Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley host episode 25 of The Open to Hope show, which features art therapist Barbara ‘Basia’ Mosinski and comedic author Carol Scibelli. These experts offer insight into using art and humor to help with the grieving process of a death of a loved one—and both women have used these techniques themselves. Losing a spouse, parent and step-son collectively meant tapping into their expertise and training to find a method of grief management that worked for them. Scibelli is the author of Poor Widow Me, which is a tool used by many to tackle the healing process with a humorous touch.

Using creativity to heal is critical, and it’s one of many techniques that can be used. Scibelli was married for 33 years to her high school sweetheart. He only lived one month after he was diagnosed with cancer. For months, all she wondered is, “How could this happen?” because they thought they were heading towards a happy ending. Writing the book is what helped the comedian get back to herself after becoming a young widow. Her friends told her immediately to start writing a blog and that’s what kick started the book.

Wired to Heal Your Way

As a comedian, Scibelli says she was always “wired to be funny” so it was a natural fit. “When do I take off my ring?” is a big question for widows and widowers. For Scibelli, it took a six year old asking why she was wearing it if she wasn’t married anymore. It was snippy, but honest, so Scibelli took it off. She began dating two years after her husband died.

Mosinski lost her stepson in a train accident in 1993, and she recently lost her mother. She immediately delved into art therapy after these losses, which was a natural fit. The episode closes with singer/songwriter Larry Stevens performing.


Basia Mosinski

Basia Mosinski, MA, MFA is an online Grief/Hope/Wellness Specialist. Basia was a Keynote Speaker at The Compassionate Friends 2018 National Conference. In 1993, Basia’s stepson Logan died in a head-on train collision in the midwest where she and her family lived. Within two years, her marriage broke apart and more losses compounded. Logan’s death took her on a journey through pain to inner healing and growth. Along the way, she participated in The Phoenix Project a 12-week intensive process for healing grief and loss. She not only participated in the process she later became a ritual elder of The Phoenix Project, working with Dr Jack Miller. In December of 2001 Dr Miller invited her and several other practitioners to give a weekend of healing to families impacted by 9/11 in New York. Basia was so moved by that work that when she returned to Chicago, she enrolled at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where she was teaching to gain a second masters’ degree in Art Therapy. When she graduated in 2005, she relocated to NY where she became the Assistant Director of Mental Health at Gay Men’s Health Crisis while maintaining a thriving private practice, sharing office space with Dr. Heidi Horsley. In 2014, Basia moved to Southern California to live close to her only child, her grown son, Richard, his wife and her granddaughter. 9 months later, Richard died suddenly from a pulmonary embolism on a flight from Chicago to Orange County. In addition to helping others on their journey of healing, Basia is helping herself through the shock of what has happened by using what she has learned along the way and through writing a book about her process and the ways that she and her family are coping with the loss of Richard through texting, photos and ‘sightings’. Basia is the Executive Director of Only-Love.org. and chapter leader of The Compassionate Friends_Newport Beach

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