added 06-21-2011


  • Waiting For the Other Shoe to Drop: Joe Biden’s Burden

    February 2, 2016

    (In Memory of Beau Biden, 2/3/1969 – 5/30/2015) Joe Biden may seem like a man on top of the world. Maybe even you, yourself, have looked at him with envy. He’s the Vice President of our nation, after all. He’s second in command. He gets to drink beer with the Commander in Chief. He has […]

  • Sheryl Sandberg’s Public Grief a Gift to All

    June 3, 2015

    Facebook executive and author Sheryl Sandberg used her personal facebook account today to speak out about the pain of losing her young husband last month and to thank friends and fans for their support in the aftermath. In a poignant 1,700-word post, Ms. Sandberg also took the opportunity to provide a virtual checklist of lessons […]

  • Cartoonist Keith Knight on How Words Live On

    February 9, 2015

    Keith Knight is a “gentleman cartoonist” whose various, nationally syndicated comics are published in the Washington Post, MAD, Daily Kos,, and the Funny Times. Visit Keef on his website and watch the documentary on his work. A vet’s rates don’t come down just because it’s a dying rat Don’t rate a deathbed experience by the number of words exchanged Use a smart […]

  • Joan Rivers’ Last Days Reminds Us Importance of Living Wills

    September 8, 2014

    This week, the world lost another comedic icon – Joan Rivers. I must confess, I was sad at the passing of this woman. I grew up watching her on television. It was announced that she was on life support. To imagine a woman this vital on a ventilator is almost unthinkable. And yet, every day, […]

  • Joan Rivers Wants Us to Laugh

    September 8, 2014

    When I was doing research for my book, The Courage to Laugh: Humor, Hope and Healing in the Face of Death and Dying, I asked a number of people how they wanted to be remembered after they were gone. Most said that they wanted people to remember the happier times they shared with their friends […]

  • Beyond Williams and Rivers, the Everyday Superstars: The Caregivers

    September 8, 2014

    Over the past few weeks, we’ve lost two major comedic forces, Robin Williams and Joan Rivers, both of whom brought great joy and laughter to our world. Accolades and impact statements have flooded the Internet, along with heartfelt condolence messages. How wonderful for their families to feel this outpouring of love and respect. Yet away […]

  • Joan Rivers’ Death Highlights Value of Advance Directives

    September 6, 2014

    Joan Rivers’ recent, and sudden, death highlights the value of completing Advance Directives. Hopefully, her family knew her wishes for any time she was not able to speak for herself. Their end-of-life decisions, then, would be directed by Joan’s values instead of their own fears and feelings. Advance Directives (AD) is the “umbrella” document that […]

  • Robin Williams’ Legacy: Opening a Conversation about Suicide

    August 12, 2014

    Robin Williams was brilliant, and his death leaves a void that does not and cannot make sense to anybody but him. Williams talked openly about his addiction issues and struggle with depression. Perhaps part of his legacy will be opening these difficult conversations about taboo topics-mental health and suicide. It would be an honor to […]

  • In Praise of Friendship: Maya Angelou and Mrs. Flowers

    May 30, 2014

    Sometimes gifted writers, like Maya Angelou, feel like a friend because they invite you into their heart and mind with such a generosity of spirit. It’s no wonder that millions around the world are grieving her death. Though we didn’t ‘know’ her, we came into her world through the 31 books, essays, plays and poetry […]

  • Maya Angelou’s Death: Navigating the Loss of a Favorite Writer

    May 29, 2014

    I have been positively imprinted by so many wonderful writers that I am also impacted when they die. When Frank McCourt died, my friends & I, all authors, each read excerpts from his books at a cherished, independently owned, local bookstore. I read from Angela’s Ashes. This was our way of paying tribute to Frank, […]

  • Comic Janice Messitte on Being a Newly Wedded Widow

    March 24, 2014

    In the space of two weeks, newly wedded  Janice Messitte – stand-up comic, singer and actress  – went from planning a dream “Jewnorican” wedding to planning her husband’s funeral.  Hear how she used her comic’s wit to survive, as she sits down with memory artist, Nancy Gershman to recall the details. Double check on your husband […]

  • Comedy writer Joe Janes on Truthful Memorialization

    December 5, 2013

    Truthful memorialization means talking about Mom stoically eating Joe’s tofurkey. Or Mom openly guzzling “horrible things” like caffeine-free diet coke in front of her vegan son. How Joe honors these mischievous moments and more when memory artist Nancy Gershman talks with Joe Janes, a Chicago-based Emmy award-winning comedy writer. Joe teaches comedy writing at The Second City and Columbia […]

  • The Irreverent Widow, Sandi Amorello on Young Widows with Kids in Tow

    November 3, 2013

    What the bereavement support group dress code should be and why widows often say they’ve “thrown out the rule book”: this and more when memory artist Nancy Gershman talks to Sandi Amorello, humorist, artist, and author of The Irreverent Widow: Shockingly true tales of love, death and dating…with children in tow. Sandi is also founder of Girl Scout Dropout, […]

  • Bradbury’s Enduring Voice

    July 14, 2012

    It was odd hearing that Ray Bradbury died this month. I was just thinking about him last month. Actually, I mentioned him in a tribute I gave at a close friend’s retirement dinner. As I planned the speech, I had to look up whether or not he was still living – and he was – […]

  • An Open Letter to Whitney Houston’s Family

    April 5, 2012

    Growing up I listened to Whitney Houston’s music, pretending I was her as I belted out “I Will Always Love You.” I think I saw the movie ‘The Bodyguard’ a total of ten times, watching it again just after she died. As someone who counsels others when a loved one dies, I thought of her […]

  • Whitney Houston Reminds Me of My Friend

    March 10, 2012

    Although it has been many years since my friends and I graduated from high school, we meet once a year at my cottage on the Pacific Ocean.  This year was a bit of a downer as one of my oldest friends was looking very fragile, and by the end of the first day and her […]

  • Remembering Whitney Houston

    February 12, 2012

    And I will always love you. I will always love you. My first introduction to the song was in 1974, way before SHE recorded it for “The Bodyguard.” I am a longtime fan of Dolly Parton’s. I’ve loved that song for a long time! News of her death crept up on me this morning. An […]

  • The 10th Anniversary of 9/11: How You Can Help

    September 8, 2011

    On September 11, 2011, we remember the 10th anniversary of the day when nearly 3,000 victims were killed after two airliners were crashed into the Twin Towers in New York City, another plane hit the Pentagon, and a final plane crashed into a field in rural Pennsylvania. In 2001, the barrage of bruising images from […]

  • The Music and Life of Nick Ashford

    September 2, 2011

    Not long before I attended Mr. Nick Ashford’s funeral at the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, I was waiting in the check-out line at a nearby convenience store. The line was being manned by an exasperated store clerk, but, apparently, he had been abandoned by his fellow employees. His frantic attempts to page them for […]

  • Supporting Military Families After Combat Death

    August 11, 2011

    The devastating loss of 30 military service members in Afghanistan has left more than 300 people grieving the death of someone they love. Many people, even if they do not personally know the families of those who died, want to know how to express their condolences and support the families left behind. Reaching out to […]

Open to Hope TV