Honoring Father and Mother

 

male female carvingJust this week a friend asked me why I focus on helping moms who are grieving when there are just as many dads out there who are bereaved.

Great Question.

Why did I write a book that was written to a mom who lost her child? Does that mean I don’t think dads (or siblings or grandparents or aunties and uncles) are grieving after a child dies?

Of course not.

I knew where my friend’s question was coming from. Her significant other is a dad whose heart was shattered when his beloved daughter died unexpectedly. As an only daughter to my dad, our relationship was so special. I was the spark in his eye and his heart illuminated unconditional love for me the minute I walked into the room. I know that bond between daddy and daughter is a deeply precious one for so many as is the bond between father and son.

I know dad’s suffer deeply when their child dies. In fact, I happen to be working with a couple right now whose child died not quite a year ago. I see the pain… I can feel the agony of the fractured heart within him. His pain is absolutely no less that his wife’s.

 

But the reality is, men and women are “wired” differently. Their emotions may be the same but how they respond to those emotions oftentimes is vastly different than one another. I know this because I have been witness to many grieving parents and one thing I have learned is that we need to honor each parent’s emotion and grief journey. There is no one process that works exactly the same for everyone.

the reality is, men and women are “wired” differently

Men typically are “doers”. They will often take action and “muscle” through their emotions versus talking at length about their feelings.  Whereas women tend to be a bit more demonstrative, want to talk things out more, and are willing to share their feelings with others. Please note that I am say “typically” or “tend to” because there are men out there who are extremely talkative and want to share openly and there are ladies who can be very action-oriented but not wanting to talk about what they are feeling and thinking. It all is about who we are, what history and experiences we bring to the table of grief, and the support system we are surrounded in.

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So back to the question, why do I tend to work more with grieving mom?

Because I had two life-changing epiphanies that guided me to do this. The first one was when I was flying in a plane for my corporate job when a voice said to me “I was born through you”. I knew that this was the voice of my deceased brother – the brother who died before I was even born. The brother who was a 4-month old infant at the time of his death. The brother whose death plummeted my parents into the unexpected depths of grief.

The brother who came to me through his spirit and led me to the knowing that I now have a life purpose of being a mourning’s light to those who grieve, especially our mother who did not have anyone at the time to help light the way for her to find healing in her deep grief.

The second epiphany was when I was volunteering at a children’s grief camp. I was driving home after spending a weekend with the parents who came to camp with their kids. I remember so vividly five parents who were there because their child had died. Two were married couples and one was a single mom. The dads kept looking around the room, trying to find the quickest exit. They didn’t talk as they nervously tapped their feet or got up and paced around the room. The moms were crying, vocal and in physically deep despair. The more the moms screamed and cried, the more the dads started to look for an escape. It was intense, raw, and gut wrenching to witness because I felt like I could literally feel their pain within my own body.

As I was driving home that Sunday afternoon, a wave of emotion rushed through me and  a flood of tears streamed down my face and the epiphany hit: Those parents were my parents and those kids at camp were me… we were part of the club that no one ever wants to be a part of – a family grieving after child loss.

I arrived home after that camp and sat down with my mother who was in her late 80’s at the time and we began the healing process – healing for her as a mother who had buried grief for over 60 years, and healing for me as a child who was born to parents who had experienced what I now call “failed grief”. They did not have the support system or the tools to help them find true peace and happiness after the death of their child.

I learned so much from my mother about how unresolved grief can create decades of sadness, guilt, anger and depression.

I learned so much from my mother about how unresolved grief can create decades of sadness, guilt, anger and depression

I have had the honor to work with many grieving mothers – those who also had “failed grief” and those who were able to seek support early in their journeys. It is through this work that I was able to create a program that provides the support, tools, resources and empowerment that I know works for moms to find renewed life after the death of a child.

Does my program only work for bereaved moms? Of course not. My program is 1:1 coaching for a reason – the steps are created to be flexible to meet the specific needs of my client. If they are a good fit for my program, it doesn’t matter if they are a mom, dad, sibling, grandparent, spouse, aunt, uncle or beloved friend.

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If you are ready to find true healing through your loss, let’s talk. To set up a time on my calendar, please click here: Schedule Free Call.

 

 

 

 

p.s. When a new client signs up to work with me, a portion of the program fee will be donated to Children’s Grief Connection, supporting Hearts of Hope grief camps. You can check them out at:Children’s Grief Connection.

 

 

 

 

 

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