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CHECK OUT: Grieving Dads




Dear Friends,


I am writing to you about a book that I loved so much that I read it twice. Grieving Dads by Kelly Farley with David Dicola is a beautiful compilation of interviews from grieving fathers.


This book couldn't have come at a better time for my family!


After losing my grandson due to a traumatic accident in August of 2022, I, as a mother, became very concerned about my son. He was holding his family together and wasn't being allowed time to grieve.


As an assignment in the Infant and Loss Doula (IPLD) certificate program, we were to read and review at least three books related to dying, death, grief, loss, infertility, parental bereavement, etc. The first two books were mandatory titles and were written from the women's perspective of loss. For our third book, we were able to choose a book of our own. I saw this book and just knew that I had to read it.


Farley wrote this book because he realized that there is a need for fathers to have access to more information during their often extremely difficult grief process. The fact that they are often overlooked in their grief is actually quite common unfortunately. Farley realized that support groups are often geared to women and wanted to address the needs that bereaved fathers also have.


In Grieving Dads, Farley interviewed 20+ men who had lost a child or multiple children. They talked about society's expectations of grief and how unrealistic that actually is, how men should be able to grieve more openly and not fear asking for help, and that it is okay to take medication if required to get one through their loss. In this book, men are given the space to test their belief in God and their faith and to discuss how sometimes loss eventually may bring some gains to their lives.


I would like to share some quotes from this book that really stuck with me


In Chapter 10, Farley states that the common theme of "normal" came up over and over again even though the context may have been different. Here is an excerpt from the book:


Is it normal ..... ....to punch a wall until i can't feel my hands anymore? .....to lose your job, or worse, not to even care that I lost my job? .....to experience flashbacks regarding the death of my child? ....to feel weak because I need help to survive this pain? ...to feel guilt regarding the death of my child? The simple answer is YES!

I cried reading this book, both times.


I have since recommended this book and Farley's website to several grieving dads and grandads I know.


The raw emotion in this book blew me away. I could see how my son was treated differently after his son died, but I didn't realize that I may have been part of the problem. I found that I has different expectations from him than I did of his wife. I am so grateful for finding this book. I have changed my expectations of the dads out there who are trying to grieve and hold their families together at the same time.


A note directly to the author - Mr. Farley - my deepest thank you for writing this book and for all the interviews you did. This book will remain on my bookshelf. Also, your website www.GrievingDads.com has so much information! I will continue to share it with those in need.


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Tammy Elliott is a graduate of HHA's death doula certificate program an a candidate in the Infant and Pregnancy Loss (IPLD) certificate program. She is also a personal support worker.

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