an automobile accident. Little did I […]

  • Sitting in the Dark with Maya Angelou

    June 11, 2014

    Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud. ~Maya Angelou~ I’ve always had the feeling that life loves the liver of it. You must live and life will be good to you, give you experiences. They may not all be that pleasant, but nobody promised you a rose garden. But more than likely if you […]

  • Grief and the Loss of Control

    June 9, 2014

    Possibly one of the hardest aspects of grief for me has been that I can’t control it. I spent the majority of my life trying desperately to control everything in it. I wanted life to be predictable and – above all – peaceful. The problem has been what I tried to control and how I’d […]

  • A Marriage Survives the Loss of a Child

    June 4, 2014

    We have been traveling this grief journey after the death of our son, Clint, for seven years. We didn’t know what to expect along the way for ourselves or for the marriage. In the beginning, we stayed together because we had no energy to do otherwise. Then the suggestion was offered, to stay together because […]

  • Messages of Love

    June 3, 2014

    Over the years since my son’s death by overdose in 2004, I have received many messages and signs from him. Some have come in dreams, some through songs on the radio. Perhaps the most powerful of all have been the heart-shaped stones and shells washed up by the sea to remind me that love never […]

  • How to Feel Better in Less Than an Hour

    May 31, 2014

    I often read internet postings from fellow bereaved parents expressing the terrible pain they are feeling after the loss of a child. I hear it in support groups and have lived through it myself. My son, Anthony, died when he was five years old to leukemia four years ago. As I hear and read these […]

  • Why Happy New Year is Tough on Bereaved Parents

    May 30, 2014

    When the ball at Times Square drops, champagne corks pop. Ample hugs and kisses are dispensed all around. A new year, new hope, new ventures, new possibilities. Wow, it’s all so exciting! However, for the parent who has lost a child in the previous year, the dawning of a new calendar year can be rough. […]

  • Grief as a Backpack

    May 27, 2014

    People seem to think the ache of missing our children would become more bearable over time. It doesn’t. In fact, some of my days now are more painful as the years go on, because I’m further and further since I last held my son safely in my arms. You’d think after all this time I’d […]

  • The Upside of Sadness in Our Grief Journeys

    May 19, 2014

    Entitled No More During the last few days of my existence, I have experienced more sadness than usual. Considering that I am a parent whose child died  over 11 years ago, I could justify my sadness as something that I was entitled to because of my daughter Jeannine’s death. However, entitlement hasn’t been a part […]

  • Healing Through Art: Interview with Sharon Strouse

    May 18, 2014

    At the annual ADEC Conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Sharon Strouse of The Kristin Rita Strouse Foundation and discuss with her ways to deal with grief after losing a child. Sharon is also the author of a book called Artful Grief: A Diary of Healing. Using her book, anyone can create their […]

  • 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 […]

  • A Day of Rebirth

    April 16, 2014

    I originally wrote this piece for my blog on March 1, 2014, my daughter Jeannine’s 11th angelversary date.  Since year nine of my life as a parent who has experienced the death of a child, I have written about the teachings I have discovered when spending time with Jeannine, on her angelversary date. I decided […]

  • Grieving Especially Tough During Easter Season

    April 12, 2014

    While most of us prepare for the Easter season, some people are struggling to survive the death of a loved one. I dedicate the entire month to everyone suffering with grief and sorrow. I too am grief-stricken and I too find April to be a difficult month, especially this year. This month marks the 10th […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • Elizabeth Heineman: Stillbirth

    October 9, 2014

    Elizabeth Heineman is mother of one stillborn and two surviving children. Her memoir of her stillbirth is Ghostbelly (Feminist Press, 2014). She is a professor at the University of Iowa, where she teaches courses on gender and sexuality, European and German history, and the history of human rights.

  • An Artists View of Death, Steven Boone

    October 2, 2014

    Artist, photographer, traveler, and writer Steven Boone lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He lost his daughter to cancer when she was nineteen. His award-winning book, called “A Heart Traced in Sand” recalls his experiences with her living and dying.

  • Rosalie Deer Heart: Healing Grief

    September 18, 2014

    Rosalie Deer Heart is a veteran of grief who chose to open her heart even wider to love after the sudden death of her teenage son, Mike. She is the author of eight books including Healing Grief—A Mother’s Story.

  • Linda Hunt: Finding Strength and Renewal After Child Loss

    September 4, 2014

    Linda Lawrence Hunt’s 25-year-old daughter Krista was killed while volunteering with her husband in Bolivia.  She and her husband co-founded the Krista Foundation for Global Citizenship.  Linda is the author of Pilgrimage through Loss: Pathways to Strength and Renewal after the Death of a Child.

  • K. Paul Stroller: Writing a Posthumous Memoir

    August 14, 2014

    Dr. K. Paul Stroller, MD, started his medical career as a pediatrician and currently uses hyperbaric medicine to treat brain-injured children and adults.  He is the bereaved father of Galen who in 2007 at the age of sixteen was killed in train collision.  He is the editor of My Life After Life:  A Posthumous Memoir […]

  • Candace Lightner: Death and the Hero’s Journey

    July 31, 2014

    Candace Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980 after the death of her daughter Cari.  She continues working both nationally and internationally to promote highway safety.  She is founder and executive director of We Save Lives working on THE 3 D’s: DRUNK, DRUGGED AND DISTRACTED driving.

  • Death and the Hero’s Journey : Candace Lightner

    July 31, 2014

    Candace Lightner founded Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) in 1980 after the death of her daughter Cari.  She continues working both nationally and internationally to promote highway safety.  She is founder and executive director of We Save Lives working on THE 3 D’s: DRUNK, DRUGGED AND DISTRACTED driving

  • Navigating Grief and Trials: Kathleen D. Hamilton

    July 24, 2014

    Kathleen D. Hamilton has suffered a number of tragedies including the deaths of her mother and twelve year old daughter.  She has coped with a brain-injured son and has grieved two broken marriages. Reaching out to help others she has been a facilitator with “The Compassionate Friends” and has worked in the funeral industry. She […]

  • 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 […]

  • 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.

  • Pilgrimage Through Loss

    June 10, 2014

      Linda Lawrence Hunt’s book, Pilgrimage through loss is available here.