The following is blog posting that Kelly wrote several days ago and with Kelly's permission I am going to share with you, part of it today and the remainder on Sunday, June 5th...I’m so glad I’ve found Kelly’s blog and hope you will also find it enlightening, inspirational and helpful for us and the men in our lives who are also grieving for their children and grandchildren who have gone too soon. Sadly, men don’t always show their grief – society often dictates that they be strong despite the heartache they are enduring.. Kelly not only shares his grief but is a source for other dads and granddads to do the same… I have also taken the liberty of adding the links to Kelly’s blog and website to our blog for your future reference…Cherie Houston
“Ways to Support a Grieving Dad” Part 1 of 2 (Posted May 23, 2011 by GrievingDads) Written by Kelly Farley:
I was recently asked to write a short article on ways to support a grieving dad and thought I would share the article here on this blog.
I often hear from grieving dads that tell me they feel alone in their grief after the death of their child. It amazes me that after going through something as profound as the death of a child, that these men feel so alone and isolated. As much as it amazes me, I can relate because I too felt alone after the death of my two children.
I felt so alone that I would go online and search for other grieving dads that were out there. However, I didn’t find what I was looking for or needed at that point in my grief. I didn’t find it because most men do not feel like they have permission to tell their story or to share how they are feeling out of fear of being looked at as less than a man or weak. We all know that society is not comfortable with an openly grieving person, but they are even more uncomfortable with a man showing his emotions.
This problem comes from men being taught at a young age that we should not show “weakness” and that we have to “be strong”. As a result of these “lessons” we do everything we can to hide our pain. We try to take on the role of protector. We feel it is our role to help our wives through the loss and to keep everything operating in the household. This approach only prolongs the grief process and can delay it for years.
Because most people in society feel uncomfortable with a grieving parent’s pain, they want to try to solve their problem, but they can’t. This isn’t something you can give a pep talk for and expect the person to walk away feeling differently. You cannot solve this problem.
It took me a long time and a lot of internal pain to realize I had to address my own pain before I could help my wife through hers. I realized it was important that we should travel this journey together, helping each other when we can. Once I realized I need to address my own pain, I started to open myself up to others that were there to help me.
Once I started to address my pain, I made it my mission to reach out to other grieving dads and so I started the Grieving Dads Project as a way to create a resource for men and provide a location where these dads can go to speak honestly and openly about what they are dealing with. This blog is a place where these men can go and not feel so alone and to realize that other men are thinking and feeling the same way.
As part of building the Grieving Dads Project, I have traveled the last year conducting workshops and speaking to child loss support groups as well as conducting one-on-one interviews with grieving dads. These interviews were designed to help me capture the rawness of this profound grief. The information I learned and the stories I heard will be told with brutal honesty in a book that will provide a glimpse into the aftermath of what grieving dads deal with when a child dies.
The remainder of Kelly's post will be posted on our blog, Sunday, June 5th...
Kelly’s website: http://www.grievingdads.com/
Kelly’s blog: http://www.grievingdads.wordpress.com/