Loss of a Family Member

Open to Hope Radio


  • Rejoice Even in Times of Sorrow

    Posted on November 15, 2019 - by Jill Smoot

    Some years ago  I was given a candle for Christmas called, “ Fallen Snow.” When I lit it, the scent was nothing like the clean, crisp smell of real snow, […]

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    Advent: A Visit in the Darkest Hours

    Posted on November 12, 2019 - by Elizabeth Brady

    During the season of Advent 2003, I was eight months pregnant with Mack. Iz had just turned six and was dressed as an angel having participated in the Christmas Eve […]

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  • Give Yourself a G.I.F.T. This Holiday Season

    Posted on October 31, 2019 - by Kerry Phillips

    The holidays are a time of togetherness and family traditions. It’s even been dubbed the “most wonderful time of the year.” But for many in the widowed community, it can […]

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  • How Will I Make it Through the Holidays? Five Ways to Try

    Posted on October 20, 2019 - by Mary Joye

    When the stores stock Halloween items on the shelves, it is reminder that the holidays are on the way. If you’re grieving, these images may further embed haunting memories. It […]

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  • 5 Ways to Get Through the Holidays (When You’re Not Feeling Ho Ho Hopeful)

    Posted on December 13, 2018 - by Heidi Gessner

    Holidays can be difficult when someone you love has died. Or you’ve lost your job. Or an important relationship has ended. Or if you’re not sure of your purpose. Or […]

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  • Tips For Handling Grief During the Holidays

    Posted on December 11, 2018 - by Gloria Horsley

    Grief hits at the most unexpected times. However, the holidays are a known time when grief comes back like a weight, pushing down on those who have lost children, siblings, […]

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  • Holiday Season: A Contrast of Bright Lights and Inner Darkness

    Posted on December 7, 2018 - by Annah Elizabeth

      ‘Tis the season, and let’s face it, Neighbor, most major events are a mixed bag of suffering and celebration. Think about the anxiety, the exhaustion, as well as the […]

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  • A Christmas Encounter

    Posted on November 1, 2018 - by Jill Smoot

    In late summer, with a record heat index, I went to the store to do some shopping. As I pushed my cart, I came upon aisles of Christmas decorations already […]

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

    Posted on October 22, 2018 - by Mary Joye

    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 […]

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  • On Your First Father’s Day Without Dad

    Posted on June 7, 2018 - by Beth Marshall

    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, […]

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

    Posted on May 11, 2018 - by Beth Marshall

    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 […]

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  • Wishing the Holidays Would Go Away: Tips for Coping

    Posted on December 5, 2017 - by Mary Joye

    Many people love the first crisp, nip of fall in the air. To those who are grieving, it can coldly cut deep into the spirit and re-open the wound. While […]

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  • A Christmas Promise

    Posted on November 27, 2017 - by Larry Patten

    On a long-ago Christmas Eve, I made my last visit to a patient as her hospice chaplain. I was honoring a promise made weeks before. While a December storm spit […]

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  • How to Own Your Winter Grief

    Posted on October 9, 2017 - by John Pete

    💨 🕶🍲☕🎃🎄☃ Something many of us learn through the course of years, losses and grief is that it’s far better to take control and OWN YOUR WINTERS, rather than to allow […]

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  • Grieving for Our Fallen Soldiers This Memorial Day

    Posted on May 29, 2017 - by Gloria Horsley

    Memorial Day is on Monday, May 29th. It’s  a day to stop and reflect on all those who have fought for our freedom and country. Across all types of wars […]

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  • Webinar: Survival Tips for Mother’s Day

    Posted on May 8, 2017 - by Darcie Sims

    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 […]

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  • The Blessing

    Posted on February 14, 2017 - by Cheryl Espinosa-Jones

    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,” […]

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  • Valentines Day After the Loss of a Child

    Posted on February 1, 2017 - by Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley

    How can you heal after the loss of a child? This is the hot topic on a special webinar of the Open to Hope Foundation, featuring Drs. Gloria and Heidi […]

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  • Do Our Loved Ones In Heaven Celebrate With Us? Yes!

    Posted on December 31, 2016 - by Christine Duminiak

    For those of us who are grieving, holidays and special occasions can be bittersweet and very painful, as we wish our loved ones were right here beside us celebrating too. […]

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  • I Need to Say Her Name: Surviving the Holidays

    Posted on December 21, 2016 - by Harriet Hodgson

    In 2007 my elder daughter died from the injuries she received in a car crash. Helen loved Christmas and the first one without her was indescribably painful. I thought the […]

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    Family Traditions, Memories, Help Us Reach the New Year

    Posted on December 13, 2016 - by Bart Sumner

    I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with grief before my son, David, died 7 years ago. Since then my grief journey has taught me about myself, my family, […]

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  • Managing Grief Through the Holidays

    Posted on December 12, 2016 - by Sarah Kravits

    It was Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend, the first Thanksgiving without my brother, just months after a drunk driver had ended his life. I needed to get some shopping done and […]

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  • December is the Longest Month of Grief

    Posted on December 6, 2016 - by Basia Mosinski

    December is the most difficult time of year for those of us who have children who are physically no longer with us. For me it begins in late September, with the […]

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  • Handling the Holidays After the Death of a Spouse

    Posted on November 22, 2016 - by Beverly Chantalle McManus

    The holidays are often the most difficult time of the year for a grieving spouse. Dr. Heidi Horsley talks with Beverly McManus about how to deal with the holidays following […]

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  • Grief’s Linking Objects: The Winnowing Process

    Posted on November 12, 2016 - by Harriet Hodgson

    Linking objects–things that belonged to a deceased loved one–are reminders of experiences and feelings. A bereaved son may wear his father’s watch, for example, and a bereaved daughter may use […]

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  • Christmas Grief

    Posted on November 1, 2016 - by Lo Anne Mayer

    Even though our daughter, Cyndi, died over 11 years ago, the season of Christmas is still the hardest time for me.  Remembering our little girl opening presents and playing with […]

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  • Día de Muertos: Eat, Speak, and Remember

    Posted on October 28, 2016 - by Elizabeth Brady

    The Oxford English dictionary defines “remember” as to “have in or be able to bring one’s mind an awareness of someone or something from the past.” I have thought a […]

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  • Lost (and Found) at Sea: On Grief and Holidays

    Posted on July 4, 2016 - by Sue Lawrence

    Today is July 4, a holiday for most people in our nation. One of the problems with grief, though, is that it rears its ugly head frequently during special occasions. […]

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    Father’s Day: A Duel Between Happiness and Sadness

    Posted on June 17, 2016 - by Bart Sumner

    The first Father’s Day I remember was when I was 8 or 9, and my dad and I were on an “Indian Guides” camping weekend with our “Tribe.” “Indian Guides” […]

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  • Illumination quote card by Laurel D. Rund

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

    Posted on May 8, 2016 - by Lauren Muscarella

    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 […]

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  • How I Survived my First Mother’s Day as a Grieving Parent

    Posted on May 5, 2016 - by Joni Norby

    Our 19-year-old son Ben was buried May 2, 2008 – eight days before Mother’s Day. Even though I was still in shock, I knew enough to stay away from church […]

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  • A Letter to My Living Children for Mother’s Day

    Posted on May 3, 2016 - by Maria Kubitz

    Dearest ones, Mother’s Day is quickly approaching. Each year, I’ve received beautiful hand drawn cards or beautiful crafts from you that I cherish and save. Your words of love and […]

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  • Webinar: How to Manage the Easter Holiday

    Posted on March 23, 2016 - by Gloria Horsley

    Holidays can be a challenging time for those who have lost a loved one, and with Easter right around the corner, Dr. Gloria Horsley with the Open to Hope Foundation […]

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  • Three Years After Son’s Death, the Emptiness is Sacred

    Posted on January 8, 2016 - by Elizabeth Brady

    “It is your season, Elizabeth,” our priest greeted me, more than eight months pregnant and my body filled to bursting with our son, John, during Advent 2003. “It is,” I […]

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  • The Place of Transition: Finding Purpose After Loss

    Posted on December 23, 2015 - by Michelle Jarvie

      The following is a sermon by Michelle D. Jarvie, written as a reflection on Isaiah 61 for an Advent Service of Remembrance and Hope.    “I wanted a perfect […]

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  • Keep the Spirit of Your Loved One Alive at Christmas

    Posted on December 23, 2015 - by Marilyn Burns

    When the holiday season arrives, it takes me back in time. It is a bittersweet relive of the memories of Christmas past. I gave birth to two sons, Chris was […]

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    First Christmas Without Mom

    Posted on December 22, 2015 - by Cheryl Espinosa-Jones

    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 […]

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  • Snow Globe of Emotions at Christmas

    Posted on December 6, 2015 - by Shannon Harris

    Reflecting on where I was last Christmas brings up a snow globe of emotions. Sadness, joy, anger, frustration and even relief swirl all around me. A flurry of feelings from […]

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  • First Christmas without a Son

    Posted on December 4, 2015 - by Laura Klouzek

    The first year my husband and I were married, we lived in Nurnberg, Germany. He was in the army, and I was not about to let him go to Germany […]

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  • The Grief Breakfast Club’s December Meeting

    Posted on December 3, 2015 - by Greg Adams

    It was December and the last monthly meeting of the “Grief Breakfast Club” for the year. No one could quite remember exactly when it started, but it had been Old […]

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  • Not Home for the Holidays

    Posted on December 3, 2015 - by Rhonda Belous

    I vividly remember the day that one of my one of my closest friends called me at 1:30 AM to tell me that her Dad had just died. She had […]

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  • Is Christmas Still Christmas?

    Posted on December 2, 2015 - by Jill Smoot

    Anyone who has lost someone they love knows the numbing-down effect that death brings. Life becomes in some ways a pantomime, a surreal going-through-the-motions of reality. Especially, this is true […]

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    A Lasting Memory of Christmas Past

    Posted on December 2, 2015 - by Bart Sumner

    I had kissed Abby and David “good night” and was started back down the stairs, when I stopped at the top riser and paused before heading downstairs. The scene laid […]

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    Cobwebs in December

    Posted on December 1, 2015 - by admin

    By Catherine Lee It feels like a losing battle. Grief is like cobwebs: I am always running into stray bits stretched across my backdoor. No matter how often I attack […]

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    Winter Grief Activities and Projects

    Posted on November 29, 2015 - by John Pete

    The long winter months can be especially confining, isolating and challenging when grieving a loss. But you can also engage in unique ways that will help you bear your loss. […]

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