The founder and CEO of Corgenius, Amy Florian, shares her thoughts on losing a spouse and finding hope in the aftermath. As a bereavement consultant, she pursued her career based on her own experience. Her husband, John, was killed in an accident when they were in their 20s. She was shocked that the world kept moving forward when she had her world torn apart. “I felt that John deserved five minutes of silence,” she recalls. There needed to be more recognition beyond family and friends. She took it upon herself to memorialize John. “I was determined to remember,” she says.

If she couldn’t picture a scene from their past with total clarity, she panicked. Her mind was refusing to cooperate. No matter how hard she tried, she couldn’t bring John back to life. After a lot of struggle, she began to heal and build a life again without John. Piece by piece, she parted with his clothes. The ways of remembering in those first few years have lost their extreme significance. Now, she has new ways of remembering.

Going to Hell and Back

Understanding what it means to remember takes practice. Her best memory of John is herself, thanks to his influence in her life. “I’m a different person, a better person, because John loved me,” she says. Others were also impacted. It’s the most important contribution imaginable. The world, her world, is better because of her husband. His death remains the most heart wrenching thing that ever happened, but as a consequence she became more compassionate.

“I have a clearer sense of my strengths and weaknesses,” she says. Her faith is stronger, and she’s more loving. She no longer takes anything for granted. “I’m painfully and deeply aware of the swiftness with which it can all disappear.”


Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley

Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley

Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley are a mother/daughter team and internationally recognized grief experts. They are the founders of The Open to Hope Foundation and the hosts of The Open to Hope Show. In addition, Dr. Gloria is a board member for The Compassionate Friends and Dr. Heidi is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and has a private practice in manhattan. Their message is that others have made it through the grief journey and so can you, if you do not yet have hope lean on theirs.

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