• Hope

    After Loss of a sibling

After Loss of a sibling

Do you feel your loss is overlooked? Find inspiration in stories by others who have lost siblings.


  • The Day I Lost My Oxygen…and How I Got It Back

    October 1, 2015

    “I’m sorry, but there was nothing we could do…she’s gone,” the doctor stated in a professional tone of voice on that life-changing Thanksgiving morning. I felt as though my stomach and heart had been knocked out of me, then after the initial shock, as though I couldn’t breathe at all. It felt as though grief […]

  • Remembering Izzy

    September 30, 2015

    It was a baby rat. Recently, after years of contemplating the possibility, I obtained two adult rats as pets. They were potentially to be used as live examples in the psychology classes I taught, and in a fun way—treats all around! A day after I received the rats, the previous owner informed me that one […]

  • Erika Barber: Navigating Life Stages Post Sibling Death

    September 29, 2015

    Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley talk with Erika Barber about her experience with losing a sibling. Barber enjoyed life with her sister for 15 years, but after her sister committed suicide, Barber found herself lost. It’s been a lifelong exploration to define who she is without her sister’s physical presence. She wrote Letters from a […]

  • Siblings: The Forgotten Mourners

    September 18, 2015

    Episode 24 of The Open to Hope show features Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interviewing Dana Brophy and Zander Sprague. Brophy is the daughter of Alan Pedersen, the Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends. She lost her brother, Sean, and knows all too well how disenfranchised sibling loss can be. Like many siblings, she hid […]

  • Dana Brophy: Siblings the Forgotten Mourners

    September 16, 2015

    Dana Brophy is the daughter of Alan Pedersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends. Her personal experience with sibling loss has unfortunately made Brophy an expert on sibling loss. Her brother, Sean, died when he was 21 in a car accident. He was her only sibling and, even though she wasn’t a young child when […]

  • Siblings Forgotten Mourners

    August 29, 2015

    When Dr. Heidi Horsley was in college, she lost her 17-year-old brother Scott in a car accident. “The loss was so severe for me and the pain was so great, I honestly didn’t know how I was going to survive or if I even wanted to.” She remembers the early years, and how many people […]

  • Adult Sibling Loss with Dr. Brenda Marshall

    August 15, 2015

    Dr. Brenda Marshall talks about adult sibling loss with Dr. Heidi Horsley at the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference. Dr. Marshall entered the field when her younger brother, Brent, died suddenly eight years ago. She found little support for adult siblings, which led her on a path to figuring out why this […]

  • Sibling Loss and The Compassionate Friends with Stephen Stott

    August 9, 2015

    Stephen Stott, a Columbia University graduate and one of Dr. Heidi Horsley’s former students, is in the field of sibling loss after losing his own sister in 2002. Stott’s mother started attending The Compassionate Friends meetings immediately, but it took Stott over a decade to join. His mother asked if he felt comfortable going, and […]

  • Molly Gandour: A documentary called Peanut Gallery

    August 5, 2015

    Molly Gandour created Peanut Gallery, a documentary that addressed her sister’s death and the silence that ensued. Only recently did Gandour and her parents begin talking about the death. She shares her story with Dr. Heidi Horsley during the 2015 Association for Death Education and Counseling conference.  Her sister died when Gandour was ten, and […]

  • Webinar: ‘Am I Still a Sibling?’

    July 25, 2015

    A special hour-long webinar from the Open to Hope foundation, the Death of a Sibling, features Alicia “Allie” Sims Franklin, LICSW and the big sister of Austin along with Tracy Milne, the big sister of Andrew. Both women lost a sibling and understand there’s a unique kind of lifelong loss that occurs in these situations. […]

  • What Loss Has Taught Me: Everybody’s on the Tightrope

    July 7, 2015

    The other day, I went out running to clear my head, something I often do in a continuing quest to manage my grief over the loss of my brother a year ago. I had my iPod on a random shuffle. Janelle Monáe’s song, “Tightrope,” came on after I had gone about a mile and a […]

  • Unleash the Silence: Compassion for Surviving Siblings

    May 11, 2015

    Losing my beloved sisters Jane and Margie impacted my life in ways I did not comprehend until years later. Their passing shaped the person I am today. With hard work, support, guidance, and the cheering of many, I re-discovered Judy after 30 years. The topic I choose to unleash, although extremely sensitive, needs to be […]

  • Keeping Lost Siblings In Your Heart

    February 8, 2015

    I am a sister who sadly lost both my sisters. Although I will permanently have a hole in my heart, I am learning to embrace my beloved sisters to encompass an important place in my life. My sisters Margie and Jane are forever part of me, who I am, past, present and future. My heart […]

  • Denial and Disbelief in Grieving

    January 23, 2015

    I was in denial from the first moment. And for a while thereafter. On a sunny Saturday in June, I had just finished a mud run with my son, and we were walking back to our car in late morning, covered with mud and laughing. My husband called my cell, from our home phone, I […]

  • We’ll Celebrate Her Life; We’ll Sing

    December 22, 2014

    When the doctor in the emergency room asked Dad, “How long has your daughter been drinking?”, it broke his heart and it made him mad. “You don’t know this girl,” he said. “You don’t know my daughter.” After Jilly died on July 3, 2014, Dad and I talked on the phone nearly every day for […]

  • What No One Ever Told Me About Grief

    November 24, 2014

    Last Valentine’s—that rose-scented, chocolate-infused day, God reached a hand down, scooped my brother’s soul in his Godly palm without asking if we were ready, if Rocky was ready, to transition from this world into the next. He was plucked from our lives without any warning at all, leaving a jagged hole in our wholeness, sending […]

  • My Brother, My Best Friend

    September 30, 2014

    Alison Smith, author of Name All the Animals: A Memoir, opens up about her brother and best friend today with Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley. Enjoy the full interview: G:        Hello.  I’m Dr. Gloria Horsley with my co-host H:        Dr. Heidi Horsley. G:        Each week we welcome you to Healing the Grieving Heart, a […]

  • When it’s Grief, Not Depression

    September 9, 2014

    One sleepless night, I tiptoed down the stairs, slipped outside and stared up at the low-hanging moon, so close to me it looked as if it had been pinned against the black canvas with a thumb tack. I reached out a hand to snatch if from the sky, tuck it inside my heart, feel its […]

  • Peanut Gallery, a Documentary: Interview with Molly Gandour

    August 6, 2014

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling) conference, I spoke with Molly Gandour about her documentary ‘Peanut Gallery’. Her film explores the death of her sister and how she and her parents just recently learned to talk about it. Molly went home to Indiana a few years ago, where she grew up, […]

  • Adult Sibling Loss: Interview with Dr. Brenda Marshall

    July 22, 2014

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Dr. Brenda Marshall about adult sibling loss. Brenda got into this field when her younger brother Brent died eight years ago. It was then that she realized there’s not very much support for siblings. That realization called on her to ask the […]

  • My Sister Died and I Waited 16 Years to Deal With It

    July 7, 2014

    I never expected to make a documentary film about my family. I didn’t think of myself as someone who had a story to tell. My sister had died when I was ten years old and by that time her illness seemed pretty normal to me. Aimee was diagnosed with leukemia when I was two years […]

  • 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 […]

  • When the Mirror Breaks

    September 25, 2013

    “Siblings are the only relatives, and perhaps the only people you’ll ever know, who are with you through the entire arc of your life…Your parents leave you too soon and your kids and spouse come along late, but your siblings know you when you are in your most inchoate form.”  – writer Jeffrey Kluger observed to […]

  • When the Mirror Breaks: Loss of a Close Sibling

    August 26, 2013

    “Siblings are the only relatives, and perhaps the only people you’ll ever know, who are with you through the entire arc of your life…Your parents leave you too soon and your kids and spouse come along late, but your siblings know you when you are in your most inchoate form.” – writer Jeffrey Kluger observed […]

  • The Basics of Sibling-Loss

    August 13, 2013

    I would like to take some time to focus on parents who have lost a child and have other living children. I plan to talk about the sibling survivor experience to give you an idea of what they are going through. I would like to start by talking about their grief. While I was attending […]

  • Sister Unloads Grief Years After Brother’s Suicide

    August 7, 2013

    I was a sweet, blue-eyed seven-year-old girl watching The Parent Trap while my big brother was babysitting. He got me a cup of water after asking if there was anything I needed. Little did I know my answer should have been, “I need my big brother.” Only minutes later I heard a heart-stopping, deafening boom. […]

  • A Haunting Disturbance: A Poem

    July 15, 2013

    Maybe I’ll always be tortured by loud noises The sudden silence after it echoes through the trees Maybe my skin will always develop goosebumps As I hear the little girl inside of me Soundlessly scream—no, no more—please. The emptiness that is momentarily formed in my heart Soon fills with dread From the conclusion of the […]

  • Poem: Eleven Years

    July 2, 2013

    Eleven Years My love for you is unconditional However, so is my anger And I have waited eleven years For this devastation to be over But it has only just begun: The torture that makes me want to scream— And I just want to run away From this awfully dreadful scheme. Oh, how badly I […]

Open to Hope Radio

Open to Hope TV

  • 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 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 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 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.

  • Episode 27: Grieving Styles: Myers Briggs

    February 12, 2014

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Lisa Prosser-Dodds, PhD, Therapist and Author regarding individualized grief responses based upon Jungian personality types, measured by the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator (GRIEFtype). Musician discusses how his grief type is expressed through his music.

  • Episode 24: Siblings the Forgotten Mourners

    December 10, 2013

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley discuss with Dana Brophy and Zander Sprague author of MAKING LEMONADE: Choosing A Positive Pathway After Losing Your Sibling the impact of having an adult sibling die.  Zander and Dana discuss their personal responses and give suggestions for promoting health and healing.  Billy Bensing singer […]

  • Episode # 14 Grief Relief TV: Coping With Death of a Twin

    November 10, 2013

    On this show Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi discuss with Mary Rockefeller Morgan, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, and author, the devastating death of her twin brother, Michael, when her father, Neilson Rockefeller, was governor of New York. Carolyn Shane executive director of Temple Emanu-El, Westfield, NJ also discusses the death of her twin and how […]