• 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.

Articles

  • 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, […]

  • Managing A Death Anniversary

    May 19, 2016

    After losing my husband to brain cancer last year, I was often warned about the one-year anniversary of losing a loved one. The Death Anniversary. I was no stranger to this feeling; I had lost my father when I was a kid and my mother passed away the year before last… except this time was […]

  • When Lupines Bloom, I Think of Him

    April 25, 2016

    My husband Vic and I planted many pounds of wildflower seeds in our fields over the years. Wild grasses devoured some of them, but the lupines thrived and self-seeded on broad hillsides. On the day of Vic’s death in June 2008, lupines bloomed with wild abandon, erupting from the earth with thousands of tall purple […]

  • Eight Years Later: My Five Stages Of Grief

    April 15, 2016

    The Swiss psychiatrist, Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, wrote in her 1969 book, On Death and Dying, about the various stages of grief that the bereaved know all too well. I’m sure many of us have heard this from our shrinks or bereavement groups. As I reflect back on the eight years since my 17-year-old daughter Casey’s suicide, […]

  • Entering into a New Relationship after the Death of a Life Partner

    April 2, 2016

    How many photos are too many? One of the most charming questions I ever received in one of my second year spousal loss classes came from a middle-aged man named Sam. He said, “If I were to invite a woman over to dinner, how many framed pictures of my deceased wife would be too many?” […]

  • Spousal Loss: What Legacy of Loss Are You Passing on to Others?

    March 28, 2016

    The loss of your life partner is especially complex to manage because the two of you functioned as a couple for so long. As a result, you are not only dealing with the loss of your partner, but also the loss of your sense of self that was constructed through your interactions. The question becomes: […]

  • Amy Florian: Finding Hope After the Loss of a Spouse

    March 23, 2016

    The founder and CEO of Corgenius, Amy Florian, shares her thoughts on losing a spouse and finding hope in the aftermath. As a bereavement consultant, she pursued her career based on her own experience. Her husband, John, was killed in an accident when they were in their 20s. She was shocked that the world kept […]

  • Stephanie Groepper: Spouse Loss

    February 29, 2016

    Losing a spouse is unexpected, since you see yourself growing old with this person. Dr. Heidi Horsley talks to Stephanie Groepper, a military widow. She’s a psychology student and the founder of Washington Warrior Widows, a non-profit for widows and widowers in Washington State. Groepper’s daughter is seven years old, and was only four months […]

  • Twelve Years Later: Love Really Is Both Sides Now

    February 20, 2016

      February is anniversary month, when loss rises like nausea, climbing and swelling until the day itself, February 21. This is the day my first husband Brett died of a brain tumor, a medulloblastoma. He was witty, green-eyed, and just shy of his fortieth birthday. I was 37, and our twins, well, they were less […]

  • A Letter to Myself (as a New Widow)

    January 9, 2016

    I’ve always been a planner. When I was 8, I had Christmas presents wrapped and cards made in July. When I was 14, I researched all of my college options. When I was 19 and graduated college, I knew that 26 was going to be the best year of my life. After all, at 26, […]

  • Grief and Healing: Against the Odds

    December 22, 2015

    This is my story of being widowed at 25 and again at 55, and the deaths of my beloved wives—the first in November 1984 and the second in February 2014.  It’s not only that I lost both of these women to an early death, but also that these relationships were once-in-a-lifetime love affairs. Becky and […]

  • Then and Now: The Roller Coaster of Being ‘Thankful’

    November 16, 2015

    THEN (2008) “Michelle? Are you there?” It was a good question. As the basket passes with blank cards – a tradition in our family for Thanksgiving – my arm seizes, refusing to lift itself and accept the basket. I know what is coming, and so the logical and emotional sides of my brain slip on […]

  • Letter to a Loved One, Twenty Years Later

    November 1, 2015

    Dear Joanne, Today marks twenty years since I walked you over the threshold and out of your life on this earth. It feels like yesterday. It feels like 100 years ago. I cried last night at the benefit for the Breast Cancer Fund. It’s complicated when I cry like that. I’m crying because you are […]

  • Spousal Loss: Spiritual and Physical Aspects of Loss

    September 25, 2015

    Body work expert Dr. Lyn Prashant joins Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley on this special episode of The Grief Relief show. Prashant lost her husband at a young age—they were both in their mid-30s when he passed away. She had worked in the grief field for years, and says that “talk therapy” was the standard […]

Open to Hope TV

  • 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 […]

  • Episode 70: Tuesday’s Children

    May 3, 2016

    On this show Dr’s, Gloria and Heidi Horsley discuss with Eileen Lynch MSW the loss of both her husband and brother-in-law on September 11, 2001 in the Twin Towers. The second guest is Sallie Lynch Development Consultant for Tuesday’s Children, Sallie discusses the lessons learned regarding community healing and resilience. A Tuesday’s Children video clip […]

Open to Hope Radio

  • 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 […]