• 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.

Articles

  • A Post-Loss Walk through Memory Lane

    April 22, 2015

    As I passed their house gate, the heaviness in my heart amplified. I felt as if my heart was about to explode out of my body. I entered the house with my husband and congratulated the bride and groom and their parents and acted as normal as I could. The bride was my deceased daughter’s […]

  • Pain is Inevitable; Suffering is Optional

    April 10, 2015

    “Does time heal all wounds?” If you are a griever, you have no doubt heard this cliché more than once. On April 16, 1993, our son, Chad, died as a result of suicide. Family and friends know that it doesn’t pay to ask, “Do you ever get over it?” Our response will always be the […]

  • Avoid the Grief Pitfall of Isolation

    April 8, 2015

    Once a loved one dies, the desire to isolate can be overwhelming. Spending time alone to rest, meditate, and remember is restorative, but grief experts tell us shunning others ultimately won’t bring peace. It’s important to find people who can help us work through the grieving process. Sometimes these people can be family members and […]

  • Mother’s Day: A Happy and Sad Occasion

    April 6, 2015

    One Mother’s Day after another passes by since I lost my daughter in September 2006. It does not get easier as years go by. How can this day not intensify my grief after losing one of my three children? Mother’s Day will never be the same ever! This day that used to bring me joy […]

  • Turning Tragedy into Hope

    March 17, 2015

    March 17th is normally for most people a day of celebration – St. Patrick’s Day. What a saint he was too, not only bringing a message of hope to the Irish, but also to the rest of the British Isles during his lifetime. March 17th, 2011, was a day that changed my life for all […]

  • Can Grief Be a Friend?

    March 7, 2015

    Anne LaMott, in her book Traveling Mercies, writes,  “Don’t get me wrong. Grief sucks; it really does. Unfortunately, though, avoiding it robs us of Life, of the now, of the sense of living spirit…The bad news is that whatever you use to keep the pain at bay robs you of the flecks and nuggets of […]

  • After Loss: We Are Our Own Evidence

    February 20, 2015

    Validation Comes From Within If we need validation or proof of our own transformation after loss or other life altering events, we need look no further than ourselves.   We can only assess for ourselves the progress we have made on our journeys.  The validation from others regarding our progress is important but in reality it […]

  • Lent as a Verb, Not a Noun

    February 20, 2015

    In Christendom Lent, from the Latin for “forty,” is the annual season of fasting and penitence for 40 weekdays before Easter. But, as someone in mourning, I’m having a hard time thinking about giving up chocolate or staying off Facebook as anything as penitential as the sudden death of our son Mack, 8, on New […]

  • Grieving a Future I’ll Never Have

    February 19, 2015

    When grief is new, it is excruciating and overwhelming. Many people get stuck in a quicksand of pain that is so thick and intense, it feels impossible to escape. As you struggle through those first few days, weeks, and months, you begin to be pulled so far down into it, you can’t imagine how you’ll […]

  • Years After Daughter’s Death, an Extraordinary Day

    February 8, 2015

    I have been to our university’s graduation parties several times since my daughter passed away, but they were never held in the same hall that her high school graduation had taken place at. I did not step in that building since her graduation eight years ago. I woke up apprehensive of what was awaiting me […]

  • Writing the Gratitude!

    February 6, 2015

    When Daniel died, I wanted more. More smiles, more birthdays, more words, more experiences. Like any mom, I wanted my child to have a full and healthy life. When Daniel breathed his last, all I had was four years and five months and eight days. He hadn’t made it to five; he hadn’t even made […]

  • Shifting: Child-Loss Splits Mom Between Heaven and Earth

    February 3, 2015

    For all accounts and purposes I am a strong woman. I have been through some extraordinary situations and lived to tell about them. And the telling has been my mission for the last six months. Sharing my story, educating fellow child-loss survivors about meditation, energy and intuition. I preach about connecting with your child after […]

  • Behind the Veil

    January 21, 2015

    When you see me, you probably see what you would consider to be a strong person. You see someone who appears to be living the American Dream — juggling a successful career, a beautiful family, a healthy social life, and even time to volunteer for a good cause. You see a person who came back […]

  • When a Child Dies of Drug Addiction

    January 18, 2015

    Ben was an addict. That declaration is enormously painful and takes even more courage to write than Ben died at age nineteen. He was an honor student, football captain, neighborhood skateboard star, altar server, little league all-star, and lead singer in a punk rock band; he was handsome, popular, kind, and gentle. He was my […]

  • Is Grief Making You Feel Sick?

    January 13, 2015

    Recently I got an email from a woman who had lost her son a few years ago. She openly shared how much she had aged fast since her son’s passing. She listed a couple of her most urgent ailments and I quickly realized the process of grieving was taking its toll on her health. As […]

  • Winter Without Son is Lusterless

    December 26, 2014

    When your child dies, the holidays quickly lose their luster. The entire spectrum of lights is muted to a dull gray, while the endless barrage of seasonal music only brings out the blues. When you combine that with freezing temperatures and the whirlwind of activities, it can lead to treacherous living conditions. Additionally, a string […]

  • How to Fill an Empty Stocking

    December 24, 2014

    It is the day after Thanksgiving, or “black Friday” as most of us refer to it these days. I imagine myself in my best holiday shopping outfit complete with new leather boots, a warm peacoat and a bright holiday scarf. I navigate the Vintage Faire Mall parking lot like a champion. With my non-fat, extra […]

  • Keep the Spirit of Your Loved One Alive at Christmas

    December 23, 2014

    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 […]

  • Finding Christmas and Peace after the Death of a Child

    December 12, 2014

    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 […]

  • Seeking Support After a Child-Loss

    December 11, 2014

    After a loved one has passed on and the funeral is over, the cards stop coming in the mail and it feels like the rest of the world has moved on. For the newly bereaved, this can be the loneliest time of all. Many times family and friends will pull away because they feel uncomfortable […]

  • Connecting to the First Christmas

    December 9, 2014

    No money down, no interest and nineteen months to pay, the holiday season is upon us. No other holiday brings up so much emotion as Christmas. There is a rise in alcoholism, abuse and depression. No wonder we feel the pain of the loss of our loved ones at this time. I think about the […]

  • Wishing the Holidays Would Go On By

    December 5, 2014

    At least I don’t have to deal with Christmas. It must be terrible for those who used to rejoice in the holiday. One less present under the tree. One less diner at dinner. One less reason to go on. And everyone else happy and smiling. It’s Christmas. The happiest time of the year. Rejoice in […]

  • What Bereaved Families Can Expect – Interview with Harriet Sarnoff Schiff

    December 2, 2014

    HEALING THE GRIEVING HEART What Bereaved Families Can Expect As Time Goes On Host: Dr. Gloria Horsley With guest: Harriet Sarnoff Schiff June 16, 2005 Today I am much honored to have as my special guest international grief expert and author Harriet Sarnoff Schiff. Harriet Sarnoff Schiff is the author of two classic works on […]

  • Healing Through the Holidays

    November 29, 2014

    The holidays approach. “Holidays” meaning Thanksgiving, then Advent, Hannakah, Solstice, but ultimately Christmas, and then New Year’s. ‘Tis the season…to be jolly. Increasingly it is a commercialized, consumer event of trees and trimmings, treats and gifts—purchasing an experience of gaity, cheer, warmth, togetherness, presence. When absence is a constant companion, when loss is fresh and […]

  • Creating a New Reality After a Child-Loss

    November 16, 2014

    Grief has many lessons. One of them is the opportunity to re-create ourselves from scratch because it has the power to take what we are, what we thought we were meant to be, to a far-away place. A place that we felt we would never be able to go. We are stuck with a new […]

  • 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 […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • Growing From Life’s Disappointments: Harriet Hodgson

    April 16, 2015

    Harriet Hodgson has been a freelance writer for more than 36 years. She is the author of 33 published books, including eight grief resources. Her latest resource is Happy Again! Your New and Meaningful Life After Loss. Harriet has had numerous loses, including the death of her daughter. Harriet and her husband raised their twin […]

  • Healing Through Grief: Sherry Cassedy

    February 26, 2015

    Sherry Cassedy, JD, MA, has practiced law and mediation for 29 years and currently has a mediation and private judging practice in Palo Alto, CA.  She is also a certified yoga instructor and spiritual guide, weaving yoga philosophy through her classes and offering spiritual guidance and seasonal retreats on spiritual topics.  She is the bereaved […]

  • Military Loss of a Son: Don Lipstein

    January 22, 2015

    Don Lipstein, is a Peer Mentor Support and Training Coordinator for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Military Loss (TAPS).  Don joined the TAPS Team in July, 2012, after receiving support due to the suicide death of his oldest son, Joshua.  He plays an important role in providing hope and healing to military survivors […]

  • 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 […]

  • Hope After Loss: Guest Angela Miller

    December 4, 2014

    Angela Miller is a writer, survivor, bereaved parent of Noah, and grief advocate who provides support and solace to those who are grieving worldwide. She is the author of You Are the Mother of All Mothers: A Message of Hope for the Grieving Heart. Angela writes candidly about child loss and grief without sugar coating […]

  • 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.

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 40: Helping Families Deal With Drug and Alcohol Overdose

    January 14, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Barbara Allen whose son, Jim, overdosed on heroin and alcohol in 2003.  She is the founder of  “Shatter the Stigma” an organization with the goal of bringing the disease of addiction into the light of hope and healing.  Joining her on the show is […]

  • Episode 39: Finding Hope After Multiple Deaths

    January 14, 2015

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Jill Kraft Thompson an amazing woman who has re-built her life after losing five people she loved the most. She survived the car crash that killed five members of her family – her husband Bart, her two sons, Ben and Sam, her mom and […]

  • Episode 35: Grieving Disability and Death

    November 11, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with  Louise Bruce, bereaved mom the experience of losing two special needs children, Laura and Chris.   Louise has honored the children by starting the LaChris Connection serving families of kids with disabilities.  The second guest is Isabel Stenzel Byrnes, Hospice social worker, Cystic […]

  • Episode 34: Making Meaning After Loss– Golden Gate Bridge

    November 11, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Sue Story and David Hull both bereaved parents whose children died after jumping off the Golden Gate Bridge.  Sue and David have gone on to honor their children by advocating for safety changes in the bridge and suicide prevention.  David is the co-founder of […]