MINDFULNESS & GRIEF PODCAST EPISODE 26
Coping With Sibling Loss
Tips & Insights From A Sibling Survivor & Grief Professional with Heidi Horsley
The death of a brother or sister can be devastating, but all too often it goes unacknowledged or at least minimized. Social cues direct bereaved siblings to "be strong for your parents," but how can you be strong when your world is shattered by loss? Heidi Horsley is no stranger to this kind of pain. Her brother, Scott, died in an automobile accident, alongside her cousin. This life changing experience inspired her to be a champion for grieving siblings and earn a doctorate in psychology. In this episode of the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, Heidi shares her story of love and loss and hope, and shares tips and insights to help you cope with sibling loss. She explores the strained parent/child dynamic that often occurs after this type of loss, and why parents might think their surviving children are "over" their grief when they are anything but. Dr. Heidi closes the show with an invitation for grieving siblings to join her in the crusade to shine a light on this disenfranchised grief.
Books by Heidi Horsley
About Dr. Heidi Horsley
Dr. Heidi Horsley is an internationally known grief expert and has taught numerous
courses at Columbia University for over 16 years. Dr. Horsley is a Licensed
Psychologist and Social Worker. She holds a Psychology Doctorate from the University
of San Francisco, a Master’s degree in Social Work from Columbia University, and a
Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Loyola University in New Orleans.
Dr. Horsley co-hosts an award winning weekly television show and podcast, and is the
Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Open to Hope Foundation, an international organization
committed to providing hope and resources to those grieving. In addition, she has a
private practice, specializing in grief and loss. Dr. Horsley serves on the Advisory Board
for the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors of Military Loss (TAPS), the
Children's Brain Tumor Foundation, and the Elisabeth Kubler-Ross Foundation. She
also served on the National Board of Directors for The Compassionate Friends, for eight
Dr. Horsley has co-authored 8 books on grief and loss. She has appeared on ABC’s
20/20, and been quoted in the Metro World News, Washington Post, Time Magazine,
Newsday, and the New York Daily News, in addition to many other media venues. She
gives keynote presentations, workshops and professional continuing education courses
throughout the country for health care professionals.
Dr. Horsley worked for 10 yrs. as a co-investigator for the FDNY-Columbia University
Family Guidance Program; a study which looked at traumatic loss over time in families
of firefighters killed in the 9/11 World Trade Center attacks. Through this 9/11 study, Dr.
Horsley provided ongoing intervention and follow-up to firefighter widows and their
children, and facilitated groups for bereaved siblings. In addition, Dr. Horsley
supervised the social work staff at Harlem Democracy Charter Schools in NYC for four
Dr. Horsley's social work career has included work in a variety of settings, including;
California Pacific Medical Center Adult & Child Psychiatry Depts., University of San
Francisco Mental Health Clinic, St. Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital Adult & Child Psychiatry
Depts. in NYC, Manhattan Psychiatric Center, Hope Haven Residential Treatment
Center in New Orleans, and Loyola University Counseling Center in New Orleans.
Dr. Horsley's research interests and publications are in the area of grief and loss, and
her doctoral dissertation was on the sudden death of a sibling.