• Hope

    After Loss of a parent

After Loss of a parent

Stories of others who have lost parents will inspire and support you. Read, listen and watch. Hope is the bridge between loss and recovery.

Articles

  • 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 […]

  • 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 — […]

  • Look Who is Coming to Holiday Dinner! What to Do When a Parent Remarries

    October 22, 2018

    When holidays come, grief can go haywire. Most everyone knows that. But what do you do if you are grieving a parent and your remaining father or mother is dating or has married someone new. How do you handle those holidays? Perspective and introspection may help you understand and cope with the loss and a […]

  • Saying Goodbye to Dad

    September 30, 2018

    I remember my last visit before Dad died in 1969. Mom called me at graduate school to tell me that he was quite ill (he’d suffered a stroke four years earlier) and had been admitted to the hospital again. She made it clear that if I came, it would be my last visit. Though incredibly […]

  • Dear Dad: Letters to a Man I Never Knew

    August 26, 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 — […]

  • Dear Dad: A Letter to the Long Deceased

    August 24, 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 — […]

  • On Your First Father’s Day Without Dad

    June 7, 2018

    This year might be your first Father’s Day since losing your Dad, a beloved child or another important person in your life. Or maybe it’s been a while. Either way, Father’s Day can be tough when a piece of your heart’s puzzle is missing. Here are three tips I hope might help: Say What You […]

  • Missing All of Mom on Mother’s Day

    May 15, 2018

    My friend and I were recently having breakfast and talk turned to the upcoming Mother’s Day.  Both of us have lost our mothers recently and a look of sadness and “I miss her” tears began to fill our eyes.  As my thoughts drifted back to my years as a child, when I scurried to make […]

  • Feelin’ Groovy: Connecting with Mom’s Legacy on Mother’s Day

    May 11, 2018

    Ever had a song, a fragrance or box of cereal stir you to tears? It’s been 19 years since my mom’s sudden graduation to heaven. So, how could Mother’s Day week and a song be the catalyst for tears in my grilled chicken tenderloin salad? Sounds like a country music song. This week a classic […]

  • Where Do I Belong Now? After Both Parents Die

    March 1, 2018

    Dad died suddenly in my early fifties. At the funeral, I will never forget the feeling of being 6 years old in a 50-something-year-old body. Mom died just a few short years later; I was strong until the end with her as she battled breast cancer. My years in hospice made me acutely aware of […]

  • Death and Dying: Interview with Brian Barry MA

    September 10, 2017

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Brian Barry, who teaches death and dying at RIT in Rochester. Brian began to explore the field of death and dying after the passing of his mother, and he has been doing it for the past 35 years. When Barry’s mother passed […]

  • Webinar: Survival Tips for Mother’s Day

    May 8, 2017

    There are many holidays which can be particularly tough for the bereaved, and Mother’s Day is a big one. Can you celebrate Mother’s Day if your child is no longer living? Of course you can, but you may benefit from some modifications. The Open to Hope show welcomes Dr. Darcie Sims, an internationally renowned speaker […]

  • Suffering a Loss Yet to Come

    April 19, 2017

    My father’s wife of 30 years passed away in November 2014. Prior to her passing, he was her caretaker in all senses of the word, even to the extent that he was neglecting himself.  We knew while he was taking care of her that something was happening with his cognition, but he was a wonderful, […]

  • The Rose Bush: A Sign From Dad

    January 25, 2017

    As we approach February, I look out my kitchen window and see something that has caught my eye. It is a rose bush in bloom. This bush has been blooming throughout the winter. I first noticed it around Christmas time. Hmmm, peculiar. It’s never bloomed in the past. Yes, I live in Las Vegas but […]

  • Adult Children and the Loss of Elderly Parents

    October 22, 2016

    Registered drama therapist and licensed counselor Deborah Antinori discusses the loss of elderly parents with Dr. Heidi Horsley. As adult children, losses can be minimized and disenfranchised. Loved ones don’t offer the same level of support or seem to worry as much about adult children compared to teens and young children—however, our parents are our […]

  • From Motherless to ‘Motherfull’

    September 25, 2016

    Knowing our role or function among our friends and family isn’t something we intentionally think about; it’s just natural. Knowing our role at work is necessary and obvious. I didn’t realize every character (aka: people around me) in my story (aka: life) had been playing a role in my life for years. Not just Mom, […]

  • Songwriting as Healing Art

    September 10, 2016

    I kissed your head Told you I loved you, ’cause I wanted You to know just how much that you impacted My life, so much more than I could ask for This is not good-bye, and yes, I will cry but that’s ’cause I miss your face This is not good-bye, I know I’ll see […]

  • After Father’s Death, Daughter Recalls His Deep Devotion

    July 9, 2016

    My father was an activist who devoted his life to one principle: that God is love. He once told me that he was a Christian because he was born in a Christian household in a Christian culture and it might have been otherwise if he’d been born in, say, the Middle East. His belief in […]

  • A Young Father’s Murder

    June 17, 2016

    I met Randall when he was just six years old, the youngest of three siblings, one brother Mickey, and older sister Nancy, who was to become a lifelong friend. But at thirteen, we rarely thought of the future. It was fun to go to her house. Since I was an only child, I thought her […]

  • Father’s Day After Your Father Has Died

    June 11, 2016

    It’s Father’s Day, and for more than 100 million Americans whose fathers have died, it will be a day of missing Dad. What can these fatherless Americans do to make the holiday meaningful? For my book, FatherLoss, I interviewed several hundred people about the death of their dads. And some were actually a little relieved […]

  • A Daughter Remembers Her Father’s Creative Legacy

    May 9, 2016

    My father, Geoff Relf, a longtime San Diego advertising and communications figure passed away July 28, 2015, at 85, after battling cancer, surviving his wife, Connie by five years. The couple met at the University of Washington and moved to San Diego in 1956, then to La Jolla in 1959, where they raised four children: […]

  • A Message for Mother’s Day: After Mother Has Died

    May 8, 2016

    Yesterday I received a text message saying, “I’m sorry I couldn’t call you back. I had a rough night.” I wasn’t keeping track and couldn’t readily remember what I’d called to say in the first place, so I asked if she was O.K. She responded telling me that a young friend had received a cancer […]

  • I Still Grieve my Father’s Silence

    April 13, 2016

    My wife pointed to a curved red slash on my leg. “Where’d you get those scrapes?” “Maybe from the dog when we played a couple of hours ago?” Our dog has raggedy claws and abundant enthusiasm. Two cats also own us and one, Milo, randomly treats our flesh like a pincushion. An errant branch could […]

  • Sharon Taylor: Father Loss

    March 13, 2016

    A professor of psychology and the chair of the Women’s Studies department at St. Martin University, Dr. Sharon Taylor, talks with Dr. Gloria Horsley about father loss. Dr. Taylor’s father died at war when she was just a few months old. This was in 1945, right at the end of the war, and during this […]

  • Wearing My Father’s Clothes

    February 18, 2016

    Many days since my father’s death, I have worn some piece of his clothing. Often it is just a belt, brown or black. Today it was a blue dress shirt (several from which to choose), a navy blazer, an overcoat, and a wool cap…and the brown belt. I also have pullover sweaters, turtlenecks, mock turtlenecks, […]

  • You Did The Best You Could

    January 5, 2016

    There is something very important I want to share with you, so listen deep. As a bereavement counselor I speak with numerous people on a daily basis about loss. The number one thing I feel from people is guilt.  The words pour out of them, “If I hadn’t take them to the hospital…” or “What […]

  • Hope With Red Feathers

    January 1, 2016

    “Hope is the thing with feathers.” This quote from Emily Dickinson never made a lot of sense to me; my primary association with it resulted from Woody Allen’s poking fun in one of his 1970’s books. Recently, an odd experience, maybe some would say a coincidence, caused me to see this pronouncement in a new […]

  • The Last Christmas Stocking

    December 24, 2015

    The first Christmas stocking I ever made was in 1960. I was 10 years old and living in Walnut Creek, California with my parents, Ted and Lillian. We didn’t have too many Christmas rituals, no church services or Advent candles. There was a china nativity set. It was small, but had all the important characters. […]

  • First Christmas Without Mom

    December 22, 2015

    I’m searching the internet for ways to get through this first festival of lights season without my mother. The articles I read about loss and the holidays offer helpful tips for getting through it. So many helpful suggestions: find meaning in your traditions, ask for help, plan ahead, discover what has most value to you, […]

  • Marci Servizi: Death of a Father

    December 20, 2015

    During the National Alliance for Grieving Children, Marci Servizi connects with Dr. Gloria Horsley to tell her about the death of her father. Based in Seattle, Servizi works with Safe Crossings, which raises money to give to other organizations that serve those who experienced a loss. Her father died on her 12th birthday. As the […]

Open to Hope Radio

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 137: How Does A Father’s Death Impact Life?

    July 30, 2018

    On this show Dr. Heidi Horsley explores with Dr. Gary Jaworski, whose father died when he was 5 years old and Barbara Rubel MS, whose father died by suicide when she was pregnant with triplets, how the loss of their dads has lead them to a life of service. Barbara is the author of But […]

  • Episode 134: Parent Death A Discounted Loss

    June 27, 2018

    On this show Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Open to Hope writers Lauren Muscarella author of Alice’s Law: Finding Deeper Meaning and Honoring Lost Loved Ones, and founder of Trauma to Art: Turning Grief Into Creativity, and Lisa Irish, Chaplain, spiritual director and author of Grieving – the Sacred Art: Hope in the […]

  • Episode 94: Loss and Its Impact on Parenting with Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn and Rachel Stephenson

    December 12, 2016

    Have you ever thought about how loss can impact parenting?  On this show Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley explore this important topic with bereaved sibling Elizabeth DeVita-Raeburn, author of The Empty Room, Understanding Sibling Loss,  and Rachel Stephenson, producer of the TED talk Against Grieving in Silence inspired by the early death of her […]

  • Episode 88: Male Grief: Sudden Traumatic Loss with Jim Giaccone, Franklin Cook and Eric Marcus

    November 7, 2016

    Have you or a male friend had a sudden or traumatic loss? Are you wondering how men cope? If so join Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley in a frank discussion of men and grief with Jim Giaccone, Franklin Cook and Eric Marcus. Jim’s brother Joe, died on 9/11 while Franklin and Eric suffered the […]

  • Episode 86: Spouse Loss with Dawn Jiosi, Sara and Caryl Fried Feldmann

    October 9, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interviewed Dawn Jiosi, creator of the New Dawn that was inspired by the shattering life events of her husband’s death eight years ago. Our second guests were Caryl Fried Feldmann and her daughter Sara Feldmann Sheehan, Executive Producer of Mortal, a film inspired by the […]

  • Episode 85: Transforming Grief After The Death of A Mother and Daughter with Lo Anne Mayer

    October 2, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interviewed Lo Anne Mayer on the death of her mother and how she found comfort and understanding by conversing with her mother through meditation and writing. After the tragic suicide of her daughter, Cyndi, Lo Anne again found comfort in writing as a conduit between […]

  • Episode 77: Proactive Grieving

    June 3, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Alan Petersen, Executive Director of The Compassionate Friends, interview Megan Carmody, bereaved sibling of Kelly and Gwen Oliver, bereaved daughter of Marlene, on finding hope after the death of a sibling/parent. Megan’s father Mitch, author of Letters To My Son, and is founder of Proactive Grieving®, joins the […]

  • Episode 64: Talking About Grief

    March 9, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Rachael Stephenson an advocate for honest and open discussions regarding grief. A clip is shown from Rachael’s Ted Talk Against Grieving in Silence. Their second guest is John Welshons author of Awakening From Grief; One Soul, One Love, One Heart and When Prayers Aren’t […]

  • Episode 63: Finding Your Way Back to Joy After a Loss

    March 2, 2016

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview John Welshons counselor, teacher and lecturer.  As a young child John contracted polio and faced death but had a miraculous recovery. He is the author of Awakening From Grief; One Soul, One Love, One Heart and When Prayers Aren’t Answered.  Tribute is paid to […]

  • For the Ones Left Behind: A Guide for Helping Loved Ones After a Death

    May 23, 2016

    A death can shatter the lives of those left behind. Now, there are so many things to do. Who do you call? Where do you start? How can you help? Managing to survive in the aftermath of a loved one’s death is a daunting task. For the Ones Left Behind, A Guide for Helping Loved […]