Fatal Silence

I recently came across an article called “Fatal Silence:  Why do so many fortysomething men kill themselves?” published by BBC News Magazine.  I didn’t need to read much further to know exactly what this article was about, but I did.  I also recommend that you read the article as well.  It applies to us guys and how we “deal” or “don’t deal” with stuff.

The article really dives into the issue of “men don’t talk” and the impacts of that fact.  As many of you know, my book Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back addresses this issue.  Those of you who have read my book know that I too struggled with not wanting to show “weakness” by sharing my thoughts and emotions.  This was the worst decision I made as part of my grieving process.

I spent nearly two years fighting off this pain and keeping it to myself after the death of my daughter.  The death of my son was the breaking point for me and if I wouldn’t have changed my approach, I wouldn’t have survived.  I believe my grief was prolonged and pain was magnified by the fact that I didn’t talk about my pain after losing my daughter.  However, on the flip side, I do believe I survived by learning to be vulnerable and transparent.

This was not and easy task for me since I grew up in a tough blue-collar town in the Midwest.  Emotional men were not exactly celebrated.  However, it was either learn how to talk about what I was feeling or die.  As I mentioned in my book, I could see myself withering away.  I was dying and I knew it.  I could see it in my eyes.  I really didn’t care most of the time, I just wanted the pain to go away.

Read the article and let me know what your thoughts are on this topic?  Do you have a problem opening up?  If so, why?

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User Comments ( 5 )

  • I won’t lie about this, although I won’t share it with everyone, because not many people outside of this club would understand.

    I have a beautiful family that I love with all (most) of my heart. I live for my kids. They are my world. I can’t speak highly enough about them. I love them.

    So, that being said, why does the thought of driving into a bridge piling on my way to work each morning seem like a good idea. Mason is probably waiting on me right on the other side of that concrete. Why would that thought even cross my mind. Much less, cross my mind every day.

    Don’t call the hotline, I’m not suicidal. It’s just one of the many, many warped thoughts that rattle around my head.

    • Kevin – I get it. I think it crosses one’s mind for several reasons, here are a couple of my thoughts on the issue.

      1. The obvious one, you miss your son and you want to see him again. I personally can’t wait to see my daughter and son again. It will be a beautiful day.

      2. You’re tired. This journey is exhausting. Trying to keep moving forward while this heavy burden is weighing us down is tough.

      I’m not going to call the hotline. Although I didn’t experience this, I know many do. Its just part of the messed up journey. I think these thoughts eventually fade away, but I suspect they reveal themselves anytime there will be a tough stretch in life moving forward. We all know those stretches are coming, we just don’t know when.

      Keep you eyes on and arms around the beautiful family in front of you. That includes your son that isn’t physically with you. But know he is with you my friend.



      • Thanks Kelly.

        Once again, thanks for providing a place for us to post freely.

  • My blog subject was going to be on suicides today. I know from studying bereavement, reading amazing inspirational books (often by men) how true sadly this is. Men feel it’s their job to be strong,be the hunters, the providers etc etc and suffer in silence. My mother used to say its a real man that cries and always encouraged my male siblings to talk. Freud was right about the talking cure. Men are sadly often forgotten especially say in the death of a child, but moreover their feelings neglected and at the peril of those around.