• Hope

    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.

Open to Hope Radio

Articles

  • Three Years After Son’s Death, the Emptiness is Sacred

    January 8, 2016

    “It is your season, Elizabeth,” our priest greeted me, more than eight months pregnant and my body filled to bursting with our son, John, during Advent 2003. “It is,” I laughed. “I can’t wait to hold him!” Our daughter, Izzy, six at the time, was dubious about a little brother joining her domain in January. […]

  • Hope and Clarity in the Middle of Nowhere

    January 5, 2016

    Lately, I have begun to revisit previous articles and blogs that I have authored. Perhaps as I grow older, I value nostalgia more, or perhaps it is the value I place on the past as a teacher. Regardless, I always discover new insights when I revisit previous writings. The  majority of the content of the […]

  • Finding Christmas and Peace after the Death of a Child

    December 25, 2015

    Decades have passed since my infant daughter’s first Christmas. Baby Helen was only a month old when Christmas came. Because my husband and I were financially strapped, there were few presents under the tree, and most were for the baby. When I went to bed on Christmas Eve, I barely slept. All I could think […]

  • Keep the Spirit of Your Loved One Alive at Christmas

    December 23, 2015

    When the holiday season arrives, it takes me back in time. It is a bittersweet relive of the memories of Christmas past. I gave birth to two sons, Chris was my youngest and Jason my first born. The boys were best friends and partners in crime. My holidays were full of joy and meaning because […]

  • First Christmas without a Son

    December 4, 2015

    The first year my husband and I were married, we lived in Nurnberg, Germany. He was in the army, and I was not about to let him go to Germany for a year without me. We celebrated our first Christmas in Nurnberg. It was a fun time, it was a tough time. We had always […]

  • Is Christmas Still Christmas?

    December 2, 2015

    Anyone who has lost someone they love knows the numbing-down effect that death brings. Life becomes in some ways a pantomime, a surreal going-through-the-motions of reality. Especially, this is true at the holiday seasons. Three months after our son’s death, I was on my way to have breakfast with a close friend. I began crying […]

  • A Lasting Memory of Christmas Past

    December 2, 2015

    I had kissed Abby and David “good night” and was started back down the stairs, when I stopped at the top riser and paused before heading downstairs. The scene laid out below me, in the living room, was what we often lovingly refer to as “Christmas has thrown up all over our house.” I would […]

  • Marcie Taylor: The Drew Michael Taylor Foundation

    November 11, 2015

    The National Alliance for Grieving Children conference brought together Dr. Heidi Horsley and Marcie Taylor, a bereaved parent who works in the field of grief and loss. Her son died four years ago when he was three years old. Taylor and her husband created the Drew Michael Taylor Foundation in Pennsylvania in memory of Drew. […]

  • Can Gratitude be Part of the Grieving Process?

    November 6, 2015

    Gratitude does not come naturally to most of us when we’re dealing with intense grief and especially after the immediate loss of a child. I had to actively find my way back to gratitude following these two steps: Acknowledge God plays a role in my life – if I let Him. Invite Him into my […]

  • The Empty Holiday Plate

    November 4, 2015

    The holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Chanukah. Kwanza. Times to be happy and celebrate. For others, but not for me. For me, it is a time of an empty plate at the table. A remembrance of my child. My child used to sit at that plate heaping turkey and potatoes on his plate. A smile on his […]

  • Stillbirth: A Quiet Death

    October 22, 2015

      When a child you carry in your womb for nearly six months stops moving; when a small tiny life ceases to have breath; when all that you were looking forward to is extinguished; life changes in those moments. A quiet death has taken place. At first not even noticed. Without any warning, an umbilical […]

  • Drug and Alcohol Deaths

    September 20, 2015

    In this episode, the authors of Devastating Losses, William and Beverly Feigelman, join Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley. The couple lost their 32-year-old son to suicide related to substance abuse. He was living in New York with his fiancé when he hanged himself. Although Jesse had a long history of substance abuse—and Beverly, who was […]

  • Warning Signs

    September 19, 2015

    I run my fingers across raised lettering printed on the business card as I whisper the case number written on the back. This number will trace me to Ben’s body at the Orange County Medical Examiner’s Office. This card is the only tangible evidence I have that our nightmare is real. Memories of last night […]

  • William Feigelman Ph.D. and Beverly Feigelman LCSW: Drug and Alcohol Deaths

    September 15, 2015

    The authors of Devastating Losses, William and Beverly Feigelman join Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley to discuss drug and alcohol related deaths. They lost their son to substance abuse and have committed their lives and careers to helping others prevent such losses or heal from them. The Feigelmans took a narrative and wove it into […]

  • Forgiveness in Grief

    September 2, 2015

    I visited my 95-year old grandmother recently. She lives over 300 miles from me, so I don’t get to see her as often as I’d like. As we sat catching up, she mentioned that she had been having more and more thoughts about times earlier in life when, in her words, she did things that […]

  • R-A-W Emotions

    August 27, 2015

    We often hear that the death of a loved one brings people closer together. When we feel safe and can share with others, we move in and out of grief feeling supported and stable in the love that we have for the deceased. If people are fighting instead, feelings of loss may be compounded. In […]

  • What Prison Inmates Taught Me about Drug Addicts

    August 27, 2015

    Normally when I write, I write from the standpoint of someone who has lost a child to cancer. But tonight I am compelled to write from a different perspective for parents who have lost a child to drug addiction. Allow me to explain. Prior to my Anthony’s death, I had always been a work-a-holic, single […]

  • Scripting Our Own Paths After The Death of Our Children

    August 17, 2015

    My sincere and heartfelt thanks to both Susan Roback and Patty Furino for inspiring much of the content for this post. Deepening Bonds and  Linking Objects The relationship that I continue to share with my daughter Jeannine following her death in 2003 has on most days, allowed me to embrace a peaceful perspective.  As part of our […]

  • Delayed Guilt: An Unwelcome, Unproductive Feeling

    August 8, 2015

    I wasn’t prepared for the thoughts I had the other day, guilty thoughts that suddenly surfaced in my mind. Although guilt can cause positive change, for the most part, I think it’s a non-productive feeling. Guilty feelings can tug a bereaved person backwards on the recovery path, when the goal is to move forward. Guilt […]

  • Using the Pain of Grief as a Catalyst for Personal Growth

    August 4, 2015

    We all have defining moments. In fact, our lives are filled with them. I would describe these moments as stepping though a portal of experience that reshapes the world you live in. Once you’ve been through one of these portals, you can never return to the world you once knew; you can never un-learn what […]

  • Purposeful Tears

    August 4, 2015

    I spent two of my weekends this July presenting and speaking at national conferences for grieving parents, grandparents, and siblings. Needless to say, during these weekends I encountered more than a few people who were battling tears. It seems like an obvious statement to say that people who had lost dear members of their family […]

  • Don Lipstein: Losing a Soldier Son to Suicide

    July 27, 2015

    In this episode of The Open to Hope Radio show, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview Don Lipstein, who is a Peer Mentor Support and Training Coordinator for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Military Loss (TAPS). Lipstein began working with TAPS in the summer of 2012, shortly after the suicide death of his […]

  • The Compassionate Friends; People Helping People through Bereavement

    July 21, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interviewed married couple Michele Muro and Babe-Anthony Muro on The Open to Hope Foundation show, in collaboration with The Compassionate Friends. The Muros lost daughter/stepdaughter Lori in an automobile collision while she was serving in the military. Gloria and Heidi also interview Arnie and Varda Wendorf, who also lost their […]

  • Richard Sightings

    July 20, 2015

    Soon after my beloved son Richard died suddenly of a pulmonary embolism at age 46 in September of 2014, my family and I began experiencing what we call ‘Richard Sightings’. For us, a ‘sighting’ is a coincidence or synchronicity that reminds us of him or causes us to feel his presence. Richard was my only […]

  • Sherry Cassedy: Spiritual Journey After the Loss of a Son

    July 17, 2015

    This Open to Hope Radio show episode showcases the interview of Sherry Cassedy, JD, MA by Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley. Dr. Cassedy has practiced law for nearly 30 years, and owns a mediation/private judging practice in the Palo Alto area. A certified yoga instructor, she excels in combining yoga philosophy with spiritual guidance in […]

  • Memoir of a Spirit

    July 6, 2015

    Many of us grapple with the thought of our own mortality. It’s a frightening unknown cloaked in mystery, but it doesn’t have to be. My son, Erik, took his own life just after his 20th birthday. Since he was 14 years old, he struggled with severe bipolar disease. On top of this, he had odd […]

  • What is Strength in the Face of Grief?

    June 26, 2015

    “You’re so strong.” If you’ve suffered the devastating loss of a loved one, you’ve probably heard the phrase. I certainly have after the death of my 4-year-old daughter, Margareta, in 2009. But what does it really mean, anyway? What exactly is the definition of strength in the wake of a loved one’s death? Chances are […]

  • A Father ‘Hears From’ His Deceased Son on Father’s Day

    June 15, 2015

    Hi Dad, I have been thinking awhile of what I would write to you on Father’s Day, what I want to tell you, as well as what you need to hear.  For Father’s Day, a day that you have never embraced since the loss of your father so long ago, God has finally let me […]

  • Mitch Carmody: Proactive Grieving

    June 12, 2015

    Grieving shouldn’t just be a passive process—but many people need help being proactive about it. Dr. Gloria Horsley from the Open to Hope Foundation recently spoke with proactive grieving expert Mitch Carmody of Heartlight Studios about what it means to grieve in a proactive manner. Carmody brings his own experience to the table, having lost […]

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 59: Charitysmith: Help In Starting a Foundation

    December 14, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and co-host Alan Pedersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends, interview Tim Meadows, board member of Charitysmith, regarding the death of his son Christopher and how Charitysmith inspired the family to start a foundation in his name. Ashley Galleher, Executive Director of Charitysmith and a bereaved sibling, discusses the […]

  • Episode 57: Women and Grief

    October 29, 2015

    On This show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley moderate a panel of women regarding women and grief.  The panel includes Chris Gigliotti, Adam’s mom, Anne Castaldo, Tony’s mom and president of the Tony Brown foundation and Brooke Smith Kennedy’s mom and creator of Knot My Baby.  The women discuss the difficulty of being […]

  • 53 Episode: First Candle: Supporting Stillbirth and SIDS Families

    October 27, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Chris Blake, the chief operating officer of First Candle, regarding the foundation’s work in saving babies’ lives, spearheading research, educating new moms and dads and bringing hope to grieving families. Debbie Haine Vijayvergiya, bereaved mom of Autumn Joy and advocate for stillbirth awareness and […]

  • Episode 52: Pregnancy Loss and Still Birth

    October 5, 2015

    On this show Dr. Heidi Horsley and Dr. Gloria Horsley talk with Chris Blake the chief operating officer of  “First Candle”.  They discuss the work of the foundation in saving babies’ lives, spearheading research, educating new moms and dads, and bringing hope to grieving families. Brooke Smith of Knot My Baby also appears on the […]

  • Episode 51: Families For Safe Streets

    October 4, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with bereaved parent advocates, Amy Cohen, mother of Sammy, and a Founding Member of Families For Safe Streets, and Dana Lerner, mother of Cooper, psychotherapist and a member of Families for Safe Streets.  They discuss the need to enforce laws and change driving habits […]

  • Episode 50: Family Dynamics When Dealing With Loss

    October 4, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview the Ferber family: Dorothy, the mom, David, the dad, and their son, Jordon who talk openly about the death of their son and brother, Russell, and how his death impacted their lives.  They also talk about how they have honored his name through The […]

  • Episode 45: The Compassionate Friends: Groups Helping Parents, Siblings and Grandparents

    May 7, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Michele Muro and Babe-Anthony Muro, bereaved parent and stepparent of Lori who was killed in an automobile accident while serving in the U.S. Navy. Also on the show are Arnie and Varda Wendorf. Their daughter Lauren was also killed in an automobile accident. Michele […]