Comments for Grieving Dads To the Brink and Back Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:21:30 +0000 hourly 1 Comment on “Emerge from Darkness” by Kelly Farley by Justin Mon, 26 Jun 2017 23:21:30 +0000 Thank you i really needed this.

Comment on “Father’s Day – Grieving Dads Emotions” by Kelly Farley by Paul Sinsar (Ajax Minor) Sun, 25 Jun 2017 23:11:44 +0000 Brian. Tears me up to hear about your struggle with Grief. My wife, Linda, and I lost our only child, Katherine, to the effects of a catastrophic birth accident. We both followed different paths but have come to grips with the tragedy. For my part, I gave my daughter another life in a fantasy series, The Ur Legend. Rather than blather on I’ll attach two links to essays I’ve written in connection with the release of the second book, The Girl from ipanema. One is on Father’s Day and the second on Grief and Art:

Luv ya brother.

Paul Sinsar

Comment on Tell Your Story by Bob Burdt Sun, 25 Jun 2017 20:22:21 +0000 There’s a hole in my heart and a wondering that will never leave, and yet, I have had a great life.

His name was Brandon, and he was my son, my first child, the one who made me a father. This was his first gift.

Brandon died on Good Friday, April 13th. He never lived to see age two. His birth was the happiest day of my life, and every day for the first six months, my heart expanded daily as I watched this sweet, good-natured baby smile and blossom.

With little warning, everything changed and when we took him to the doctor, we learned he had an incurable heart defect. My joy turned to fear and a sadness more profound than I’d ever known or could have imagined. As I fought to save my son’s life and make every day of his life the best it could be, I also discovered a courage within myself I didn’t know existed. That was Brandon’s second gift.

We never gave up trying to save his life. Brandon spent the days, weeks, and months prior to his death in and out of Children’s Hospital in Oakland, California. When he was home, we had to drain the fluids from his lungs every four hours to keep him comfortable. I experienced every grimace of pain with him. Those times when he felt well, his contagious smiles and giggles brightened my days. This was his third gift: he taught me that when life is going well, celebrate and don’t hang on to yesterday’s pain. Maybe his real lesson was that pain teaches us to celebrate any chance we have to experience happiness.

Brandon died thirty-seven years ago and as I write this, my body shudders as it recalls those days and nights I spent helplessly watching my baby suffer as his life was being stolen. Until Brandon became ill and died, I had never experienced grief. Grief was just a word, something that happened to other people. Once he was gone, my grief felt like I lived in a barren forest destroyed by fire. No beauty to be seen no matter where I looked—just total, unrelenting devastation. Being a man, I was expected to stay strong, and while I could pretend to anyone looking from the outside, inside I was a shadow of the man I’d been.

When Brandon was undergoing treatment at Children’s Hospital, my wife and I didn’t want him to be alone, so one of us was always there. The hospital had no accommodations for us or other parents, so I would spend each night sleeping under his crib so I could remain close to him. Unfortunately, for reasons known only to them, many parents I met were unable stay with their children.

Although my grief was all-consuming, I believed Brandon’s life had to have meaning beyond the still unimaginable fact that he was gone. I got together with a few other parents I’d met when we were at the hospital and together we decided to raise money for a home so that parents would have a place to stay close by. There were many fundraisers, and meetings with hospital executives and local businesses. Getting involved and knowing I was doing something to help others helped me cope with my grief. My forest was devastated but I began to see new trees and flowers and hear the birds singing. This was Brandon’s fourth gift: he added meaning and purpose to my life and to the lives of many others.

Brandon gave me the gift of fatherhood and love, and his courage enabled me to reach out to others, knowing it was more important to do something which would honor Brandon’s life rather than sink down forever in a hole. I wanted the joy of his life to mean more than the pain of his loss. Brandon lived and because he did, I learned to celebrate life whenever there’s an opportunity, and to be a better father to my two sons who never knew their older brother.

I will always miss Brandon, but because of him, I learned compassion, love, and how to listen to others when they are hurting without having a need to fix, judge, or change. That was his fifth gift: he made me a better man, husband, father, and friend.

These were Brandon’s lasting gifts: Live with joy, laugh often, be kind, show compassion, focus on what’s good, love with all your heart, and celebrate life as often as possible.

Comment on Today Show – Grieving Dads – Father’s Day by Mike Zarrillo Mon, 19 Jun 2017 01:15:49 +0000 Kelly, thank you for sharing. The message came at a good time for me personally. I needed this message. Been a tough day missing my Matthew so much. Thanks for all you do.

Comment on Today Show – Grieving Dads – Father’s Day by Marc perez Sun, 18 Jun 2017 18:39:01 +0000 This video had me in tears the moment I pressed play! Thank you for sharing with us! Your words were very powerful! I lost my 9 month old son just a year ago on June 3rd. Today is especially hard for me! And I appreciate people like you! God Bless you ! And HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

Comment on Today Show – Grieving Dads – Father’s Day by Dana Sun, 18 Jun 2017 16:44:53 +0000 A peaceful fathers day to you also, Kelly. Thank you.

Comment on Today Show – Grieving Dads – Father’s Day by Erik W. Sun, 18 Jun 2017 16:17:53 +0000 Thank you Kelly for sharing this! It is one of the biggest messages that the world needs to hear and I hope someday everyone can shift their minds in a way that helps everyone during their grief life. Your blog is truly an inspiration to me and I feel so blessed to have found it. Thank you again for sharing your grief with the world and I’m sorry for your loss.

Comment on “Father’s Day – Grieving Dads Emotions” by Kelly Farley by Brian Laarveld Sun, 18 Jun 2017 07:42:30 +0000 I am not looking forward to this day at all. Although I am fortunate to have 3 living children my family is incomplete. It will be 6 years in December that our 4th child Delcan was stillborn. I am no better today than I was then. Father’s day is not a day I am excited to celebrate as it feels like a forced holiday for my family. I don’t feel like I have been a good father or husband. I honestly just want to disappear.

Comment on Tell Your Story by Jimmy Sat, 17 Jun 2017 23:37:27 +0000 12Oct1998, I lost my son, Joseph Benjamin. So almost 19 years and it still hurts the same today as it did all those years ago. The only difference, he’s not the first thing I think of when I wake or my last thought before sleep, whenever I manage to…. even now.

He was born in Wisconsin and I was in Texas. His mother wanted me to move with her and live with her dad and stepmother. He had an hvac business and was gonna bring on. Well my pride said I’ll be damned, this is my child, my family and I will take care of us.

She moved I stayed. He was born 13 weeks premature. I got the phone call she was taken to the hospital because of early labor. They tried to slow it down. I’m trying to find a way to get up there. I get the call he was born. As I’m waiting on my plane I call her hospital room. No answer… at that moment my heart sank and this pain came over me. I just knew. I found out minutes before takeoff. I consider myself to be a fairly strong man. I cried all the way up.

When I arrived I was greeted by her dad. He didn’t have a lot to say to me. We got to the hospital and I immediately went to his mom’s room where she is surrounded by family. I was an outsider no one was happy to see. I was taken to see my son. They didn’t put me in a special room or anything else. I stood there and watched as they pulled my son (these are my feelings, I don’t mean to sound crass) out of a refrigerator for God sake.

After I held him for what seemed like minutes turned out to be over an hour and they had to take him back. I grabbed her dr by the throat and pinned him to the wall and told him he was gonna bring my son back, irrational to those who don’t understand. Hospital security and Kenosha police show up. The dr, mercifully, refused to press charges or have me arrested.

After his funeral I came home. There silent stares and a few whispers from my family, which was small then and smaller now. They wouldn’t allow me to tell my grandmother or grandfather because of how difficult it would have been for them. Onvious holidays were tough and, for me, Joseph was the elephant in the room. My mom got condolences from the school she taught at.

I’ve wanted to die since and even tried a few occasions. For whatever reason I’m still here. Sorry for the rambling just never had an outlet to talk about this. May God Bless all of you and your children this Father’s Day and every day.

Comment on Tell Your Story by Rob Mehnert Sat, 17 Jun 2017 21:52:35 +0000 We just passed the one year anniversary of loss of my son Ryan. Early on, I took to writing letters to him as a way of dealing with the incredible level of emotions – I have shared a couple here before – thought I’d share this one as well.

One Year – 6/12/16 – 6/12/17

Dear Ryan,

Well, it’s officially now been a year since you left us – physically anyway. One year without being able to hold your hand, hear your giggle and watch you dance as you listen to your favorite songs. It’s really odd, it feels like this year has flown by but it’s also been the longest and hardest year of my life. So many long nights where sleep just won’t come – like tonight. So many times I hear a laugh and think it is you – only to catch myself as I turn and look towards that laugh knowing that it can’t be you. Such a shattering, empty feeling.

Tears still come easily and sometimes out of nowhere. But those moments pass a little more quickly and are usually followed by smiles. In this year I’ve learned that there is no word in the English language to explain how deeply I miss you. I can say I yearn for you – but it doesn’t fully capture what I feel. There are plenty of other words I could use – ache, hunger, long, thirst, crave and, since your were a Texan, hanker. None of them seem even close to what I feel. Not sure why I let this lack of a word frustrate me but it does.

I don’t want you to think that this past year has only been about sadness and tears. You have been honored in so many wonderful ways by so many great people. Some beautiful and lasting tributes. Folks have shared stories about you too. Stories of moments they had with you that I had never heard. I guess I never really knew just how many people’s lives you touched in your journey. You were well loved – and not just by me, Mom, Kyle and Aimee.

We were so lucky to have you in our family! It’s true that, for some reason, God decided to present you with many unique challenges – both physically and intellectually. Those challenges seemed so unfair at times but you fought through them all like a champ and – I don’t know if this explains what I’m thinking – you simply lived. You worked hard to be happy, to live a complete and full life. To bring smiles and laughter into your world – and you were so good at it!

There is no doubt that having you in my life changed me – and for the better. Simply put, you made me a better man. You taught me what really matters in life – making life better for those you care about and love. I’ve tried to keep that in mind this past year – some days that is easier than others. Sometimes when I am helping others the only thing on my mind is how much I wish it was you I was helping – I know that sounds selfish but it is what I feel.

You still come to me in dreams every now and then. The other night you were sitting at the table with your Grandfather – eating chocolate cake for breakfast. You were both so happy but then your Grandmother came in and scolded your Grandfather for letting you eat cake for breakfast! You broke out into one of your famous belly laughs because he was in trouble! I was in the room but none of you saw me – at least no one responded when I talked. It was a sad and comforting dream all at the same time and I did get to hear that laugh if only in a dream!

Now we move on to whatever comes next. We’ve survived all the “firsts” – Father’s Day (I still have not opened your card to me from last year), Mother’s Day, Christmas, your birthday (by far the hardest day for me) and a whole host of other days and events with special memories. We know we face more days that will feel incomplete, where missing your presence will dominate the day and where knowing my love for you will never fade. Honestly, that is pretty much how this whole year has been.
Wish you were here . . .