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Open to Hope Articles

Do you want to read stories of others who have been where you are? Are you looking for bereavement help, and advice? Look no further. We offer over 3,000 articles written by our Open to Hope authors.


Promptings of Hope

February 14, 2018

After a long, cold New England winter, I find myself on the lookout for any sign of Spring … a crocus peeking out of the melting snow, a slight haze of color in the trees across the lake, my own spirits lifting. These promptings … encouragements, reminders…return each year to help me make the transition […]

Head and Heart: Like the Acorn and the Oak Tree

February 9, 2018

Grasping a concept or idea intellectually is one thing: having it become a real part of who you are is something different. I once heard it said, “Scripture contains the word of God in the way that the acorn contains the oak tree. It is all there, but its presence is made known to us little […]

Death of Husband Led Her to Stop Fearing Life

February 7, 2018

The word “fear”. Take a moment to think about what fear means to you. To me, the word brings up a million different images. To most, it means that they are afraid of something: afraid to speak in public, or scared and nervous to try something new, which is often actually a fear of failure. […]

Strong Back, Soft Front: Staying Open to Emotion

January 23, 2018

“Every man is for himself, on that you can rely You’ll have to hide behind a shield to stay alive.” David Roth The Armor Song  How do we envision life—what image catches its essential nature? Is life basically a struggle, a constant challenge and confrontation with obstacles? Is life a gift, a blessing to receive […]

The Stuff of Death

January 18, 2018

When my grandmother died, no one had touched the belongings in her attic or most of her house in at least 11 years. Her attic was the kind you access from a set of pull down rungs at the top of steep stairs surrounded by creepy ancient wallpaper that looked indicative of Versailles. The pull […]

How Near-Death Experiences Change Our Thoughts About Death

January 12, 2018

At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Roberta Moore about her near death experience and how these experiences affect people’s thoughts and insights on death. When Roberta was 13 years old, she had a spontaneous out of body experience. When she was in her early 30’s she had a […]

Coping With the Loss of a Teen by Suicide

January 10, 2018

At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Carolyn Zahnow about The Shore Grief Center and tips she has to find healing after suicide loss. Carolyn lost her son, Cameron, in 2005 when he was 18 years old.  In the video below, Carolyn shares advice on how to cope with […]

What’s On Your Brave-Making List?

January 10, 2018

My husband and I met at his family reunion. His sister (my best friend) invited me for a weekend of baseball playing and river dunkings and campfire sitting on an Oregon-green campground. I didn’t know my friend had a fourth brother. Gary. Fast forward several years: Gary and I drove away from the annual campout […]

Facing Mortality: Interview with Isabel Stenzel Byrnes

January 8, 2018

At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Isabel Stenzel Byrnes about living with an illness and learning how to find hope and find a balance. Isabel was born with cystic fibrosis, and she says that her friends with the illness gave her the support and skills needed to live […]