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?