• Open To Hope Inspired by Horsley Family Tragedy

    January 15, 2019

    Dr. Gloria Horsley is the founder of the Open to Hope Foundation. She created the non-profit organization after losing her son, Scott, in 1983. “We thought we would never survive,” she recalls, as her family was completely devastated. At the time, there wasn’t as much support and resources available as there are today. However, with […]

  • Dear Dad Letters: From a Bereaved Son

    January 7, 2019

    Panic Attack Dear Dad, Tonight I went to a play at the Shakespeare Theater with my wife and a friend.  We sat in the middle of the theater.  I have a severe panic attack and insist on leaving the theater. “Can’t you stay?”  “The play hasn’t even started yet!”    Disappointment and anger.  I remember earlier episodes in movie theaters where […]

  • Trauma Treatments During Grief

    December 30, 2018

    Dr. Gloria Horsley and her daughter, Dr. Heidi Horsley, discuss trauma treatments in their 49th Open to Hope Foundation episode. Dr. Bessel van der Kolk of the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute and a professor at Boston University, and Dr. David Fajgenbaum of The Bone and Joint Surgery Clinic join Drs. Horsley to discuss […]

  • Lessons From One Who Has Helped Many Pass Away

    December 8, 2018

    Let’s talk about the mysteries of death, because in death there always seems to be so many unanswered questions.  I know with my own mom, who has been gone eight years now, the one question still remains: Why did she have to die? Breast cancer took her life. She was too young, a vibrant, good-hearted woman. […]

  • Dear Dad Letters: Nights After Death

    December 5, 2018

    Dreams Dear Dad, I’ve been having this recurring dream.  I am sitting alone in a movie theater, about halfway down the theater.  A movie is playing on the screen, but I can’t make out which one.  I turn around and see lots of people standing and talking to each other along the side and back aisles.  They are not […]

  • Jason Stout: Outward Bound

    November 28, 2018

    Many members of Open to Hope have attended Outward Bound’s (aptly named) outdoor sessions, including the Executive Director Gloria’s Horsley’s late son, Scott. Jason Stout has been a part of Outward Bound for years, and recently spoke with Dr. Horsley about why wilderness experiences are so helpful and critical for those in the grieving process. […]

  • Candice Courtney: Rituals

    November 26, 2018

    “Ritual is so important, it supports us throughout our lives” including when there is a death in the family, says Candice Courtney of Scottsdale, Arizona, the author of Healing Through Illness, Living Through Dying. She recently spoke with Dr. Gloria Horsley of the Open to Hope Foundation during the 2015 annual Association of Death Education […]

  • Darwin Huartson: Hospice

    November 20, 2018

    Darwin Huartson is part of the VITAS Innovative Hospice Care team in San Antonio, Texas, and spoke recently with Dr. Gloria Horsley about the role of hospice care—as well as many of the myths surrounding it. He’s a bereavement services manager and has been working with VITAS for 18 years. For years hospices served a […]

  • Donna Bacon: Finding Hope and Healing After Multiple Loss

    November 18, 2018

    Dr. Donna Bacon got into the field of grief because of her own personal losses, and she shared a moment with Open to Hope’s executive director Dr. Heidi Horsley. Today, she’s a lecturer at Nassau Community College. “When I was four years old, my mom died of breast cancer—she was 34.” Bacon and her twin […]

  • No Choice, Some Choices, and ‘Choosement’

    October 23, 2018

      A friend was in a horrible car crash about a year and half ago. The car was damaged beyond repair, he was left with lifetime health consequences, and most tragically, another person in the car, his friend, died in the accident. Since the crash, there have been extensive legal discussions and negotiations concerning liability, […]

  • Don’t the Dead Take their Time Leaving?

    September 23, 2018

    After my father died, I became fascinated about where he went. Someone came to take his body out of our house and to a funeral home. He was cremated and his remains were put into an urn. But he was gone. Gone where? Where was the essence of him? I remember my siblings, mother and […]

  • Why Do Therapists Warn the Bereaved that they Will Divorce?

    September 22, 2018

    Dr. Gloria Horsley responds: You got me. I have been a therapist for many years and have repeatedly been told that, parents who lose children divorce. Let’s see, Phil and I have been married for over forty years and it has been over twenty since our son was killed. Memories of our dear Scott seem […]

  • Shame and Grief: Interview with Jeffrey Kauffman

    September 13, 2018

    At the annual ADEC (Association of Death Education and Counseling), I spoke with Jeffrey Kauffman about shame after grief and how complicated grief can be the result of the shame. Jeffrey is the author of a book called “The Shame Of Death, Grief, and Trauma.” Shame is a topic a lot of people shy away […]

  • Willingness in Grief

    September 11, 2018

    Willingness means the state of being prepared to do something, readiness. But here’s the thing you may not have been ready for a loved one dying. Your mind will ask the incessant questions… Why now? Is that time predicted? Do we have a destiny? Why did God let my family member pass away? I miss […]

  • Grief: A More Peaceful Definition

    September 11, 2018

    The word “grief” brings the impression of negativity, like when you are supposed to act, feel or think a certain way.  This continues through the time line that is created by other’s thoughts around us that have lost someone.  It is almost like grievers are the ones being directed on stage by an unknown force. […]

  • 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 […]

  • You Know You’re Recovering from Grief When . . .

    August 21, 2018

    Grief is a dark place, so dark you wonder if you will ever see light again. While you’re grieving, you are struggling to find your way through a long tunnel of darkness and there is no light ahead. You wonder if you will survive. Maybe you won’t find your way out of the tunnel, a terrible […]

  • You Can’t Unfriend the Dead

    August 14, 2018

      Not too long ago, I attended a presentation on grieving in a social-media world. Like so many things with social media, there is good news and bad news. The good news is that social media provides new and creative ways for grieving people to connect and to memorialize. These connections can reduce feelings of […]

  • Grieving in Advance

    August 12, 2018

    Is it possible to fully grieve in advance? Only you can truly answer that. This preceding part of the grieving process has been clinically labeled as “Anticipatory Grief”. Perhaps it isn’t as simple as it sounds. How do you anticipate what will happen to you? Some may think that if their loved one is ill […]

  • Litea Williams and Eleanor Haley: What’s Your Grief?

    August 8, 2018

    What’s Your Grief? is an organization founded and operated by Litea Williams and Eleanor Haley. “Practical, down to earth tools” is their specialty. They also do a lot of work in Baltimore City, working with the community and in particular with the homeless population. Williams and Haley spoke with Open to Hope’s Executive Director Dr. […]

  • 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. […]

Open to Hope Radio

Open to Hope TV

  • Episode 138: How to Build Awareness After Loss

    July 30, 2018

    On this show Dr. Heidi Horsley explores with two bereaved mothers, Carol Henderson and Jamie Bright, how they have build awareness though writing and speaking. Carol is the author of Losing Malcolm:A Mother’s Journey Through Grief and Farther Along:The Writing Journey of Thirteen Bereaved Mothers. Jamie speaks out against domestic violence sharing the story of […]

  • 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 […]