My Story

farley52

I grew up in a typical blue collar Midwest City where working hard and playing hard was a way of life.  Men were expected to toughen up when times got rough and plow through them.  There wasn’t room for “weakness”.  When things became too much, you headed to the bar for a few hours.  Nobody talked about what they were dealing with.  My dad and every other male figure in my life lived by these rules.  Since I didn’t know any better, I also subscribed to this way of thinking.

I found my way out of the blue collar neighborhood and graduated from the University of Iowa in 1994.  I accepted a position out of state and moved to Chicago with, my now wife, Christine.  We were ready to take on the world.  Climbing the corporate ladder was important to us.  I was driven by my definition of success so we put off having children because we were to busy being busy.

However, in 2003 we decided that it was time to have a child.  We soon found out that just because you are ready for a child, it doesn’t mean it will just happen.  We were planners and not being able to conceive when we wanted to was not part of our plan.  After a series of fertility treatments, we conceived our daughter Katie.  We were excited to be parents but that excitement turned to sorrow when we lost Katie in the Fall of 2004.  I did what I had been taught to do, I toughened up and pushed though this horrible event and the pain I was feeling.  I did what every good “man” is supposed to do; I became focused on helping Christine through this tragic event.  I buried my pain and grief somewhere deep inside and never talked about it.  I submerged myself in 60-70 hour work weeks to take my mind off of the pain.

After about a year, we decided that we would try to conceive again with the help of fertility treatments.  This time it was a little boy and we felt blessed that little Noah was going to be a part of our lives.  I had no idea how much of an impact Noah would have on my life.  Noah passed away in the summer of 2006.  Again, my life would be changed forever, but this time I couldn’t bury the pain.

I didn’t want to get out of bed and for the most part I didn’t for about 3 months.  All of the pain from the loss of Noah and all of the pain I buried deep inside after the loss of Katie rushed to the surface.  I couldn’t cope.  I called work and told them I would be gone for an extended absence.  I didn’t know when or if I would be back.  If the job was there when I got back, great, if not, I understood.  I tried to fight the grief for a short period of time, but there was no burying it this time around.  The journey was extremely hard and much longer than anticipated.  I eventually went back to my job after being off for several months.  I would sit at my desk every morning and cry, mourning the loss of my sweet babies.  I couldn’t wait for the end of the day so I could escape the confines of my cubicle that continually felt more and more like a prison cell.  I wanted to run away from everything, but didn’t know where to go. I was too sad to actually make it happen.  I would sit at my desk and search the Internet for information and clues as to what was wrong with me.  My doctors told me I had depression, I didn’t believe them.  Something else must be wrong with me.  I could control my response to every other thing that has happened to me in my life, but not this.  I finally gave in and realized I needed help.  I met with counselors and finally admitted that I was dealing with depression that was a result of suppressed grief.  I refused to give in and was determined not to let this define me.  There were days I could have easily thrown in the towel.  For the first time in my life there were days I didn’t care if I died.  I wasn’t suicidal, I just didn’t care.

Once I started talking about my losses, the pain and the sadness I carried around with me, people started to reach out to help me.  However, it wasn’t the same people or friends that I had always associated with.  These were people that I probably would have never met.  They were people that have gone through other difficult things in their lives.  They were people that didn’t judge you or feel uncomfortable when you started to cry while telling them your story.  They embraced you and checked in with you on a regular basis.  They would take your calls regardless of what they were doing at the time.  They provided me compassion, sympathy and hope.  They never told me to toughen up and plow through it.  They taught me perseverance and how to handle the loss in a healthy way.  By acknowledging my losses it allowed me to release the pain, grief, depression and despair ever so slowly.

I made a promise to Katie, Noah and myself that once I was strong enough, I would reach out to other dads that have lost a child and help them find their way back from the brink.  After you lose a child, it is virtually impossible to continue on through life as if nothing happened.  You can’t run from it, nor can you hide from it.  Society expects men to do these things, to be strong, but it’s not realistic or fair to ask a father to do this.  The best thing any father can do for himself and for others around him is to reach out for help and to know it is not a sign of “weakness”; it’s a sign of courage, courage to face these feelings head on.  There is no time frame for healing after such a loss.  Some days your emotions will win, but gradually over time it will dawn on you that you are winning this battle and a new you is starting to emerge.  Maybe the new you will be someone you don’t recognize, but in time you will realize this is the new you and you will learn to live with this person.

I look and feel different now.  The stress of their deaths has sprinkled some gray into my hair and lines on my face.  It has taken a part of me that I know I will never get back.  My definition of success has changed.  I no longer feel like I am rushing around all of the time trying to prove myself to the world.  I am no longer the go-to guy at work.  I do my job, but I don’t do it as if I want to run the company someday.  I could easily be persuaded to run off to a simpler way of life.  I know Katie and Noah would want me to make a positive impact on other’s lives, which this project has allowed me to do.  The idea of helping others helps me.  Material things do not hold much meaning to me anymore.  Spending time with my wife and my dog Buddy is much more satisfying than working long hours to acquire material items that do not provide happiness.  I now know that it’s okay to show emotions and that it’s not a sign of weakness.  I prefer a quiet and peaceful life.  To be quite honest, I am fairly confident that even if I wanted to, I couldn’t maintain the same pace as before the losses, but I now know that’s okay.

101 Responses to My Story

  1. Brian Cushman says:

    I write you today of a loss of a son that i miss everyday. It was Dec 17,2013 that my son Andrew took his own life. Born in a small upstate NY town Nov 14,1988 was a son to his loving father and mother. Andrew was the kid that everyone cared for as he grew up through the years and gained a younger brother as he developed as a man. This young man 25 years of age came across a rough patch as his father separated from his mother and other issues came into his life that he started to stress over. Both his parents were supportive even when the rough times came but never spoke to either one that tragic day . His Father is the one that found him laying in his room lifeless that December day gone is a Angel that god took away and a grieving heart to stay. There isn’t a day that his Father, Mother and Brother don’t cry each day for the love of a Angel god took away!

  2. Doug says:

    Tomorrow will be my first day back to work since our 5yr old son passed away in his sleep two weeks ago. I am really not looking forward to it and quite honestly I want to just quit and not work again. I am just not looking forward to all of the questions and having to start all over again with the answers. I do love where I work and they have been very supportive but I really don’t want to be around people.

    We went to church this morning and I was doing okay until I looked up. There, on the ceiling was the Elmo balloon that I accidentally let go of two weeks prior during his celebration of life service. We have a strong faith in God and that is really the only thing that has given me the strength to carry on. We all know how difficult it is for grieving dads and I am so thankful for this site.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Doug – I am sorry for the late response to your posting. I hope you were able to survive your first day back to work yesterday. Its always tough to face people after the loss. Especially people that know the professional side of you. Part of that for me was the fact I didn’t want them to see the side of me that was hurting out of fear of being “vulnerable”. I know I would break down if someone asked me how I was doing or if they said “I’m sorry”.

      Hang on to your faith, I didn’t have that early on, but found it later on. It helped me get through the day. There were weeks where I would go to several services a week. I would find various churches in my area that would have a Monday night, Wednesday night or Sunday night and I would go. I found peace there although I would say I am not a “religious” person. I am a believer, but not a huge fan of organized religion for many reasons. But I did find solace spending time with others that were hurting in some way.

      Wishing you peace. Glad you found this website and please stop by to share/vent anytime. Someone is usually around.

      Kelly

    • Dear Doug,

      Getting back into life was so difficult for us. 3-1/2 years after Charlotte’s death, we still get blind-sided by things. Not a day goes by that I’m not tempted to just go back to bed and curl up into a fetal position.

      The process is long and slow. We who have lost children truly know the meaning of the word “agonizing.”

      Roger

  3. Laura says:

    Thank you for providing a place to share such strong emotions. For those who live in Austin, the Christi Center is an open and caring place – free of charge – they always answer the phone.

    fortheloveofchristi.org

  4. Chris says:

    Wow, your story is very similar to my own. The only way I can see through the mist of grief is to hopefully one day help others. Thank you for showing us the way. Take care

  5. Bruce Friedman says:

    As the weather is beginning to turn and Passover, Easter, Mother’s Day, Noah’s Birthday…. are all around the corner, I’m finding the bit of peace I found over the past few months after finally getting some therapy to help to become functional again is starting to unravel. It’s been 18 months since we lost our boy Josh, he would be turning 19 in June. His death was not unexpected, but that has not made this any easier. I miss my boy all the time. When I’m focused on my wife or other two children, I still feel emptiness, sadness and guilt that I can even begin to enjoy something without Josh being a part of it. I’m finding this all comes in waves and I don’t think I’ll ever really feel better. I’m rambling, but my guess is those reading this are struggling as well. God bless you all as we go through another season.

  6. Laughter heals. That I DO know. Try not to feel guilty when it comes.

    Personally, I hate “God needed another angel” and anything with “at least…” in it.

  7. Jeremy says:

    Thanks Roger. It’s amazing how the low times can be followed by times of peace or brief periods of laughter. The only time I truly want to punch someone’s teeth out is when I get the “well I guess it was meant to be” line. That hurts more than anything.

  8. Katie Thomas says:

    Dear Kelly,
    I sat behind you at the book awards last night. I have no sad story to tell but I do want to say how much I admire your effort to reach out to others in similar situations. I so admire your strength and caring for others. As hard as it is to imagine, I cherish my kids and grand kids even more now.

    God Bless you.

    KatieThomas

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Katie – Thank you for the note. It was an honor to be there last night and to read a little of my book to the crowd. The book has become bigger and reached more people than I imagined.

      Wishing you peace.

      Kelly

  9. kirk says:

    I need to vent!!!! This is so hard. When were here at home its so painfull. All i can think about is Ash and that night. Today we again went to Ash’s site where we cleared off the snow from her plant. I dont know how to survive like this. Im supposed to go back to work in a week and I dont know if I can cope or not. I miss her so much it hurts phsyicaly, but then anyone here knows what that feels like. Seems I look forward to bed so I get a break from the pain. This existance sucks! Were over a week away from our first comapssionate friends meeting and it seems like its forever in coming. Im trying to have faith but how can this be ” his plan”. If you ask me “his plan” sucks. I do believe in god and he has been there for me when i never even asked for it so why does he desert me now and how am I supposed to just “trust” in his decision making process when he has taken the person who I have loved more than anyone in my life. I feel betrayed. I feel lost and Im at a loss for what to do next. Ashlyns puppy has taken on a new importance in the family funny how that happens but knowing how much she loved him makes him so much more important. I as every other dad wish this nightmare had never happened. Where to go from here?

  10. Bruce says:

    Kelly – your advice in the book to seek counseling is right-on. It took me over a year, but I finally met with a professional over the weekend and just talking about our circumstances helped surface some of the feelings and emotions I know I’ve been supressing. I’m fearful that as an individual and as a family, we are now “broken” and will never be the same. I’m not sure how to deal with this, but I can now at least start to put a finger on it. I don’t know how this ever gets better and I don’t believe it ever really will, but I do know that I’ll somehow have to learn to live with it as I need to be functional to support the rest of my family both emotionally and financially.

    I think I finally figured out the word to reply when others ask how we’re doing, it’s “devastated” whether they truly understand that or not, I can’t control, but at least I now have a word for it.

    Josh was laid to rest the day before Thanksgiving last year (2011) and we decided to go to Disney over X-mas to avoid being home for the holidays. Now that the “shock and trauma” has somewhat worn off, I’m realizing for the first time, how brutal the holidays are while carrying around so much grief and loss. I really just want to hide for the next four weeks, we’ll see how it all goes.

    I hope others reading the blog are finding they are not as alone as they may have felt. The disease my son lost his life to extremely rare (less than 300 cases word-wide). We were not able to connect with others that had the same disease until the last two years of his life. As I never want to find comfort in the misery of others, it was helpful to connect with others dealing with similar circumstances. Last night we attended a Compassionate Friends Candelight Service at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, I had the same sense of comfort being with many others who have experienced similar grief. As difficult as it is to talk and connect with others, it’s even harder to go at this alone.

    Thanks for providing this blog to help create these connections.

    Bruce

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Bruce,

      I applaud you for taking the step to seek professional help. I am also happy to hear that you are recognizing actions that bring you some level of peace. Connecting with other bereaved parents can bring a level of “community”. Some of my best friends are people that have also experienced the death of a child. It has a lot to do with the fact that they “get it”.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  11. Bruce says:

    Kelly – Last week marked the one year anniversary of our oldest son, Josh’s death (11/18/2011), he would now be 18. Josh died from complications of a rare disease he had his whole life called Dyskeratosis Congenita.

    Despite Josh’s physical and developmental issues, he lived a longer life than expected when he was born and touched many in our community as he was the “mayor” of his High School.

    Ironically, we have another son, Noah who is 14 and a daughter, Katie who is turning 12 next month. So much of what you say in your is similar to what I’ve been feeling. My wife cries a lot more than I do. Josh is always on my mind, usually, my emotions hit me the hardest when I’m alone. I don’t have the energy or drive I did before Josh’s death and although, I could never conceive of taking my own life, especially with the rest of our family to support, I welcome the day when I will be reunited with my son. I miss him so much.

    A lot of our time spent together in the last two years were visiting doctors and obtaining his treatments. Josh stood at just 4 feet tall and I can still feel my hand on top of his head and his small hand in mine.

    Last month, we attended a remembrance service at the hospital where my son was treated. One thing the pastor said that resonates, is that grief is not about getting over a loss, but rather, learning how to live with it and move forward. I don’t think or want to ever get over the loss of my son. He will always be with me and I will always think about him. It’s just that so much changes with so much pain. Outside of my wife and our two other children, I don’t think the rest of our family really knows how to deal with us, nor do many of our friends.

    I appreciate you maintaining this blog. I’m going to order your book and start reading it tonight.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Bruce,

      I know we have connected via email, but I want to say welcome to this blog. I enjoyed reading about Josh and his life, thank you for sharing that with me. You are correct, he will always be with you, cherish that and hold on to it on those really dark and lonely days.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  12. Mike says:

    Hi Kelly,

    I’m 24 and I lost my son Micah-Isaiah on July 16, 2012 only 5 days old. I find it hard at times that he is gone only because as soon as I found out my girlfriend was pregnant we did everything right, prenatal checkups and pills, eating healthy and etc. Micah was a healthy big boy and came one day after his due date. Never in my life have I experience any joy, to sum it all up the best day of my life….

    Four days later turned into the worst day of my life. Woke up to a nightmare hoping it was just a dream. My son caught a fever and was breathing heavily only two days after we got home from the birthing center where my girlfriend delivered him. I was torn and we rushed him to the ER. By then he was stabilized but in serious condition. I never felt so empty… From everything what the doctors said was he had an infection internally like one of those rare one in a million cases which then cause a sepsis shock. So he got admitted to the hospital. My son was a fighter and after about almost 2 days he finally passed away. I never thought I’d experience that in such a young age. Burying my own son and laying him to rest. It has affected me a lot and growing uP without a father gave me drive to when it came time to have one of my own that I would be the best dad ever…

    I’m glad I found this website just now, there’s not much around to help men like us.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Mike,

      I am sorry for the loss of your sweet baby boy Micah-Isaiah. I too experienced the best and worst day of my life, all in one day. I understand the internal emotional roller-coaster ride.

      Welcome to this blog, I know you don’t want to be here, no of us do, but I wanted to provide a place for dads like us to tell their story and share the pain while supporting each other on those days we dont think we can go on.

      Please feel free to share here anytime.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  13. Julie says:

    Thank you for sharing your heartbreaking stories, knowing we’re not alone is sometimes the only comfort life gives us.

    I’m not a Dad, but I do watch my husband everyday fight this battle we have been given, and it’s beyond words.

    We lost our 21yr old darling girl in one of those mind boggling car accidents, senceless, and avoidable. Being the man of the house my husband as suffered from that dreaded emotion ‘guilt’ it tortures his mind, the should of’s and would of’s.

    I’m so gald all you Dad’s have found a place to off load all the hurt, I believe we all need to do that. My husband however is still in that dence fog, unable to see further than the day he’s in, somedays are full of drink and some days he just sleeps.

    Thanks again, reading your positive words gives me hope. xx

  14. Bill says:

    I lost my son.

    Please, tell me it gets better.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Bill – I am sorry for the loss of your son. I wish I could take a way your pain, but thats not possible. Will it get better? Thats a great question and one I use to ask everyone around me over and over again. My question was “Am I going to survive this?” There were days/weeks/months that I didn’t think i would, but I did. Will it get better? I will respond with “It CAN get better”. It takes a lot of work and honesty with yourself and others. Talk about it A LOT! Dont bury your emotions and find a way to celebrate your sons life. Find a purpose that honors him. Put your energy into this cause and do it for him and you. I am here for you if you need to talk. Peace.

      Kelly

  15. David,
    You certainly do have a long road ahead of you and Tim was right when said it will become harder for you.

    But you must know that you are not alone. Those of us in the Club-We-Never-Asked-To-Join are with you and have a clue about your pain even if we can’t know exactly how you feel.

    Pull your family close and forgive the people who say stupid things.

    And don’t stop thinking about your girls. It’s what gets me through.

    Strength and peace to you,
    Rog

  16. Dave says:

    David,

    the process of me responding to your post began many hours ago, actually many days ago when Kelly and I connected through LinkedIn. After reading your note, I have read articles about your daughters and realize that I can’t explain anything about Kenzie and Lulu.

    Since my son died just before his 18th birthday after fighting bone cancer for about 3 years, I’ve experienced a lot of emotional twists and turns, and have come to only one conclusion: we’ll understand “why” after our life here is over.

    In your girls’ newspaper memorials, it is said that they both loved the Lord, and I think the truth lies within their faith. That same expectation that there is a perfect place where we will see our children again, in a pure state of energy and love, is my struggle every minute of the day. It’s amazing how dense and impenetrable emptiness can be, but my sense that while we are still here in this temporary, physical, place, the best thing that we can strive to do is bring light into the world. Maybe for the great kids that we miss, maybe just because we can display our faith for Good in its spiritual fight against Evil on that plane.

    After trying to put myself into your shoes, and remembering back how my son’s death affected his only brother, my unreasonable challenge to you is to bring light into the world by sharing love with your son and everyone close to you. I don’t know all the ins and outs of this, but for me, I would try to climb out of the darkness when I could and offer Christ’s love to those who I thought needed it, and I felt as if I were spiritually hugged by my son. Not that teenagers could ever be expected to cut their parents any slack LOL but looking forwards to “home”, where we will all be together sometime, I continue to do my best, sporadic as it may be.

    When I think about being with my son again in that perfect place, I then begin to feel loss for my other son, and it helps me approach him, and his grief, in an unconditional way that somehow works. I feel suspended between my live child and my dead child, between Life and Death, and feel stretched.

    My dead child feels no more pain, and I can offer my love for both my children to my one son who is still alive right now. He is an adult, and has a successful life on the other coast, but when we visit each other, I just ask him if I can give him a huge without saying anything at all. Our manliness suspends itself and we understand each other for a moment. Then we can get on to him criticizing and analyzing me.

    I don’t know what to say, but as I finish this post, I am, as Kelly told me in an email to me about his writing about his own loss, sitting here “with tears flowing and snot pouring out of me because I was weeping so hard”. I am sorry for your pain, and I swear I can feel some of it now, or at least my own, from my own parallel experience.

    much love to you and your family,
    Dave

    • David Wiese says:

      Thank you Dave for your kind words and support. This has truly been one of the hardest things that I have ever been through. And thank you for taking the time you took to try to get to know my daughters by reading up on them. I also want to say how sorry I am for the lose of your son.

      Both of my daughters were amazing people and both had a very strong faith in God. Their love for Him is what had helped pull me and my family through this tragic accident.

      As I struggle with this I of course have wondered why. Why me? Why my children? But as I continue to ponder these questions, I ask myself, why any child. Why should any of us have to lose a child. Losing a child is truly the most difficult thing any of us will ever have to deal with. The lose of my daughters is still so fresh and raw and each day is a struggle, but through the darkness, we have seen some light. We have found comfort knowing that we will see them again one day.

      As for my son, he is the one who has given me the strength to wake up each and every morning since the accident. He has been a real trooper through all of this. He loved his “sissies”, as he calls them and he continues to grieve for them as we do. He is only nine and even though he may not know it, I have found great strength in watching him. He grieves for them, but he also tells me that he knows that they are o.k, because they have come to him in his dreams and told him that they or o.k. I have found great joy in his words.

      Thank you again and I will continue to pray for you also.
      David

  17. Sherri says:

    dear David,
    I am sooooo sorry. I am a mom who watches her husband every day as he deals with the loss of his son due to a car crash. one thing you mentioned about some people just don’t know what to say or do so they disappear strikes us every day still and it has been four years.
    Today it is about you and what you need to take your next breath. Our hearts are with you as you figure out how to live without your loved ones.
    Sincerely,
    Sherri
    P

  18. David,
    I just read your post and wanted you to know that my heart goes out to you. As Kelly says, there are no words for this loss. Just know that there are many of us in the same place and we are here to support each other.
    Asking why questions creates a negative loop that doesn’t have any concrete answers, only heartache. We are men. We have a horrific problem and we want to fix it. Our minds want an answer; our hearts want an answer, but there is no answer.
    I agree with Kelly that finding a counselor or support group can be a huge help. Having a qualified person to speak with and having tools to work with is very important.
    All I know is one day (and it will take some time), it does become a little easier and there will still be many set backs and steps forward after that. We each have a path and a grieving process that is as unique as we are. No one person goes through this the same as another.
    Sending you peace in this very difficult time and know that we are all here for each other.
    Brian

  19. David Wiese says:

    I want to thank you for your site. I have been coming to each day now for awhile.

    On August 17, 2012 I lost my two daughters, 16 year old Mackenzie and 15 year old Lauren in a horrific car accident just a mile from our house. Mackenzie was driving and Lauren was the passenger. Mackenzie lost control of the car and skidded in front of an on coming pickup truck. Both were killed on impact.

    I am just at the beginning stages of my grief. Each and every day seems to get harder and harder. I have so many question that I know will never be answered, but I still ask. My heart and soul cries out for my daughters. I feel like I failed them because I was not there to protect them. I know there would have been nothing I could do, but I can’t take away what I feel inside.

    I have read that so many men cannot or will not cry. That is all that I can seem to do. I have cried so many tears these last two weeks. Sometimes I wish I could stop crying. I know that my wife and my son need me and I want to be there for them, but sometimes I just wish someone would be there for me.

    I have found some strength in this site and want to thank you again for all that you have done. There is very little out there to help us grieving fathers.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      David – I have to be honest, I am at a loss for words. I am sorry for the loss of your beautiful daughters. I wish I can say or do something to erase the pain you have inside, but I can’t.

      The death of two children in one horrific accident is unfathomable.

      I want you to know I am here for you when you need another dad to speak with. I also want you to know there are a lot of guys on here that are also willing to help. Please stay involved in this site when you can. If you have not done so already, please try and find a local support group and/or counselor. I didn’t and I regret not telling my story early in my journey. I can’t guarantee it will help, but you are in a battle and finding the tools that might help is critical.

      Again, I am here for you if you need me.

      Peace.

      Kelly Farley

      • David Wiese says:

        Thank you Kelly.

        My wife and I have already met with a grief counsler twice and we are in the process of looking into several support groups that meet in our area. We are located about 45 minutes west of Houston, Tx. So if you have any suggestions for any in the Katy or Sugarland area (west side of Houston) it would be helpful.

        I know that I have a long hard and lonely road ahead of me. I plan on continuing to seek support through this site and others. I have alread discovered so much from reading yours and others stories.

        Thank you again, David

    • Duncan Woods says:

      Hi David,
      I am so very sorry that you are having to deal with such a significant loss. Like Kelly has already commented, I wish there was something I could say that would make a difference, but I also know that no such words exist.

      Like you I shed plenty of tears, and 2 years on I still do. All I know is that for me, over time, I’m slowly adjusting and reconnecting with life. I have had to learn that grief is not a race, I go through it in my own time and in my own way. For what’s it worth, I try to accept that what I’m feeling is normal and I just let it be.

      Personally, I’ve not sought counseling, but I have found support in individuals who have been patient, caring and understanding with me. Some people have emerged with a strength of character I never saw in them before and others, who I expected to be there, have faded into the background. I try not to give those people too much thought and instead trust myself to those are looking out for me.

      Anyway, as a fellow grieving dad, who lost a 4 year old when he was hit by a car, I want you to know how much I feel for you. Please feel free to make contact at anytime – I can promise no answers but I can offer an ear that has some sense of what such a loss represents.

      Wishing you well,

      Duncan

      • David Wiese says:

        Thank you so much Duncan for your support.

        I am so sorry to hear about the lose of your four year old son. I can’t even imagine where I will be in two years from now. All I can do at this stage in my life is to hold on from day to day. I know that with time my grief will become more managable, but those days seem so far away.

        And I have already noticed some of what you are talking about. I have some people who have really stood up and been there to support my family while others have all but disappeared. But I know that some people really don’t know what to say or do, and I understand that. Like you, I will lean upon that choose to be there for support.

        Thank you again for your words and support.

        David

    • Tim Hayes says:

      David – I anticipate that yesterday was a very difficult day for you. My heart is broken for you.

      For at least the first four months after losing my 25-year old son, I cannot remember a moment when I was not overwhelmed by his death. I hesitate to say (because I hate it), but it will probably get worse for you before it gets better. It did for me. Eventually, I began to feel life returning, but it is still difficult for me somedays. Your loss is compounded by so many factors. My son had been battling cancer for almost a year, and despite the hopes we had for a full recovery following a stem cell transplant, there was always a sense that we could lose him. Nineteen months ago today, I watched his last moment of consciousness as he went into cardiac arrest before spending two more days sedated and on a ventilator. On the 18th of the month for many months, I have experienced major anxiety attacks remembering… today is better.

      I honestly applaud you. To lose two children with no expectation – and you are still breathing at all? If you want to be there for your wife and son, I would suggest you try to take care of yourself. My wife, my daughter, and I each grieved differently, so we essentially walked our own journeys for awhile. It helped for us to acknowledge and accept the difference, so none of us saw it as rejection.

      I agree with other comments about counseling or a grief group. I was fortunate to already be in counseling when my son was diagnosed, so I had a place to work through the emotional muck and mire. Even then, it’s a journey. Grace and peace to each of you.

  20. Ian Jeffries says:

    Im just wondering if there is any men out there that has lost their little angels.That may want to talk thanks im ian and i have lost my little girl Sarah Rose Jeffries age 22 months It had taken my wife and i 9 years to be blest and have my first little girl it was so wonderful.I have never felt in love with any think on this planet the same way, she just stared right through me .Like to say so your my daddy.I never thought that i would fall that in love i have raised my darling wifes two kids and i was so in love with Leah and Chloe but i was hypotized and taken away by the angels when Sarahs eyes locked on to mine im looking to hear from ather families to sharr their love for there little angels and have some one i know that feels the way my self and wife do

  21. Cherie says:

    Hello everybody, this is a brilliant site and I am so glad that I found it. I am sorry for everybodies loss here and my heart goes out to you all. Your stories brought tears and it really helped to hear from the Dad’s out there.
    I live in Australia and I have been struggling for some time now, to find any information that will help me understand how my Husband is coping and how I can give support. Our Daughter Lanah died on Christmas day 2011 at 38 weeks gestation and was born on 26th. They believe she may have had a heart condition but she still in the unexplained category. She was a very much wanted little girl, after 10 years and 6 miscarriages we had 2 boys and finally we would have our girl. My Husband did all of the things that were expected of him when she went and I knew inside he was just dying. He would sit in his shed by himself and cry. He would cry to and from work.
    There is nothing worse than losing a child but the worst part for me as a Wife is watching the love of my life’s heart break and being powerless to stop it, my heart was breaking too, so in the end what do you do, ride it out and hope your marriage can survive it. We sought professional help.
    He is coping alot better now and has opened up to me, funny how when our daughter passed his main concern was to get me through and not do anything to upset me and my concern was to help him through and not do anything to upset him which equals not talking about it.
    I hope all of you Dad’s out there find your way to get through and get some support.
    Thank you for providing the resources to help all the Fathers and to help the Mothers better understand there partners.
    Thank you for sharing your stories.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Cherie – I wanted to start by saying how sorry I am for the loss of your little girl Lanah. As you know there are no words to take away your pain.

      Your husband is not alone in his pain although he may feel like it at times. We men have a tough time opening up since there are not many resources that allow us to. I am happy to hear he seeked professional help with his pain. I did the same thing and it help a lot.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your story. Please continue to particapate in the discussions.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  22. Rick says:

    I am very touched by these stories to know I am not alone.I have been a firefighter/paramedic for 27 years. Seen lots of death both young and old.I have always wanted to write a book the luckiest guy in the world.Very competitive…close to my kids..keeping them on my day off since they were 6 weeks old.When my daughter was old enough to date.. I said the boy would ask me.no problem.My 19 yo daughter ask me to come meet this young man after dinner,he and I talked alone,he said he would love to date mine daughter.She was so beautiful ,kind loving..and I said listen to me…..he owed a crouch rocket..I told him if any happened to Malorie he would be response able ….2 months later April 8 2010 . 9:55 pm they called and said Malories dead thrown off the bike.. I have no competiveness.My dad taught my never cry..so for 30 yrs never dropped a tear.I still work but my favorite times are home working in the flower garden feeding the birds….crying and praying with my wife…I know she is at the right hand of God but I miss her so bad.thanks for listening to my story…and I Pray for these other dad that lost there Malories.. May God bless you and give you strength…Rick

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Rick – I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter Malorie. I am sorry you have become one of the “unluckliest guys in the world”. A lot of us men are taught to keep a stiff upperlip. I think this way of thinking has caused a substantial amount of damage to people. It took me a long time to realize its not a sign of weakness to cry. I also find peace in doing yard work. In fact, the other morning I sat on my patio and watched a squirl for about a half hour. I find peace in the little things in life now.

      Thanks for sharing your story Rick.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  23. Mohan says:

    Thanks for sharing the stories here. It is hard when one looses a child; especially so for dad’s who are expected to show a face of “strength.” I have tried to come to grips with my tragedy by writing a book “A Child Lost in Flight: Moving on after tragedy on Flight 229”

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Mohan – I am sorry for the death of your child, as you know, there are no words that can take away the pain you will carry the rest of your life. Thank you for sharing your resource for others to read. Peace. Kelly

  24. Isabella says:

    Thank you for this website. It will be a great help to my husband as we deal with our losses. I greatly appreciate that you have endeavoured to grow a resource dedicated to men that deals directly with thier grief & how to resolve in themselves the issues that arise from child loss. Blessings & light to you.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Isabella – (Beautiful name by the way) You are welcome for this website. I hope it and teh book can provide support to your husband and provide insight from all of the other dads that told their story. I am here if you need me.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  25. John and Stephanie Fiore says:

    Kelly,

    I am disheartened to hear that your project has hit a hurdle but have faith and hope that it will be funded in some time. We still want to donate to your project as we believe in it as well.

    Just wanted you to know that you were on my heart at church this morning. Prayed that God gives you and Christine some peace on this emotional day as we remember that you are a devoted and loving Father to your sweet Katie and Noah in Heaven.

    Love,
    John and Stephanie Fiore

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Stephanie – Thank you for the kind note and prayers. I am not discouraged and have taken an approach that if it was meant to happen, it will. It just means it will happen a different way and I am ok with that. Thank you to you and John for your continued support. I am just happy that the book has been released and people are starting to read it finally.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  26. Jason Cooper says:

    My daughter Sophia was born typical and healthy, then at about 3-4 months old suffered an unknown event (due to a still unknown genetic condidtion) which left her severely brain damaged. She never walked, talked, sat up…at 2years 11 months she passed away. This was August 2011. I still feel emotionally crippled. The worst part, my youngest daugther Madelyn, was also born typical…developed the same condition with the same symptoms. although she is healthier than Sophie was, there is no guarentee on how long she will live. Although her body is here, her life has essentially been taken too. I will never hear anyone call me “Daddy”…I cry every day. Not looking forward to Father’s day this year.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Jason,

      Thank you for sharing your story, as horrible as it is for you, we all learn from each other when we tell our story. It allows us to see the same pain in others that we feel ourselves.

      You feel emotionall crippled because you are. This pain drops you to your knees and will not let off, I get that all to well. I cried every day for close to two years after the loss of my second child, but it was the best thing I could do for myself, on many levels. I was embarassed at first, but then I decided that I didn’t care what other thought and let it flow.

      I am with you on Fathers day always tough. I have been looking for a Fathers Day topic to write about, I think you just gave it to me…”No One to Call Me Daddy”. When you see it, know you inspired me.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  27. Becky Loflin says:

    Thank you for providing this book for Dad’s. Like myself, my husband is suffering each day since the loss of our 34 year old son Marty in 2010. Marty went into the hospital after a cardiovascular surgeon convinced him he needed aortic valve replacement surgery. Following the surgery Marty suffered a stroke and stayed in a coma 14 days before his death. We have no answers and no compassion from the dr or hospital where this horrible tragedy occured. The dr no longer practices in this state. A nurse at the hospital said my husband and I would never have peace with the way our son Marty left this world – she is right I don’t think we ever will. I find peace and solace in reading what other grieving parents are coping with horrendous loss. Thank you for sharing.
    Becky Loflin
    Marty’s Mama

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Becky – I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your son Marty. As you know, there are no words I can say to erase the pain you feel inside.

      You are welcome for the book. It is my gift to the dads that have lost a child and to the men that will follow in our footsteps. This book will also help the women in these mens life understand how men respond and why. I interviewed 100′s of men as part of developing this book and I only hope it provides the support I think it will.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  28. Mike Weyand says:

    Kelly,

    I want to say first of all that I am truly sorrybfor your loss. I lost one child and cannot imagine the added grief of having to experience it twice. I found your website in a desperate search after about 7 months after losing my son, Michael who was 21 and in a motorcycle accident. I have been going to counseling however I don’t seem to be finding anyone to relate to at my church, men’s groups or life in general. Everyone thinks we should movem on. My wife isn’t coping very well either and I feel that I need to be the strong one for her and my other two children. I am so grateful that you developed this resource for other men to share their feelings so that we can lean on each other and so that God can work His healing in us.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Mike,

      I want to start out by saying I am sorry for the death of your son Michael. I wish I could say/do something that could take away the pain you carry inside, but I can’t.

      It is hard to find anyone who can relate if they too have not experienced the unthinkable. Seven months is still so early in this journey. The pain and the shock are still trying to figure out which one is going to kick your ass on that given day. Keep going to counseling and talking about the pain, all of it. Even the deep dark stuff that creeps in from time to time.

      Everyone that thinks you should move on has never been you your situation. I had someone say that to me one time and I returned their statement with “If on of your sons dies, would you move on?” They were able visualize that potential and quickly said no. Sometime you need to paint them a picture.

      As far as being feeling like you need to be the strong one, I get it and probably every dad that visits this blog feels the same way. Its just how we are raised/wired, to be the protecter. The only way we can help others is to help ourselves first. This isnt a selfish comment, its the truth. We need to walk this journey together, but on different paths. We move at different speeds and experience different responses.

      I am here anytime you need another grieving dad to speak with.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  29. June says:

    For those with no living children like my husband and I, there is a wonderful organization founded by Kay Bevington and her husband called, “Alive Alone”. Here’s their website, and they publish a bi-monthly newsletter. —> http://www.alivealone.org/

    It was through Kay Bevington that I found a support group in Virginia for parents without surviving children. I hope this helps someone. <3

    • Grieving Dads says:

      June – Thank you for posting this resource for others to see. I too have no living children. My wife really struggles with this fact and finds it difficult to connect with others that do not have children, espically those that have lost a child.

      Kelly

  30. greg says:

    good evening, i lost my 18 year old son brandyn to suicide jan 18 of this year, i am finding myself having average days, i have been through alot of emotions but i am finding myself wanting my kid back. he would have been 19 on mar. 2 i have also found myself burying myself in my work , not being a very emotional guy, an event like this changes a person forever, i still have a 21 year old son and 6 year old daughter. i feel i have to be strong for them and the family and really dont have time to talk or grief in my own way, i love my son son and begged him to move in with me, i am divorced and remarried, and i sometimes wonder if that did not have an effect on him bigger than i imagined. i dont kknow how to act knowing i have lost a child , i have stopped playing golf which is something i loved to do until this happened, any advice or words would be helpful, god bless.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Greg,

      I am sorry for the death of your son Brandyn. I wish no one had a reason to find this blog. I wish I could give you some magical words that would erase the pain you feel inside, but thats not possible. I am sure many have tried already. What I can offer you is a place to come and tell your story, share your thoughts (no matter how dark things are or pissed off you are when you write them) and let others offer you support where we can.

      It si so very common to find reasons to blame our selves or inflcit guilt upon ourselves, thats just part of the process for many of us, especially dads sense we take on the role of the “protector”. However, when something like this happens, we feel like we could have done something to stop it. No one know the answers to questions like that.

      As far as advice, I would say do not feel liek you have to be strong for others. Its hard to take care of others until we have began taking care of ourselves. I have gone both routes and the one where you seek help for yourself was much more effective in dealing with the pain, questions and isolation than just ignoring the pain. You will have to deal with it at some point in time so my advice is do it now because no one knows the long term impact of unresolved grief. Find a grief counselor, pastor/clergy, join support groups, write about your experiences/thouhts and find othe grieivng dads to talk with or spend time with. I am not saying to ignore your family, I am saying grieve with them together, you all need each other to help you along this very difficult journey.

      I wasnt an emotional guy before the loss of my two children, but this experience has a way of turning you into one. You are still very early in this process and chagnes in your interests and who you are as a person is common. There is not going back to the person you were before, its impossible. That doesnt mean you cant make changes in your life. It took me a long time to realize this. Once I stopped fighting to become the person I was before, I noticed the preasure started to ease a little.

      I/we (otehr grieving dads that visit this site) are here for you when you need us. Feel free to call or eamil me anytime you need to talk to another grieving dads. I mean it.

      Peace.

      Kelly

      • greg says:

        kelly, i knew trying to get through brandyns first birthday was going to be tough after his death, but i have to tell you, that pales in comparison to the holidays, i knew that easter was going to be tough, and for the most part i held it together pretty well, but when we got back into town, i really had a hard time sleeping last night. my older son and my 6 yr old daughter had a blast together, and the family got alot of pictures of them together, butwhen i look at the pics i cant help but miss brandyn even more now. how in the hell am i ever going to enjoy the holidays knowing one of my sons is gone? it really hit me hard late last night and i am starting to come to the conclusion that i do not want to do holidays any more, but i know i have to for my other kids, i just dont know what to do, having holidays without brandyn i just dont know how to adjust, everything is still fresh, but how am i going to get through the holidays? i love my kids more than life itself, i just dont know what to do. Greg

      • Grieving Dads says:

        Greg,

        Birthdays, Holidays, anniversaries are all so tough. Some tougher than others. I am sure seeing your other two children enjoying Easter made you think even more about Brandyn. Not that you want your other two children to not continue living the holidays, but its tough for you as a dad to think about the son that is not there to experience it with them. The joy in the holidays will return at some point. The word “joy” is used a little loose here because they will never go back to the way they were before you experience the unthinkable, the death of a child. You will get to the point were they don’t hurt as much or you will find a way to incorporate Brandyn into them. I now have a Christmas tree that is only decorated in things that remind me of my two children that I lost. Its a small tree that is prelite, but I love that tree because it reminds me of them. Find a way to incorporate his memory and let the other children join in. My wife an I do a cake and ballon release on their birthdays. The first year was tough, but there was a since of pride that I experienced when I stood there watching the ballons drift off. I was proud to be their dad even though they were not there with me. I know they are watching.

        Greg, I want you to know that I am here for you and all of teh grieving dads when you are having a bad day. Holidays or not, if you need to talk. call me. Thank you for sharing your experience here on the blog so others do not feel so alone in what they may be feeling.

        Peace.

        Kelly

  31. Laura Anne says:

    Hi,

    Just wanted to say two main things.

    1. I’m sorry for the loss you have experienced. I can only imagine the pain and grief of losing Katie & Noah.

    2. Thank you. Thank you for being willing to share your story. Thank you for being willing to help others that are going through the grief similar to what you have experienced.

    I work at a pregnancy resource centre, and do a lot of work with people struggling with loss of children for various reasons (miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy, adoption and termination) and am forever trying to find resources that are aimed at the fathers. They are too often forgotten I think.

    I know that what you are doing is going to really benefit a lot of men who are grieving the loss of their sons and daughters.

    With every blessing, LA

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Laura,

      Thanks for the kind words. I actually conduct a workshop called “Dads: The Forgotten Parent” and it is usually well attended by the dads. Its pretty powerful to see these men tell their story for the first time and hear the almost primative sound that comes out of them when the emotions start to flow. These are some big tough guys that dont talk about their “feelings”. If anything, it allows them to at least acknowledge what they are feeling is real and they are not alone. Once this occurs, they can start the healing process.

      I’ll let you know when the book is available (April 2012). Maybe it could also be a great resouce there in the UK.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  32. Kelly I came to your site via Grief Beyond Belief. It is 12 years since my only child Ken, ended his life, and 2 years since my husband Rod, collapsed and died in my arms. I wanted to tell you how valuable the work you do is. I only wish I’d discovered your site while my husband was still alive. Although Rod and I experienced the same loss we dealt with it differently, because grief is such an individual thing, but we were always there for each other. I miss them both every day, but I find if I walk through the fire of my pain I am more able to cope, and experience moments of peace and joy in the memories of the love we shared. Writing is one of my coping mechanisms, and have recently begun to share my work via the internet. It helps me, it honours my son and husband, and on occasion it touches others. I’m sorry you lost your two precious babes, and grateful for the work you do in helping men, the all too frequently silent grievers.

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Tricia,

      I am sorry for the loss of your son Ken and your husband Rod.

      I think walking through the fire of the pain, as difficult as it is to do, is one of the keys to coming out the otherside somewhat intact. When I first started writing I would sit with tears streaming down my face bawling, but the more I did it, the less I cried, I think forcing oneself to sit and relive the details and write about it is a form of self therapy. Start out slow and do a little at a time and it gets easier.

      Thanks again for stopping by and sharing.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  33. Elizabeth says:

    I wanted to thank you for your blog, willingness to express these gut wrenching emotions and sharing the perspective of the father. I too lost a child. Our daughter, Haleigh. I have found sadly countless blogs from mother of lost children and still births- but so few from the father’s perspective. I will sending your link to my husband. I am sure it will mean the world to him to feel validated.

    I am so sorry for both your losses. There is no pain on this earth like the pain of saying goodbye to a child.

    Elizabeth
    Haleigh’s Mom

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Elizabeth,

      You’re welcome for the blog. It has been very rewarding to be able to help others on this difficult journey. I am so sorry for the loss of you daughter Haleigh. As you know, there are no words I can say to erase the pain you feel inside, I wish there were.

      Please forward to you husband, we are here for him. If he ever needs another dad to speak with, feel free to direct him to my contact page. My cell phone is listed and I try to make myself available to the dads.

      Thanks for the comments.

      Kelly

  34. Jim says:

    Kelly,

    I was just given a link to your website by a friend. Unfortunately for both of us we have had to endure this same pain in our lives. My wife and I had fertility issues as well. After trying for 3 years (2 with a fertility doctor) we finally conceived. We found out that we had twins on the horizon. Somehow, even with multipe screenings, ultrasounds etc something went wrong and my wifes water broke at 18 weeks along. Our twin boys died on what would have been exactly their 18 week check-up… the day we were supposed to go to get an ultrasound to find out their sex. Both my wife and I had hoped the babies were boys, and to find out in such a devestating manor crushed us both.
    I “soldiered up” and moved on within a few days, much as you described after the loss of your daughter. It affected my wife much worse. However after almost a year we decided that to honor our sons best we needed tomove along with life and try to have another baby. Just last december we were blessed with our daughter. Shes the light of our lives, and we are both ecstatic to have her.
    However, getting back to the beginning of my story, while my wife was pregnant with our daughter, my best friend and his wife had a baby girl. She had a heart problem and passed away 3 months after being born. Now the 2 of us share this bond of loss, and its a blessing and a curse to know someone who feels the same as you is merely a phone call away.
    He is the one who introduced me to your website, and while looking around tonight I felt a need to share my story. I too cry on the way to or from work occasionally. I too feel like I should have been able to see our issues coming and stop them. Its nice to know there are others with similar issues, but at the same time it sucks to know others are going through this. I wish you and your family the best of luck, and at least occasional windows through the grief. It stinks that it never will go away, but hopefully we can all get along and have periods of happiness despite the issues we are given.

  35. Philip Atkinson says:

    Thanks for sharing your story. I lost my daughter Kaytie March 9th 2010 on her mom’s birthday . She was 23 and the mother of two little boys .She died from a brain aneurysm.Perfect health and no prior symptoms.Oh how hard it is as I have experienced the same things you have.I have been lost since her passing and do my best to get by every day.In our so called process of life we are not supposed to bury our children. Kaytie was an organ donor and we have met her heart recipient and that has helped as she gave the greatest gift of all .She gave Life! Again thanks for the story. Philip

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Philip,

      I am very sorry for the death of your sweet daughter Kaytie. I know this is a very difficult journey, but one we must take. Doing your best everyday is all you can do. The fact the her heart still beats and she was able to help others is wonderful gift.

      I am sorry for the delayed response, I was having tech difficulties with my blog and just got it.

      I am here when/if you need me.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  36. Scott says:

    Kelly,

    I just recently stumbled on to this website, and read your story. I, now, am feeling buried beneath something I have never experienced before. My wife and I have two beautiful children, Abigail who is 3, and Christian who just turned 1. We are young and have accomplished more things than most people our age have, and we decided there was not much left for us to do at this point in life. Recently, we had a little surprise about 14 weeks ago, and just found out about two days ago that we lost the pregnancy due to unknown complications.

    I, like you, was raised in the midwest, with a similar mindset, and have never really experienced this type of loss. The pain is new and I am not sure what I can do about it. My wife is having what I feel about ten times over, she is a stay at home mother with our two children and runs a small day care out of our home. She is acting like a completely different, person and I am not sure what to think.

    However, after reading a bit more of this I feel a bit more at ease, knowing that I am not the only male out there experiencing this type of pain.

    What are some ways to cope?

    God Bless.

  37. Leo Greeley says:

    In all my readings thus far I have never come across another who talks about the loss of a child from the same experience as mine. I often think I must be somewhat unique or the circumstances are.
    I am a birthfather who, along with my wife, were pressured to give up our child to adoption in 1968. I searched all her life and lobbied the Ontario government for reform. After records were opened last year and we finally had a name it did not take long to find why she was impossible to locate. She had succumbed to luekemia in 1976 in her 9th year. I am desperatley trying to understand my grief and how to come to grips with it. Anyone else out there in the same boat?

    • Grieving Dads says:

      Leo,

      Thank you for sharing your story. It is heartbreaking that you waited for so long to meet your child to find out that she had passed over 30 years ago. Although the circumstances behind all of our losses are different, I think the dynamics of what we go through are very similar. She is still your little girl. Find a way to honor her and spend time with her by reaching out to others that may need help. There is healing in reaching out to others in honor of our children.

      We are here for you. Peace.

      Kelly

  38. Thank you for sharing and giving all of us dad’s who have lost a child a great resource. I lost my son two years ago due to sudden cardiac arrest- he was just shy of his 14th birthday. In his honor my wife and I created a foundation in his name to protect other families against this preventable but silent killer. The foundation also allows me the opportunity to blog about losing a child and to share our story with others.

    I look forward to being an active member on your site.

    Scott Driscoll
    http://www.quinndriscollfoundation.org

    • GrievingDads says:

      Scott,

      I want to start by saying how sorry I am for the loss of your son Quinn. As you know, there are no words I can say that will erase the pain you carry inside.

      Thank you for posting this comment. It is always good to know that this blog is helping others. It provides me with a sense of intrinsic reward.

      I applaud you for starting a foundation in honor of your son. I am sure you find the same sense of reward knowing that you are able to help others. I think finding a cause to honor your child is one of the key factors to surviving this profound loss.

      I too look forward to you being an active member here on this blog. I will add your link/foundation to my blog.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  39. Trevor says:

    Thanks Kelly for your website. Just found your website after getting through Fathers Day. Found I was ok with the day and spent it with my parents and wife. But this week so far has been everything but great so far. My wife and I lost our first child at the end of February this year. She died 11 days after birth with a malrotated bowel…totally unknown until she passed away in her sleep. Starting to understand that she and the grief will always be with me. But boy some days are just tough. I’m going to continue browsing your site. But so far, it’s great comfort to me.

    All the best!

    • GrievingDads says:

      Trevor,

      You are welcome regarding this site. I hope you continue to find comfort here.

      I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet baby girl. I have no doubt that she will always be with you. I often feel Katie and Noah with me.

      Some days are tough. And just when you have a “good” day, those bad days will surprise you. It is a process that requires a lot of reflection (self and situational).

      Please stop back when you need to or to support others. I am here if you ever need another grieving dad to speak with.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  40. Lovely website and a fantastic idea. I have linked your site to my website http://www.ihavegainedanangel.com which is a grief support community so that all our members can be aware of it.

    • GrievingDads says:

      Thank you for linking my blog to your site and for the kind words about this project. I continue to be amazed at the number of people that are able to find support and a sense of community here.

      Stop back often.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  41. Shawn says:

    Thank you so much for putting this site up. I also have suffered two child losses, both sons, one to stillbirth and to premature birth, 23 months apart. Trying to find a place for “DAD” is almost inpossible, they are out there but very difficult to find. Thanks again

  42. Michelle says:

    I have not lost a child. I can’t even imagine. It’s my worst fear. I’ve lost siblings and both parents now and maybe God thinks that is enough for me for now. UGH. I’m so sorry for your losses. They are huge ones. I’m so glad you are speaking about your feelings. Most men I know think talking about their pain is for wimps, but I know it takes a strong person to do such a thing. Thank you for sharing your story and encouraging others, even those who have not lost a child. I once heard a speaker say grief is grief. That a just because a loss is little, doesn’t mean it isn’t significant. We try to weigh losses, but loss is loss and grief is grief. And even though I can’t relate to losing children, I can certainly relate to the grief you felt and how hard it was. I recently found my Mom dead in her bathroom…It hasn’t even been a year and I still at times find it hard to cope. People told me to think positively, or just think good thoughts. That did not help me. What did help me was saying that I was hurting, saying how I felt, and dealing with those emotions head on. Obviously, I’m not done yet…still working on it all.

    • GrievingDads says:

      Michelle,

      Great advice, “What helped me was saying that I was hurting, saying how I felt, and dealing with those emotions head on.” I really like dealing with those emotions head on. I believe you can’t hide from these emotions, you can try but they will find you and corner you. At some point you will have to deal with them so why not now. Run towards them.

      Keep working on it and thank you for stopping by this blog. Your thoughts and input really provides help to you and the others that visit.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  43. Sara says:

    So many times people have offered my husband advice and he has walked away thinking what do they know have they ever lost a child. What you do Is amazing.

    • GrievingDads says:

      Sara,

      Thank you for you kind words. I try to speak the truth about what I went through and experienced. It may be different than others, but I try to be honest. There are a lot of people (“professionals”) that want to give advice on how to deal with the death of a child, but but they have no clue. How could you unless you yourself have walked the walk. I think this applies to almost anything some has advice on. Until you have been there, I dont want to hear about it. I am not saying people that have not lost a child cannot give good solid advice, but they need to be careful on how the message is delievered. Good listeners should be their main role.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  44. Gay Gasser says:

    Great blog! I admire you courage to deal with not only your pain, but others. I thankfully have never experienced the death of a child, but did have a 2 year span when I lost my only sibling(cancer), mother( car accident), grandmother(old!) and father (suicide). Caring for them prior to their deaths and then their deaths left me pretty shell shocked. It wasn’t until I found a grief support group that I was able to move ahead.
    So a big ,”Wow” to you!

    • GrievingDads says:

      Gay,

      Thanks for the kind words. I am so sorry for all of the pain you endured over those 2 years. Tough tough stuff. I am happy you found some help at the support groups.

      Please feel free to stop here anytime. This blog is open to everyone.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  45. Rebekka says:

    My husband and I lost our baby in July, she was stillborn. I have not seen any site like yours for grieving dads. I think you have chosen a great way to heal and help other dads begin to heal as well. The pain never goes away but we do learn to live again…it’s just in very different shoes.

  46. Stephen A. House says:

    Kelly,

    I have another thing I read on grief I would like to share:

    You don’t get over it, you just get through it
    You don’t get by it, because you can’t get around it
    It doesn’t “get better” it just gets different
    Everyday…..Grief puts on a different face

    By W. Feireisen

  47. Kate says:

    Dear Kelly, I really appreciate the honesty that you express yourself with. I’m not a dad (I am a mum though) and I haven’t suffered the loss of a loved one, however, I have experienced losing parts of myself to my goals, ambitions and dreams and have stood back and watched the devastation that has swept through my precious family because of this. Reading your blog really helps to hit home how very important our little ones are and how very fragile life is.
    Thank you

    • GrievingDads says:

      Kate – Thank you for stopping by this blog and for your kind words. Going through devastation (however defined by the individual) provides the opportunity to stand back and reflect on ones life and direction. I believe it’s important that all of us take a moment from time to time to evaluate our lives and how we are living it. I know I have spent many many hours reflecting on the direction my life will take me. Life is so very fragile and the idea that “I’ll do it when I get more time (or money) is an excuse we like to us as a way to undermine what really awaits us if we allow it to unfold.

      Thanks again for stopping by this blog. Feel free to stop by anytime.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  48. Steven Hughes says:

    Just wanted to say I was unbelievably touched by your story and unrelenting strength. I wish you continued success with this very important endeavor. God Bless.

    Regards,
    Steve

    • GrievingDads says:

      Steven,

      Thank you for stopping by and for your kind words. This project has given me the opportunity to reach so many more grieving dads than I ever thought. It is proof that more needs to be done to bring awarness to what men experience after the death of a child.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  49. Charlene says:

    Hi, Thank you so much for starting a site for bereaved fathers. I know so much attention is paid to the wife and the other siblings, that the father gets left out or they feel that they have to be the strong ones to hold the family together. Now they have a place to grieve and get support in their own time and own space. We have lost 2 girls, one at 6 hours old and one was 3 1/2 years. With our 3 1/2 year old we were very fortunate to have a children’s hospice here in Vancouver, B.C. that has been a blessing to us and because of them, my husband has found the support he has needed to help him grieve. I know that he will also be thankful for your website. I have also been helped by your site. It keeps the girls always in my heart but forever in my memory.

    • GrievingDads says:

      Charlene,

      I am sorry for the loss of your two beautiful little girls. No words can erase the pain you carry inside.

      I am so happy to hear your husband was able to find support through the local hospice center in Vancouver. Those programs that acknowledge dad’s pain and encourage participation are hard to find.

      Thank you for your kind words regarding this project. I am very happy to hear that you too have been helped by this site. Please encourage your husband to stop by if he needs a place to vent or relate with others.

      Thank you for sharing your story and your thoughts.

      Peace.

      Kelly Farley

  50. Julia says:

    I just visited your blog and it is amazing. It’s been 11 years since my daugher died in a car accident and the grief bursts still haven’t stopped (and never will) but thankfully they are not nearly as frequent. Time has definitely helped with that. The intensity of the pain is no less after 11 years but I am very thankful that the times of joy and peace now far outnumber the moments of extreme breath taking pain. Bitter or better? I, too, chose to be better. I wanted to make my precious daughter proud when she was alive and here with me and I still feel that way now that she’s gone… I want her to be proud of me and I want to help others on this much unwanted journey. It’s a journey I NEVER would have chosen but it’s the one I was given so I attempt every day to make someone else’s journey a little softer. Thanks for this “project” and for honoring your children in such a meaningful way.

    • GrievingDads says:

      Julia,

      I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet daugther. You are correct, the grief burst never stop but they do become fewer with time. Intensity remains the same and often times they do not last as long as they do in the beginning.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and your story. Your welcome for this “project” it has truly become a passion of mine. To speak with honesty on the subject of dads grief. I love hearing from the people that find some sort of connection with the stories you’ll find on this blog. Stories not only from myself, but from the many dads I have met throughout this project.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  51. Jean Bota says:

    Yes, you are very qualified and thank goodness you have taken the intiative and started this project. I lost my husband nine years ago and my sons lost their father and their best bud possible.. They are now young men and still have their days, so thank you so much for being the voice for so many men and young men. From a mother’s perspective I totally agree with you that it is an everyday fight and how can some one who has never experienced the pain of a loss tell you how to cope.. Thank you for sharing your experience and being a light for everyone in this world.. God Bless you !!

    • Kelly says:

      Jean – Thank you so much for the kind words. It is my pleasure to share my expereinces because I know it helped me when I heard from other grieving dads when I was in the depths of my despair. It helps make you feel not so alone.

      I am so sorry that you and your sons had to endure the loss of your husband and their father. Thank you for stopping by this site and sharing.

      Peace.

      Kelly

      • Jeremy says:

        I am empty. My wife and I lost our two identical twin boys, Owen and Eli, 3 days ago. They were perfectly healthy boys, but due to a short cervix and preterm labor, they were born and went to Heaven at 22 weeks just 4 days ago. My wife is a mess, and so am I. My sweet three year old son Jackson has had the gift of brothers taken from him. My dreams, my future, my everything is gone. I don’t even know how to begin to grieve, and I feel so guilty being so sad knowing my wife is the one who no longer feels them in her belly. She no longer feels them move, kick, or bond. I wonder if this pain will ever go away. It is now almost spring. The weather is warm. People are outside, enjoying the birth of the sun, the new flowers, the new warm earth. I will never experience that joy with my boys. I only will have the memory of them dying in my wife’s arms. I feel as a man I should be stronger and not feel this pain, but I do. I am glad others share in my feelings.!

      • Jeremy,
        I am so sorry for your loss. There is nothing fun or easy about the road that has been laid out before you and your family and no one can know exactly what you’re going through but please know that you are not alone, as much as it may feel like it.

        Here are some suggestions for you. Feel free to take or leave them (even if I did say “must” more than once).

        #1 The first thing you and your wife must do is take care of yourselves. Keep eating as healthy as possible even if you have no desire to do so. You, your wife, and your son need each other so getting sick is not much of an option.

        #2 The fact that you posted here is proof that you know you need help. Reach out to the local grief counselling center. Here in Richmond it’s called the Full Circle Grief Center although just speaking with a professional therapist will help.

        #3 Let go of the “I’m the man, I must be the strong one” fallacy. You have every right to grieve. No…you MUST grieve. The added complication of having to still take care of your son will add difficulty but you have to take time to grieve, both as a family and individually.

        #4 Realize that the stupid things that people say are usually said by people who feel helpless and only have trite and meaningless platitudes to offer. You’ll want to kick their teeth in. Try not to do that. On second thought, you need not apologize for much of anything ever again, so…

        #5 write, blog, sing, paint, dance, whatever it takes to get your thoughts out.

        You will never “get over it” but you can at least utilize the tools to get you through it. Feel free to email me if you like. Roger@cjstuf.org. I am no counselor but I’ve been through it and might be able to relate.

        I wish you peace,

        Roger

  52. JoAnne Funch says:

    Oh yes you are qualified and thank you for being a voice for men who are hurting, I so appreciate your perspective and sharing with such an open heart.

  53. Howard Michael Stern says:

    Since my 16 year old committed suicide, I have no living children. So, like you, my role as a father abruptly ended. In the last year and a half I have endured more than I care to trouble you with right now. The point I want to make is that I had a choice. Sink or swim. I decided to swim. Loss can take all the joy of living away. However, I was not going to have that fate. So, I live. I grieve episodically. Some days are better than others. Grief is now part of the tapestry of life for me. It will be that way. I enjoy life for the most part and continue to look forward to tomorrow. I applaud your work. If I can help, just let me know. Thanks. Howard

    • GrievingDads says:

      Sink or swim. Fight of flight. Bitter or better. We have a choice to make when it comes to how we respond to such a tragic event. Early in my grief (first couple of years) was the toughest thing I have ever expereinced. Trust me, I felt like I was sinking, I was bitter for a while and many times considered flight. I didnt knwo where to go, but I wanted to run as far away from this as possible. However, there is no way to escape it. You learn to realize that it is part of your life. Its not something you ever get over. You do have to learn to live again. Some how some way. I too have figured out how to enjoy life again. I beleive it was facing my grief head on. I learned not to hide from it. I learned if I didnt want to get out of bed on a day. I didnt. I let it be what it was. I didnt fight it. I let it weave its way into my life. It took a lot to time for me to realize this, but once I did, the pain started to lift every so slowly.

      Thank you for stopping by this site. The best way for you to help is to continue stopping by this site, participate in others postings and give support and offering your expereinces. It helps others know they are not alone.

      Peace.

      Kelly

  54. Kristin says:

    Hi Kelly,
    I took some time this evening to puruse your website. You are doing a great job! I’m sure Christine and your children are so proud of you. God Bless!

  55. Laura says:

    I think that you will be a blessing to dads (and their wives, mothers, friends…) everywhere. I am so sorry for the loss of your children, but know that the blessings of their lives will live on and grow through others because of your love and because of your choice to share your journey.
    Walking with you!
    Hugs-
    Laura
    http://www.momentsofpause.blogspot.com

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