• Hope

    After Loss of a parent

After Loss of a parent

Stories of others who have lost parents will inspire and support you. Read, listen and watch. Hope is the bridge between loss and recovery.

Open to Hope Radio

  • A Good Goodbye: Gail Rubin

    December 18, 2014

    Gail Rubin, CT, is author and host of the award-winning book and television series A Good Goodbye: Funeral Planning for Those Who Don’t Plan to Die. She’s a Certified Thanatologist, that’s a death educator, a Certified Funeral Celebrant and a speaker who uses humor and films to get conversations started on death, dying, advance directives […]

  • Dr. David Fajgenbaum: Support Network For Grieving College Students

    November 20, 2014

    While a student at Georgetown University, David Fajgenbaum, MD, MSc founded Students of National Students of AMF Support Network, a peer-led grief support group and service program, in memory of his mother, Anne Marie Fajgenbaum. Dispite health challenges David carries on with his work and is currently an MBA Candidate at The Wharton School of Business.

  • Rebecca Soffer: Modern Loss Coping with Grief in a Digital World

    October 30, 2014

    Rebecca Soffer is the co-founder of Modern Loss a website geared to young adults addressing the many permutations of loss, from miscarriages to a parent’s death.  Ms. Soffer lost both her parents, her mother to an automobile accident and her father to a heart attack.

  • Jill Smolowe: Resilience In A Time of Grief

    October 16, 2014

    Within 17 months award-winning journalist and author Jill Smolowe lost her husband, sister, and mother.   Jill, a senior writer for People, desiring to help others, used her experience to write Four Funerals and a Wedding:  Resilience In A Time Of Grief. Jill then became a grief and transition coach helping clients learn how to restore […]

  • 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 […]

  • Handling Grief, Loss of Our Parents: Nina Impala

    July 3, 2014

    Nina Impala has both personal and professional experience with bereavement.  She has lost both parents and has recruited and trained hospice volunteers.  Nina is a Spiritual Grief Counselor who gives people tools to cope through her process of using HeartSight™.  She is the author of Dearly Departed: What I Learned About Living From The Dying.

  • Julie Saeger Nierenberg: Death of My Dad

    June 26, 2014

    Julie is a writer, editor and author coach. Inspired by the journey of love and release through her father’s end of life. Julie writes to contribute to a cultural shift in how we prepare ourselves and support others in the final chapter of life. She is the author of Daddy, this is it. Being-with My […]

  • 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 […]

  • Danita Ogandaga: Overcoming the Orphaned Spirit

    June 5, 2014

    Danita Ogandaga is the founder Hope Starts Today and the Orphan No More podcast. She lost both of her parents by the age of twenty-one. She teaches on the topics of grief, restoration, hope and resilience. She is the author of the audio book Overcoming the Orphan Spirit.

  • Beth Marshall: Getting Unstuck from Grief

    May 22, 2014

    When Beth Marshall lost both her parents within a few short years, she searched for light at the end of the tunnel… hoping it wasn’t a train! Surviving loss, recovery and ultimately finding new purpose led her to write A Time to Heal, a grief journal.

  • 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.

  • Beth L. Hewett, Ph.D. : Father and Sibling Loss

    April 17, 2014

    Beth L. Hewett understands the pain and anguish of grief. A facilitator and trainer for the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved (NCMB).  She has in recent years lost her brother, sister and father. She is the author of the Good Words For Grieving series.

  • Galen Goben: Coping With the Death of a Parent

    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

  • 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.

  • Beverly Smallwood: Parent Loss-Overcoming Adversity

    February 27, 2014

    Dr. Bev Smallwood is a psychologist, professional speaker, and executive coach who knows first-hand the experience of loss. At the age of 9, her 38-year-old father died of cancer. Since he was a pastor she and her mother were required to move from their home provided by the church. She is the author of “This […]

Articles

  • First Christmas Without Mom

    December 10, 2014

    I’m searching the internet for ways to get through this first festival of lights season without my mother. The articles I read about loss and the holidays offer helpful tips for getting through it. So many helpful suggestions: find meaning in your traditions, ask for help, plan ahead, discover what has most value to you, […]

  • The Last Christmas Stocking

    November 30, 2014

    The first Christmas stocking I ever made was in 1960. I was 10 years old and living in Walnut Creek, California with my parents, Ted and Lillian. We didn’t have too many Christmas rituals, no church services or Advent candles. There was a china nativity set. It was small, but had all the important characters. […]

  • Improv artist Marc Herson on Vision Quests for Mourners

    November 28, 2014

    Fasting on water, chanting his heart out and beating a drum for 4 solitary days  in a pine valley opened a door to the afterlife for Marc Hershon. This and more when memory artist, Nancy Gershman talks with Hershon about his vision quest – a Renaissance man who performs and teaches improv; hosts and produces Succotash, the Comedy Podcast; draws an award-winning, weekly cartoon for California’s Half […]

  • Mourning Mother

    November 25, 2014

    Exactly a month after my mother’s death, I’ve boarded a plane for Toronto, Canada to train with the cancer center there in their protocol, CALM (Managing Cancer and Living Meaningfully). It’s hard to leave home right now. I stick close to my wife and become easily overcome by the many details of living. On the […]

  • Activities to help Children Process Grief: Interview with Dr. Natalie Carlos

    November 15, 2014

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Dr. Natalie Carlos, who works in the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles, about her work with children and grief. Natalie got into this field after being motivated and inspired by her own personal experience. Natalie’s mom died after a two-year battle with […]

  • The Ruby Connection

    September 26, 2014

    My mother died 2 months after she turned 48. Her boyfriend was suspected in her death, but he was never charged. This left me with no answers, no closure, and no mother. I think this emotional “lostness” created a need for connections to her that I may not have experienced otherwise, at least not at […]

  • Using the Pen to Return from Grief

    August 29, 2014

    Since my dad’s passing in April of 2012, I’ve learned there are many, varied, and sometimes unusual, ways people find to support their grief and integrate the inescapable reality of loss. No single process is best for everyone. For my own acceptance and eventual comfort, I turned to the pen. His death was not unexpected. […]

  • 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 […]

  • The Chauffeur’s Flower: Memories of an Early Loss

    July 26, 2014

    The day of my father’s funeral stands out in my mind. I remember blue sky and sunshine. It was six days after my eleventh birthday. At the end of the day, the chauffeur from the limousine handed me a carnation he had been wearing. I took it home, pressed it and always remembered the kindness […]

  • Father-Daughter Bond Continues Beyond the Grave

    June 15, 2014

    My last visit with my father began three days before his passing. I had known him as a man of few words, so the intensity and depth of the conversation we shared about the life we had spent together marked me indelibly. He emphasized that he wished he “had been able to do more [for […]

  • My Father’s Final Gift

    June 14, 2014

    I would like to share my father’s final gift with you – a gift he unknowingly gave to me in death.  I received this most precious gift on a beautiful sunny day in April.  I’ll never forget the sky, it was so blue and the air was so crisp – God had created a simply gorgeous […]

  • Letter to a Lost Father

    June 13, 2014

    Dear Dad, It’s been 26 years since we last celebrated Father’s Day together. I think about your time here on Earth and I rejoice in your spirit. Born in the early 1900’s, you saw so many things. You were raised Jewish, yet you chose to let us be who we were; it did not matter […]

  • Lucky Charms: It Isn’t Just a Cereal

    June 10, 2014

    LUCKY CHARMS: It isn’t just a Cereal “See a penny, pick it up and all day long you’ll have good luck.” “Don’t step on a crack or you’ll break your mother’s back.” “When you see a hummingbird, think of me.” I grew up hearing the first of these two “sayings” from my father, which resulted […]

  • Unravelling of Life … My Sweater

    June 3, 2014

    The sweater clothed me It sheltered me daily It covered my wounds It kept me safe It was comfortable   The occasional yarns that dangled or sprout forth Were quickly yanked away or shorn down No need for them. What I had clothed me   One day Father Jim hugged me A priest on a […]

  • Make Time Matter: A Lesson from My Dad

    June 2, 2014

    My father died from complications of bowel cancer, and I held his hand as he took his final breath. Being there, as hard as it was to experience, was a gift to me, and he told me that it was also a gift to him. He endured some very real physical pain and also the […]

  • Playwright Ann Randolph on Writing about Grief

    May 28, 2014

    How is a performance and a post-show creative writing workshop sparking a national discourse on grief? This and more when memory artist Nancy Gershman sits down with playwright and comedian, Ann Randolph to talk about her one-woman show, LOVELAND – and the transformative and healing power of writing about grief.  Learn more about Randolph’s week-long “Write Your Life”workshops, by visiting […]

  • 3 Ways To Find Hope After Loss: Interview with Dr. David Meagher

    May 18, 2014

    At the annual ADEC Conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Dr. David Meagher and discuss with him ways that people can find hope again after loss. Dr. Meagher is a pediatric surgeon who practices in Ohio, but he is originally from New York.  I’m a fellow New Yorker as well, and as we […]

  • Childhood Grief: An Interview with Chase Roberts

    May 17, 2014

    In this video, Jesse Roberts, the author of Katie the Ladybug: Explaining Emotions of Grief to a Child, speaks of his own experiences and encourages those who are helping grieving children to be honest, concrete, and sensitive when discussing the topic of death. Losing both of my parents before the age of 16 inspired me […]

  • Grieving for Dad: Interview with Lara Rogers-Krawchuk

    May 17, 2014

    By Lara Rogers-Krawchuk In this video, I will share lessons learned from my long time work as an oncology social worker, therapist, adjunct professor, and lover of the contemporary concept of meaning making along a grief journey.  I will also offer personal insights from being the daughter of a dad who died much too young […]

  • Write Your Mother A Letter

    May 13, 2014

    Many of us are missing our mothers who reside in Heaven. Because God provides that they still see and hear us, it is never too late to talk to them or write them a letter. For Mother’s Day, please consider writing your mother a letter and then reading it out loud to her. Have a […]

  • Walking with Grief, Living with Purpose

    May 1, 2014

    Yesterday while walking in my neighborhood, I realized how alive and present my father’s spirit is in my life. He was an avid gardener and life-long admirer of nature, and I feel his presence reflected in the beauty and wonder of the outdoors, the sounds and sights of Spring. He was a daily walker and […]

  • Comic Steve Mittleman About Forgiving Hard Parents at End of Life

    April 8, 2014

    It’s easy to forgive the hardest parent when they thank you through tears with: “Nobody cared for me as much in my whole life!” Or when they write a letter that gets delivered to you on the day of their funeral. This and more, when memory artist, Nancy Gershman talks with comic, Steve Mittleman who travels […]

  • Beyond the Clouds: Reframing the Negative Emotions

    March 22, 2014

    When bad things happen, it is very natural to develop a negative outlook on your life and on yourself. After the loss of a loved one, you may think “I’ll never be ok again” or “I have no hope for my future.” However, hope and a vision for your future are possible when you “flip […]

  • Caregiving is an Unavoidable Link to Anticipatory Grief

    March 14, 2014

    More than a decade ago I became my mother’s caregiver. Though she lived in an assisted living community, I had many responsibilities and, as mini strokes robbed her of memory, my responsibilities increased. From taking her to medical and dental appointments, to running errands, to going out for lunch, I did something for my mother […]

  • The Other Side of Grief

    February 18, 2014

    Have you ever flipped over a colorful seashell that was wedged in the wet sand and examined its other side? You were probably first attracted by the reflection of the flashy hues of the exterior. But the smooth, concave inner surface of the vessel, which once protected life with a mirrored piece, also has a […]

  • Being-with My Dying Dad

    February 17, 2014

    For our last three years of father-and-daughter life on this planet, Daddy and I talked daily to be as close as we could be. Our time together was coming to an end. We didn’t know when that would happen; we just knew it was coming sooner than we wished. And then came the news: “There […]

  • A Guide To Caregiving of Aging Parents with Alzheimer’s: Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration

    March 24, 2014

    Caregiving for an aging parent, especially one with Alzheimer’s, may be seen as both a burden and a blessing. Read about how you can manage this difficult and heart-wrenching task with grace. “Words of Assistance, Comfort and Inspiration for Caregivers” is a follow-up book to Ellen Gerst’s popular introductory effort on this subject: “Understanding Caregiving […]

  • Understanding Dementia and Caregiving For Your Aging Parents From A to Z

    March 24, 2014

    Per the 2012 Alzheimer’s Disease Facts and Figures report published by the Alzheimer’s Association, one in eight older Americans (over 65 years old) has Alzheimer’s and nearly half of the people 85 and older are afflicted with this insidious disease. So just as the Baby Boomer generation is getting ready to enjoy retirement, their increasingly […]

  • Let’s Get A Grasp on Grief

    March 24, 2014

    Grief is a very puzzling process and not easily understood. Even most adults don’t understand it, so how can we expect children to understand their feelings if their Mom or Dad dies. “Let’s Get A Grasp on Grief” begins to help older children (9 years +) to understand some of the confusing emotions they will […]

  • Let’s Get A Grip on Grief

    March 24, 2014

    Grief is a very puzzling process and not easily understood. Even most adults don’t understand it, so how can we expect children to understand their feelings if their Mom, Dad or another loved one dies. “Let’s Get A Grip on Grief” does NOT attempt to explain death or why a loved one had to die. […]

  • Daddy, This is it. Being-with my Dying Dad

    February 26, 2014

    Julie Saeger Nierenberg’s book, Daddy, This is it. Being-with my Dying Dad, is available here.

  • Gracefully Gone

    February 26, 2014

    Alicia Coppola’s book, Gracefully Gone, is available at Amazon.com.  

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.