• Hope

    After Loss of a spouse

After Loss of a spouse

Find hope and support by reading, listening and watching stories of spouse loss and recovery.

Open to Hope Radio

Articles

  • Grief Through the Rearview Mirror

    April 7, 2019

    This big, horrible thing happens. You lose the person with whom you chose to partner for the challenging, amazing, and, sometimes, scary thing called life. Each of us has our own unique experiences of the grieving process. Yet, it’s normal to feel like you have no idea how you’ll go on without them. Whether I […]

  • Surviving Widowhood: Check Your Track Record

    February 10, 2019

    There is something about widowhood that brings you to your knees. I remember feeling trapped in an alternative universe trying to make sense of the chaos that surrounded me. The most troubling part was that the one person who was capable of steadying my boat – even as the sea of life raged around me […]

  • Taking Care of Yourself Through the Grief Process: Interview with Dr. Howard R. Winokuer

    December 18, 2018

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Dr. Howard R. Winokuer about burnout after the death of a loved one and how we can take care of ourselves. In the video below, Howard shares advice on how to deal with burnout following the death of a loved one. Here […]

  • A Widower’s Christmas Wish List

    December 17, 2018

    From as far away as Australia to the British Isles, from Canada to Nigeria, the Widowers Support Network hears the cries of men who mourn the loss of their wife, their soul mates, their partners in life. They don’t ask for much, never have, never will.  After all, men who mourn are expected to “get […]

  • 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 […]

  • Giving Back After Coping with a Loss: Interview with Dr.Janna Henning

    September 6, 2018

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Dr. Janna Henning about her losses and how she went on to help other people the way she helped herself. Getting into the field of death and dying was influenced by Janna’s own loss experience. At the age of 21, Janna was […]

  • To The Widow Struggling With Guilt

    September 3, 2018

    On the outside, the world sees you hurting from the loss of your spouse. They don’t know; however, that in addition to the “normal” feelings of grief, you’re also struggling with guilt. You blame yourself for not insisting that he see the doctor when his cough got progressively worse. You beat yourself up for not […]

  • Widowers – Forced to Live in the Shadows

    July 4, 2018

    When asked, few people can name even one man who has been widowed.  But given a few moments for additional consideration, many are likely to say, “Oh wait a minute, I do know one.  He lives down the street or works with me at my office.” When I presented this same question to a friend […]

  • Sunrise of Hope

    June 7, 2018

    “I want people working through grief to know they are strong, capable, resilient human beings who have the strength to survive the death of their spouse and find themselves again—maybe even for the first time.” -Diane Dettmann After the death of my husband in 2000, my world as I knew it splintered into tiny pieces. Everything […]

  • Every Single Breath

    May 7, 2018

    The 17th anniversary of my husband’s passing was on my mind in the days leading up to it. Some years, it slipped by me without much notice. Other years, the day brought me to my knees and threatened to be the undoing of me. Grief is like that. This year, I saw it coming. Ticking […]

  • My Big Widow Regret: Find Your Tribe

    May 7, 2018

    At 32 years old, instead of planning my first wedding anniversary celebration, I was planning my husband’s funeral. There were no warnings, no time to say a final goodbye. One day he was here and by the following morning, he was gone. It’s been six years since that fateful day when my world collapsed around […]

  • Life After Loss the Afterwards

    April 23, 2018

    On February 11th, 2018 it was nine years since my husband, Marty, passed away.  I saw a post on Instagram the other day which took my breath away because the words define “the afterwards” of life after loss. Ode to The Afterwards “Grief is not a task to finish and move on, but an element […]

  • There Was a Door…

    March 29, 2018

    I was on the inside perched on the comfy green recliner staring at our newly painted front door. I used to listen to music or the television while I played Word Chums on my iPad but now I sat quietly waiting for you to come home. We had the downstairs painted while we were on […]

  • Love and Grief: When Loss Enters Marriage

    March 3, 2018

    Like most family-oriented guys, my friend Chris searched and searched for his true partner and soul mate.  I watched on the sideline as he spent months, lamenting on how he wanted to find a special woman to love, especially after two previously failed marriages.  He still believed in love, and despite all the pain it […]

  • 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 […]

  • When the Final Words Were Angry

    December 26, 2017

    I’m sure you have heard the marriage advice “Don’t go to bed angry.” Resolving spats before bedtime is the advice offered by almost any long-married couple. What happens when differences can’t be resolved? When the night comes when, through fluke or chance, the marriage ends through a sudden death and there are no more bedtimes […]

  • 7 Survival Strategies for the Newly Bereaved

    December 17, 2017

    As a grief recovery coach, I often get emails from people who have just recently suffered a loss. They all want to know the same thing. What can they do to get through the pain, sadness, and grief? Here are some strategies my clients have found to be helpful. 7 Strategies for Navigating Loss: Practice […]

  • Stories I Do Not Tell: Grief & Spirituality

    November 16, 2017

    Einstein said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed. It can only be changed from one form into another.” Strange that a scientist’s quote brought me comfort in dealing with the death of my husband, Gary. It also became the means by which I convinced myself I wasn’t crazy when seemingly inexplicable, spiritual experiences happened. These are […]

  • The Alzheimer’s Experience, Part I: ‘Which Island is This?’

    September 5, 2017

      Henry Van Winkle came out of the men’s room and sat down in front of his-half empty glass of beer at the small table nearest the promenade. The distinguished look of his full head of gray hair and neatly trimmed gray beard was not diminished by his wildly-colored floral shirt. “Boy, that was a […]

  • The Alzheimer’s Experience, Part II: ‘He Was Such a Strong, Proud Man’

    September 5, 2017

    “Henry hasn’t been that bad,” Mrs Van Winkle reported to Dr Miller. “The only big problem is he wakes up at night and thinks it’s morning. Then he wakes me up to fix breakfast, and I can’t get back to sleep. I can’t understand why he thinks it’s morning when it’s still dark.” “I’ll prescribe […]

  • Fingerprints: Losing a Husband, Living with Grief

    June 15, 2017

    When he used to take off his socks next to our bed and throw them ceremoniously to the cork floor, he would spread the fingers of his chubby peasant hands on the wall of our bedroom to keep his balance before rocketing into bed beside me. It took at least three years to have a finished […]

  • Spring: Memories of Love, a Chance for New Growth

    June 5, 2017

    “You can cut all the flowers but you cannot keep Spring from coming.” ― Pablo Neruda   Spring rain brings May flowers This was my partner Kim’s favorite time of year. I watch her child-like actions as the flowers bloom and the trees bud. She knew the names of them all, closing her eyes while […]

  • The Blessing

    February 14, 2017

    Not long before Joanne, my wife, died, she told me she expected me to love again. She said it would “not be right to waste all the lessons we’d learned,” and I was “too young” never to love again. When I replied that I couldn’t imagine any love ever being as good as ours, she […]

  • ‘Do You Cook for Yourself?’: How to Remember a Loving Husband

    January 7, 2017

    “Do you cook for yourself?”  a new acquaintance asks me. I smile to myself. She has no idea. She has opened the door wide. I begin: “No, I do not cook. My husband did everything with joy and skill for the entire time of our marriage.” I have one subject that fills my soul: the […]

  • My Second Chapter: Life, Marriage, Family

    January 4, 2017

    Many people ask me, What’s it really like being re-married? My widow(er) friends want to know if I’m as happy as I was in my first marriage, if I compare my two husbands, why I’d risk being a widow again, and most importantly, if my new husband is understanding. Can you talk about James with him? […]

  • Thanksgiving Darkness

    November 24, 2016

    Coming home after work in late November, I hear the sounds of children laughing and look down from the BART station at the playground of St. Leander’s School. Children are running around, playing kickball, and delighting in life. My wife Evelyn tutored at the school after hours for several years as her health slowly improved […]

  • Homesick This Summer: Widows Miss Their Men

    July 17, 2016

      A few days ago, I boarded a flight to St. Louis to visit my son who had recently moved there for his job.  As I sat in my seat, a white-haired lady walked down the aisle of the plane, and she had a big smile on her face, like she was glad to see […]

  • Hope After the Loss of a Spouse

    May 27, 2016

    Artist, poet, and writer Laurel Diane Rund talks about finding hope once again after losing a spouse. Losing her husband took her on a journey to sorrow and personal transformation. According to a Chinese proverb, birds sing because they have a song—not an answer. Rund didn’t have any answers or know how to grieve. However, […]

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 155: Widowed; The ups and downs of dating again

    December 19, 2018

    On This show Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Kelley Lynn, John Polo, and Michelle Miller, empowerment coaches, best selling authors, and speakers about dating after the death of a spouse.  Tips and tools about how and when to date are discussed, along with problems, issues, and roadblocks.

  • Episode 154: Widowed, Rants, and Raves

    December 18, 2018

    On This show Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Kelley Lynn, John Polo, and Michelle Miller, empowerment coaches, best selling authors, and speakers on how they help the bereaved process grief and create a new version of life.

  • Episode 153: I lost the love of my life; how do I go on?

    December 18, 2018

    On this show Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview comedian Carol Scibeli, author of Poor Widow Me and journalist, Laura Fahrenthold, author of The Pink Steering Wheel Chronicles, regarding how they used humor and writing to cope with the sudden death of their beloved spouses.  

  • Episode 150: Spouse Loss Hurts

    December 10, 2018

    On this show Dr’s Heidi and Gloria Horsley interview Lisa Kolb bereaved spouse of Erik, who died in a climbing accident on Mount Rainier, and Jenna Cohen MSW, whose husband, Len died of brain cancer, regarding spouse loss and the challenges of a terminal illness compared to a sudden loss.

  • Episode 140: Who Grieves Harder After Spouse Loss Men Or Women

    August 7, 2018

    On this show Dr. Heidi Horsley explores with bereaved spouses, John Polo and Lisa Kolb, the challenges and issues related to the death of a spouse. Contemporary issues such as blogs and online dating are discussed. John is the author of the best selling book Widowed. Rants, Raves and Randoms. Lisa is a food writer […]

  • Episode 130: Active Grieving: Writing Through Grief

    April 10, 2018

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Herb Knoll and Annah Elizabeth about Active Grieving: Writing Through Grief.  Herb Knoll author of The Widower’s Journey, lost his wife Michelle to cancer.  He is the founder of the Widowers Support Network, an advocate, and speaker on spouse loss. Annah Elizabeth, lost her […]

  • Episode 125: Creating Healing Communities After Loss

    February 26, 2018

    Debbie Rambis joined The Compassionate Friends in 2011 after the drowning death of her 29 year old son Tony.  She has served in numerous capacities for The Compassionate Friends, and is currently their Executive Director.  Jeannette Maré founded the Ben’s Bells Project after the sudden death of her two-year-old son Ben. Ben’s Bells focuses on […]

  • Episode 111: Living Mindfully with Linda Della Donna, Victoria Grinman and Bar Scott

    August 4, 2017

    On This show Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley interview Linda Della Donna freelance writer, bereaved spouse of Ed and author of A Gift of Love: A Widow’s Journey.  The Second guest Victoria Grinman LCSW, adjunct faculty member of Columbia University and the owner of Growing Kind Minds.  She is an expert in healing trauma […]

  • 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 83: Spouse Loss with Audrey Pellicano and Rabbi Jeffery Sirkman

    August 21, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview bereaved spouses Audrey Pellicano. RN MS Health Counselor and educator, and Rabbi Jeffery Sirkman, Senior Rabbi of Larchmont Temple, regarding the challenges of lousing a spouse and how they have again found hope. Joining in the discussion of finding hope after the loss of a partner […]

  • Episode 79: Spouse Loss, What About Dating?

    July 1, 2016

    On this show Dr’s Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview three bereaved spouses; Dr. Joanne Moore, physical therapist and author of After the Loss of a Spouse: What’s Next?, comedian Carol Scibelli author of Poor Widow Me and her partner Mickey Bayard.  They discuss among other issues coping with spouse loss and dating.  The show will […]