Well, the very first Grieving Dads Workshop was held in Cincinnati on August 25 and is officially in the books. We survived the day and I must say, it was a very powerful day. As you can tell from the smiles in the photo above, the day is not just full of pain and heavy conversation, we also allow for smiles and even laughs. The pain gets set aside for a few moments and the camaraderie that occurs starts to take over. A sense of “not being alone” occurs and the guard starts to come down because we are with people that get it.
I learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t work at this workshop. I learned that 5-6 hours is not quite enough time and that I need another hour to allow for more small group discussions amongst the grieving dads. I believe having small group breakout sessions will allow the dads in the room to get a little more comfortable telling their story. It will also allow these men to form a stronger bond with other dads that understand the pain each one is dealing with. My hope is when these men leave the workshop, they are filled with hope and have formed relationships/friendships that will continue to foster once I am gone. Like I say, “Misery NEEDS company.” We do not have to do this on our own, in fact, I am not sure that is even possible. The burden is just to heavy.
To be completely honest, prior to the event I was a little disappointed by the turnout I had for the first Grieving Dads Workshop. We had 15 grieving dads show up and I thought I would have closer to 30-40. However, after speaking to several trusted advisors and then actually holding the event, the disappointment went out the door. I connected with men that shared some very dark stuff for the first time. I am confident that healing began for many men in that room that day.
I was also inspired by the fact that the ages of these men ranged from mid-20’s to late 60’s and the losses ranged from 2 weeks out from the loss to 21 years. This cross-section of demographics is beneficial for everyone in the room and it helps to learn and support each other along the way.
I am also excited to announce the next Grieving Dads Workshop. It will be held in Bohemia, NY (just outside New York City on Long Island) on November 10th, 2018 from 9 AM – 5 PM. I promise you that it will be a day of insight, healing and connections with other grieving dads. You might even find yourself smiling or even laughing before the day is over.
Go to www.GrievingDadsWorkshops.com to reserve your seat. If you can’t make it and you know another grieving dad near this location, please share the information. If you have any questions about the event, you can call me at (630) 561-5989.