“All sorrows can be borne if we put them in a story or tell a story about them” – Isak Dinesen
This quote captures the essence of my new book. It’s important to find a way to release the pain all of us grieving parents carry inside. It’s even more important for us grieving dads because most of us men have a problem telling our story because it triggers emotions we are not comfortable with. Emotions that we are taught to keep to ourselves, so we do. The problem is, by keeping the emotions to ourselves, we cannot allow ourselves to tell our story. Something has to give, either we tell our story and allow our emotions to come out or we do not tell our story which helps keeps the emotions concealed. It’s a viscous circle that must be broken if we have any hopes of some sort of “recovery”.
Although this blog focuses on grieving dads, this approach by men pretty much applies to a lot of the things us men endure in life. When a man says “it’s too hard to talk about it”, it generally means “if I talk about it I may cry or show vulnerability”. This is a place a majority of men do not feel comfortable with.
I spent the last two years interviewing grieving dads for this new book. During these interviews some men would breakdown and cry and others would try to fight it off by apologizing to me for their moment of “weakness”. However, the one thing I noticed during these interviews is that when they were over, the men appeared to have released a small portion of the burden they have been carrying. I think this occurred for a few different reasons. One, they were sitting with another grieving dad telling each other our stories and the other reason is we each shared a moment were we allowed ourselves to become vulnerable. There were bonds formed, we were part of a bigger brotherhood of grieving dads. A sense that we were not alone but we were in it together along with thousands upon thousands of other dads (and moms).
It took me years and a lot of pain to finally get to the point of telling my story, but when I did, things started to change for me. Very slowly, but they did change for the “better”.
Have you started to tell you story?
How do you tell your story?
Do you notice a sense of release when you do tell your story?
Who do you tell your story to?