Articles

  • How I Transformed Grief into Growth

    July 17, 2018

    On a balmy summer evening in 2011, my beloved 26-year-old son David was killed instantly in a motorcycle accident and my life was forever changed. Suddenly plunged into a crazy altered reality, I wandered helplessly through disbelief, confusion, anguish, and searing pain. For a long time I felt stuck in my misery, since death is […]

  • When Others Want to Know Why You Aren’t ‘Over’ the Death of Your Child

    July 17, 2018

    Lately, the question I have been getting the most is, “How do I get the people around me to understand why I am still grieving the death of my child so deeply?” We already feel like we are going crazy, and having family and friends tell us we “should be past this by now” may […]

  • Forgiving the Unscrupulous

    June 25, 2018

    Our son Aaron was one of the many who suffer from depression and anxiety.  He was one of the many who sought help with medication, prescribed by a practicing physician intended to help alleviate this malady. But as it turned out for Aaron and nine others who saw the same doctor, the medication did not […]

  • Pieces of You

    June 25, 2018

    Today, I gave away another piece of you. A piece that’s traveled with me for thousands of miles back and forth between Los Angeles and Canada and other places. A piece that’s been with me for 17 years. In the days, months, and years since your passing, I’ve let go of small and big parts […]

  • 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 […]

  • Subsequent Losses

    June 7, 2018

      Interestingly enough, some of us suffer more loss than others.  Having multiple losses close together, and considering that one year is close together, life can get complicated. When this happens, one can hardly grieve one death and then another is in front of us. How do we get through it? How can a heart […]

  • Resigned But Not Defeated

    May 22, 2018

      There is a poem written in 1848, by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, after the death of his little daughter, Fanny. The poem, “Resignation,” has in one of its stanzas the following:   “And though at times impetuous with emotion And anguish long suppressed, The swelling heart heaves moaning like the ocean, That cannot be at […]

  • Grief is Wild

    May 15, 2018

      I recently came across an article with the title “Why You Shouldn’t Trust Your Cat.” The idea presented is that domestic cats are actually only partially domesticated. From a genetic perspective, they are more wild than tame. Not everyone has, or wants, a cat, although millions have and do want at least one. But […]

  • Death and Rebirth: Making a Home in Your Heart

    May 7, 2018

    One of my favorite quotes about the grief journey comes from Rumi, a 13th century theologian and poet: Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom. I live next to a beautiful and very […]

  • Bitter or Better – A Choice

    May 3, 2018

      I have always been fascinated by how people deal with loss and adversity.  I am continuously inspired by those who can go beyond their pain and live engaged, productive and meaningful lives.  Therein lies the challenge: how to rebuild a live filled with meaning and joy despite loss and pain. Since we all know […]

  • Grief Gift: How a Friend Can Help

    May 3, 2018

    Our overwhelming feelings of loss during grief often make any grief gift hard to imagine.  We search our inner world and wonder how we will put the pieces back together.  What can possibly bring us any feeling of gratitude? Suddenly, our thoughts turn to our friend — the person who is with us, fully present, […]

  • 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 […]

  • Moments of Silence: The Grief Process

    March 30, 2018

    Deep within the crevices of our soul, we long for the moments of silence that can take us away from the sights, sounds and feelings that are bombarding us all the time.  In grief, these bombardments seem to be heightened mainly because we don’t know how to turn them off.  You are either too weak, […]

  • Grief Recovery Programs Need to Include Action Plans

    March 21, 2018

    It’s no wonder so many people fail to complete grief counseling sessions that are staged over a period of several weeks, with many attendees opting to bail out of such programs after just a week or two.  Why? I believe one of the reasons is because too many of the programs fail to provide a […]

  • Promptings of Hope

    February 14, 2018

    After a long, cold New England winter, I find myself on the lookout for any sign of Spring … a crocus peeking out of the melting snow, a slight haze of color in the trees across the lake, my own spirits lifting. These promptings … encouragements, reminders…return each year to help me make the transition […]

  • Head and Heart: Like the Acorn and the Oak Tree

    February 9, 2018

    Grasping a concept or idea intellectually is one thing: having it become a real part of who you are is something different. I once heard it said, “Scripture contains the word of God in the way that the acorn contains the oak tree. It is all there, but its presence is made known to us little […]

  • Death of Husband Led Her to Stop Fearing Life

    February 7, 2018

    The word “fear”. Take a moment to think about what fear means to you. To me, the word brings up a million different images. To most, it means that they are afraid of something: afraid to speak in public, or scared and nervous to try something new, which is often actually a fear of failure. […]

  • Strong Back, Soft Front: Staying Open to Emotion

    January 23, 2018

    “Every man is for himself, on that you can rely You’ll have to hide behind a shield to stay alive.” David Roth The Armor Song  How do we envision life—what image catches its essential nature? Is life basically a struggle, a constant challenge and confrontation with obstacles? Is life a gift, a blessing to receive […]

  • 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 […]

  • How Near-Death Experiences Change Our Thoughts About Death

    January 12, 2018

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Roberta Moore about her near death experience and how these experiences affect people’s thoughts and insights on death. When Roberta was 13 years old, she had a spontaneous out of body experience. When she was in her early 30’s she had a […]

  • Supporting Families Through Grief Beyond the Hospital

    January 6, 2018

    A labor and delivery registered nurse (RN), Chamel Thompson also works with Emerging Beyond, an organization that supports people after they’ve lost a loved one. Thompson recently spoke with Dr. Gloria Horsley at the Association of Death Education and Counseling conference in San Antonio, Texas about her work and what Emerging Beyond offers to those […]

  • Do Funerals Matter?

    December 27, 2017

    The author of the book Do Funerals Matter?, Bill Hoy, talked with Dr. Gloria Horsley during the 2015 Association of Death Education and Counseling conference. “Throughout the world and throughout history, we keep doing a handful of things,” Hoy explains. He’s identified five “anchors” that are often found in funeral rituals throughout time and all […]

  • 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 […]

  • Waiting for God to Respond to a Prayer

    December 22, 2017

    There is a classic psychological question you may be familiar with that is related to our ability to wait on God:  “If a tree falls in the forest and there is no one there to hear it, does it still make a sound?” When we pray the words of the Serenity Prayer, “God, grant me the […]

  • 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 […]

  • Cherished Memories Are a Balm for Grief

    December 3, 2017

    Jane’s birth on November 6, 1959, is one I don’t remember. I have been told that at age three, I was beyond excited at the arrival of a baby sister. Jane, a tiny bundle of beauty, pink, and softness, shone gorgeous locks of golden blond hair. She was the true baby of the family, adorable, […]

  • ‘How Can I Help if I Don’t Know You’re Hurting?’

    December 3, 2017

    As a caregiver of a parent with Alzheimer’s dementia, I struggle with myself when I find out my father has been hurting and won’t tell me about it.  My husband and I are caregivers for my father who will be turning 80 next year.  Whenever we’re with him, we focus on the positive and talk […]

  • A Healing Walk in the Cemetery

    December 3, 2017

    When our loved ones pass, the loss is visceral, all encompassing. The cemetery feels like a sad place, but as time passes it can be a place of comfort and peace.  I never thought this until I recently moved near one. Literally, it is in my front yard.  It is a very beautiful place full […]

  • I Became a 26-Year-Old Widow

    November 15, 2017

    Life throws everybody curve balls. They can be minimal, or heartbreaking, but they are unexpected. On the morning of December 31st, 2016, I would never imagine that it would be the last time I would wake up next to my husband, James.  I would never believe that our last kiss was when the clock struck […]

  • Saying ‘No’ to Holiday Traditions is OK After a Loss

    November 14, 2017

    For many of us, for much of the time, it is hard to say “no.” Even when we’re busy, even when we’re tired, even when it’s something we really don’t want to do. It’s especially hard when it’s something that we’ve done before, when it’s been our routine, our habit, or our tradition. We get […]

  • Natural Disasters Leave Grief Among the Ruins

    November 5, 2017

    The havoc wrought by recent natural disasters  – hurricanes in Houston and Florida,  the US Virgin Islands  and Puerto Rico, wild fires in Northern California, the earthquakes in Mexico — remind me of how destructive natural disasters can be to those affected by them.  Not only have many lives been lost – wives, husbands, children, […]

  • Grieving for a Loved One I Never Knew

    October 28, 2017

    I must admit I find beautiful and limitless potential in the notion of grieving for loved ones that we did not have the opportunity to know. If given the choice, which we are not, of course we would choose to actually love in this life, real time, face to face. Unfortunately this is not always […]

  • Darcy Harris: Social Justice and Grief

    October 18, 2017

    Dr. Darcy Harris has most recently been focusing on working with issues on social justices and social messages as it relates to grieving, she tells Dr. Heidi Horsley during the Association for Death Education and Counseling 2015 conference. Working with a grief and death studies program in London, Ontario, she splits her time between this […]

  • Hope in a Jar, a Loving Gift for the Bereaved

    October 16, 2017

      What should you say to a grieving friend? What shouldn’t you say? Finding the right words may be so hard that you decide to send a sympathy card. “Well, that’s done,” you mutter to yourself.  Later, though, you may wish you had talked to your friend face-to-face. Of course, this isn’t always possible. Instead […]

  • Hope in the Land of Loss

    October 9, 2017

    The bright, blue sky surrounded the scene, it filled the moment with light. I looked up to see the somber funeral men, leading each of us past the casket. One gave me the carnation from his jacket, as I stood before the big, dark casket where my father’s body lay hidden. I was eleven. How […]

  • Weeping With Those Who Weep: Supporting Others in Grief

    October 9, 2017

    At a friend’s home recently, I had the privilege of becoming acquainted with a dear woman who is 94 years young.  As we were seated together in a cozy spot, she began to tell me about herself.  It wasn’t too long before she related to me that her daughter had passed away. But then she […]

  • How to Use Death Insurance to Trick Death

    September 23, 2017

    It’s not a pleasant scene: You are in a hospital bed, clinging to life, and just outside your room your family members are arguing whether or not you would want to be kept alive by a respirator and, given the likelihood that you will die, would you want your organs donated. Or how about this […]

Open to Hope Radio

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 127: Regaining Your Health After Loss

    April 10, 2018

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley explore with Basia Mosinski and Glenda Powell how to regain your health after loss. Glenda is Co-Chapter Leader of the Newport Beach Compassionate Friends chapter, and serves in memory of her son Garrison.  Basia is a health and wellness coach. She is Founder and Chapter […]

  • Episode 117: The Life and Legacy of Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

    January 8, 2018

    On this show Dr. Gloria Horsley and Dr. Heidi Horsley, interview Ken Ross, son of Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, and Vice President of the EKR Foundation. Elisabeth was a Swiss-American Psychiatrist, a pioneer in near-death studies, and author of the groundbreaking book, “On Death and Dying.” Joining them on the show, are two members of Helping […]

  • Episode 112: Kim Perlmutter and Sarah Cornwell: Gardening Through Grief

    November 17, 2017

    On this show Dr. Heidi Horsley and Dr. Gloria Horsley interview landscape designer Kim Perlmutter, bereaved parent of Joey and owner of “Inviting Spaces By Kim” and Sarah Cornwell, Executive Director of Gamble Garden located in Palo Alto, California regarding how gardening as well as just enjoying the gardens can heal the broken heart. A […]