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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.


Jason Stout: Outward Bound

November 28, 2018

Many members of Open to Hope have attended Outward Bound’s (aptly named) outdoor sessions, including the Executive Director Gloria’s Horsley’s late son, Scott. Jason Stout has been a part of Outward Bound for years, and recently spoke with Dr. Horsley about why wilderness experiences are so helpful and critical for those in the grieving process. […]

Candice Courtney: Rituals

November 26, 2018

“Ritual is so important, it supports us throughout our lives” including when there is a death in the family, says Candice Courtney of Scottsdale, Arizona, the author of Healing Through Illness, Living Through Dying. She recently spoke with Dr. Gloria Horsley of the Open to Hope Foundation during the 2015 annual Association of Death Education […]

Todd Hochberg: Creating Rituals

November 22, 2018

The man behind the film “Other Rituals, Parents’ Stories and Meaning Making,” Todd Hochberg, joined Dr. Heidi Horsley at the Open to Hope Foundation’s annual conference to discuss the importance of creating rituals as part of the grieving process. In the film, Hochberg interviews many of the families he’s worked with including many parents whose […]

Darwin Huartson: Hospice

November 20, 2018

Darwin Huartson is part of the VITAS Innovative Hospice Care team in San Antonio, Texas, and spoke recently with Dr. Gloria Horsley about the role of hospice care—as well as many of the myths surrounding it. He’s a bereavement services manager and has been working with VITAS for 18 years. For years hospices served a […]

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 — […]