• opentohope articles

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.


Donna Bacon: Finding Hope and Healing After Multiple Loss

November 18, 2018

Dr. Donna Bacon got into the field of grief because of her own personal losses, and she shared a moment with Open to Hope’s executive director Dr. Heidi Horsley. Today, she’s a lecturer at Nassau Community College. “When I was four years old, my mom died of breast cancer—she was 34.” Bacon and her twin […]

Perfect: Letter to a Deceased, Beloved Husband

November 16, 2018

Dear Jim, Music was blaring at Caesar’s Palace disco in Allentown, Pa. as we made our way through the crowd. My brother Dave and his fiancee, Ellen, convinced me to go out with them. It was another Friday night with me sitting at home, moping about a failed relationship and trying to figure out my […]

Dear Dad Letters: Father Figures

November 10, 2018

Dear Dad, It is hard living without a father to show the ways of becoming a man.  Mom eventually dated some men, but they either frightened or bored me.  One, a swarthy ex-boxer, bought me boxing gloves and a punching bag; but I was too scared to follow his instruction.  Mom said I had an “inferiority complex, ” […]

Dear Dad Letters: Catastrophism

November 9, 2018

Dear Dad, Here is a neologism.  “Catastrophism, noun.  The unfounded fear that one’s life is about to meet a sudden and catastrophic end.”  I have lived all my life with this underlying fear. When the phone rings, I immediately assume we are getting news that someone has died, even though I have never been told of […]

Dear Dad Letters: #5 and #6

November 8, 2018

Introduction Dear Dad is the story of my life told in the form of letters to my father, Walter Michael Jaworski, who died of a heart attack when I was five and whom, therefore, I never got to know.  It is not a maudlin story of regret, but the tale of how one’s entire life — […]

Music Can be a Balm for Grief

November 7, 2018

Music can be soothing during our low points in grief.  It may resonate with our soul even when there is not personal meaning in it.  The tempo, rhythm, melody, harmony—all can bring healing as the music makes connection with our emotional core. It may or may not have lyrics.  But sometimes the lyrics say things […]

Adrift in A Sea of Grief

November 5, 2018

I am adrift in an endless sea of grief. As I float along, the world continues to go on around me as if I am walking among the bustling crowds—but my feet haven’t touched dry land since September 30, 2009. It was on that day—the day my 4-year-old daughter drowned—I was unwillingly thrust into this […]

A Christmas Encounter

November 1, 2018

In late summer, with a record heat index, I went to the store to do some shopping. As I pushed my cart, I came upon aisles of Christmas decorations already displayed even before the pumpkins had arrived. I looked away. I had for these past years purposed to live in the moment, savor each day, […]

No Choice, Some Choices, and ‘Choosement’

October 23, 2018

  A friend was in a horrible car crash about a year and half ago. The car was damaged beyond repair, he was left with lifetime health consequences, and most tragically, another person in the car, his friend, died in the accident. Since the crash, there have been extensive legal discussions and negotiations concerning liability, […]