The death of a child is one of the most difficult experiences any of us will ever experience. I’ve gone through the death of my father, the death of my brother, a divorce, have been laid off from a job, and none of them were as deeply painful as the death of my son (though losing my brother was a close 2nd).
Mark Twain, upon being informed that one of his children had died, said “it is one of the mysteries of our nature that a man, all unprepared, can receive a thunder-stroke like that and live.”
Reading that quote for the first time brought tears to my eyes, because getting the phone call that my 18-year-old son Eric had died did indeed feel like a thunder-stroke. Even 5 years later, I can remember how that news hit me, so overpowering that my mind couldn’t accept it, leaving me repeatedly asking “what? what? what?” because my mind simply couldn’t comprehend the idea of my son’s death.
The death of a child hits everyone connected to that person. The parents are the obvious grievers, as are the siblings. However, other family members, friends, even acquaintances can be profoundly effected, with reactions often lasting for years.
My primary clients are fathers who are struggling with the death of a child. It’s not that fathers grieve more deeply than mothers or siblings or grandparents or close friends, but that men in our culture have fewer outlets to express their grief. Men have fewer close friends than women, there is still a stigma around men shedding tears for any reason, and men in general are expected to be “stoic” (read: unemotional) in the face of any and all trauma. These factors conspire to make it very, very hard for fathers to move through their grief in the ways that would actually work best for them.
I’m here to use my coaching skills, my experience in working with hundreds of people on many different life issues, and my own experience of losing a son to help other fathers and family members to move through their grief, and to finally get to a place of acceptance, wholeness, and willingness to feel fully alive again.
Losing a child is one of the very worst things a human being can experience. You don’t have to go through it alone – contact me for help.