“Me Rambling”

I am not sure if it’s the cloudy, rainy and cool spring here in the upper Midwest or something else that’s causing the rut I have been in for the last 2-3 weeks.  Either way, I hate this feeling. 

This time of year is also difficult for me for a couple different reasons other than desperate need for spring to arrive.  It generally starts with April 23rd.  This day is my daughter Katie’s birthday.  She would have been 6 this year and just finishing up kindergarten.  This year, April 23rd fell on Easter weekend.  Easter always makes me think about my kids and how we would have spent this day.  Maybe attending church service in their new Easter clothes and spending the afternoon looking for Easter eggs hidden around the yard after Easter brunch.  I feel cheated that I never was able to enjoy these kinds of days with my beautiful babies.

This year on Katie’s’ birthday my wife’s aunt, uncle and cousin were visiting for Easter.  I think they were a little surprised when we mentioned that we were celebrating Katie’s birthday with cake and a balloon release that we do every year.  We all stood in our backyard and released 6 pink balloons and watched them until they disappeared.  Our final release was a single blue balloon for my son Noah.  We didn’t want him to feel left out of the party.  However, when we released the blue balloon I started to weep.  It usually hits me when we sing Happy Birthday, but this year I made it to the balloon release.  I also noticed that everyone standing around me was also crying.  Not that I want others to feel my pain, but it was nice to see others participate in this ritual and find it as powerful and moving as my wife and I do. 

Of course Mother’s Day is a difficult day for me.  Mainly because I know that my wife really struggles with it.  I want to acknowledge her as the wonderful loving mommy that she is, but I also do not want to inflict pain on her by making too big of a deal over the day.  I usually ask her how she wants me to approach it.  It is always tough for me to go to the local card shop and try to find a Mother’s Day card that is vague in nature.  I usually sign it from me, both of our angel babies (Katie and Noah) and our dog Buddy.  Yesterday was that day and we survived it by hanging out together, making dinner, having a few glasses of wine and just talking.  We even went and bought a Bose iPod docking system for the house.  I think she tricked me into that Mother’s Day gift.  She said it’s also part of my Father’s Day gift. 

In addition to these difficult dates, I have been obsessing over and stressing out about not being able to find a publisher for the Grieving Dads book that I have been working on for the last year.  I am tired of hearing from all of the publishers and literary agents that say “men don’t typically buy these types of books”.  How do they know that?  There isn’t anything on the market like this book.  Not to mention, I think a lot of women will also buy this book.  This book is a collection of candid face to face discussions between two men who have experienced life’s most profound events and survived it; somehow, someway.

The reality is publishers want to make money, the content of the book doesn’t matter to them, it’s all about the bottom line.  I understand this, but with upwards of 1 million newly bereaved parents in the U.S. every year alone, I would think the numbers would be there for them.   

Because of the publishers/agents responses, I have been second guessing whether or not this book is supposed to happen.  Seems like every time I start to think along those lines I receive an email or phone call from a grieving dad (or mom) that thanks me and tells me how much this blog helps them.  These messages reenergize me and give me the motivation to continue on and to not give up.  In the last week I have made a commitment to rewrite a couple of chapters, change the title and do another round of query letters to the literary agents.  For those of you that I have interviewed or those who have been waiting for this book, hang in there a little longer.  I will make this happen one way or another.  I may have to self-publish this book, but it will happen.

This entry was posted in Anger, anxiety, Bereaved, Crying, Death of a baby, Death of a Child, Depression, Dreams, Emotions, Fathers Day, Grief, Grieving Dads Words, Inspiration, Loss of a Child, Loss of a Daughter, Loss of a Son, Miscarriage, Pain, Peace, Profound Life Experience, Stillbirth, Survival, Tears, weeping, Words of Encouragement. Bookmark the permalink.

19 Responses to “Me Rambling”

  1. Dottie Viar says:

    I wish you all the luck in the world with getting your book published. I have read in the past several books written by people based on interviews with various people of like mind. I recently finished a book written by a hospice nurse about some of her experiences with end of life patients and was intrigued. I for one would LOVE to read your book when it gets published. Keep up the good work with your blog and keep us posted about your book.

    • GrievingDads says:


      Thank you for the encouragement and well wishes. I will keep up the book and the blog, to many people counting on me to make this happen to stop now. I will keep everyone posted when it becomes available. I will also be adding a “Reserve Your Copy” section to this blog so we can show publishers that people are interested in this book and that it is needed.



  2. Steven Stuart says:


    Since the death of my son just about 10 weeks ago, I have learned that kind words and open arms are way more important than we adult remember. They are what get me through my days quite often, so to share the same with someone else who has lost their child is the very least I can do.


    • GrievingDads says:

      Kind words go a lot futher than most people realize. Just to have someone acknowledge your pain and what you have been through provides comfort.



  3. John Wolfe says:


    Thanks for the kind words. After I wrote that, I actually sent a link to Cindy and let her read the entire thread. I got a call from her a little bit later where she basically expressed what you wrote. While I didn’t feel it was necesssary for her to tell me, it nevertheless felt good that she did. Communication, in its many forms, is a good thing.


  4. Kevin B. says:

    This time of year is so difficult for my wife and me, too. April and May hold so many significant dates from my son’s diagnosis date, birthday, surgeries, and finally, his passing. He would have been 6 on May 16 this year. As you said, Mother’s Day was difficult, because I want it to be a good day for my wife, but no matter how good it is, it’s always hard. To top it off, we needed to take some pictures of the kids for the grandparents the other day. We decided to bring a photograph of our son who died, so he could be a part of it. It made me cry that this is the best we can do; to artificially insert him in to the photos with a photo. It’s so wrong, and it hurts so bad. I am thankful for the nearly four years we had with Braeden, but no matter how long we had, it would never have been enough.

    • John Wolfe says:


      I would like to offer a word of support here with regard to the picture of your son being “artificially inserted” into the photos with your other children. I think that it was a great idea to include Braeden, I think he’s happy that you did so. But more importantly is that your other children feel connected to him, and what better way than to include him in the family photograph.

      Just my two cents worth,


  5. John Wolfe says:


    Great poem and that’s exactly how I think of Allison!


  6. John Wolfe says:

    Reading your “rambling” made me realize that although we did lose our daughter at age 24, we had the blessing to watch her grow up and become the fine young woman and wife she became. While it doesn’t really make it any easier to accept her loss, it does make me grateful that we at least had those years together, unlike so many others like yourself who didn’t.

    This was our first Mother’s Day without Allison, and I really didn’t realize or think about how my wife would be feeling on that day. I thought it would be really cool to put together a collage of some pictures I took of the two of them. This series of about 30 pictures was taken one afternoon about 6 or 7 years ago and shows them having a great time teasing each other, making jokes, making funny faces, hugging and kissing…just generally showing off for the camera. But more importantly to me, they really show the growing bond the two of them shared as Allison started to mature into a young adult woman and peer of her mother.

    So I hired a talented family member who arranged the photos into a beautiful collage, had it printed and framed, then shipped to Kansas, where we would be over Mother’s Day. I was really excited to get my wife’s reaction because I thought it was a very cool Mother’s Day gift. Any year previous to this one I would’ve gotten the reaction I expected, but not this year, and I kick myself for being so insensitive. I first realized I had probably made a mistake when I overheard my wife comment about other people’s insensitivity of wishing her a “good day” or “happy mother’s day” when they knew full well that she had just lost her daughter. But I gave it to her anyway and instead of the happy smile I was hoping for I got a lukewarm response at best, and I felt horrible. She said it was a great picture and we talked about where we could hang it, but I knew her heart wasn’t in it…at least not yet. My situation demonstrates what Kelly has stressed time after time, that everyone grieves in their own way at their own pace.

    I’ve made a conscience decision not to dwell on the fact that my little girl is gone, but rather to celebrate the short time I had with her. I actively talk about her whenever I get the chance and, since she died of a relatively unknown disease called Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I’ve used Allison’s death to prompt other family members and friends, especially females, to go to their doctor and get their thyroid levels checked out. I feel by approaching Allison’s death from a positive perspective, it lessens the pain and somehow makes it easier to get by on a day-by-day basis.

    My wife misses her baby girl/adult girlfriend very much, and is not quite as forgiving of other people’s attitudes and remarks as I am. She doesn’t talk much about her feelings, especially to other people, but that’s okay, I just have to give her time to grieve in her own way. We talk about her feelings as often as she wishes to and I try to always be there for her when she needs me, it’s just that in my zeal to celebrate Allison’s life I sometimes forget that my wife is not in the same place I am.

    So to Cindy I say, “I’m sorry.”

    • Steven Stuart says:


      While then end result was not what you wanted or expected. Deep down, your wife knows your intentions were pure and true and while she may not have shown them upon receipt of this gift, she knew you were trying to make her happy and proud to be the Mother of Allison that she was and still is. Just keep showing her love and support and don’t be afraid to lean on her and others for their love and support.

      I am sorry for the death of your daughter. Children, no matter the age, are a gift that should not be taken away from us.

      Peace and healing to you and Cindy


    • GrievingDads says:


      I am with Steve. Don’t beat yourself up to much, you were trying to bring her a little comfort. You were not rying to hurt her, you intentions were sincere. I am confident Cindy forgives you and that Allison is happy you honored her on Mother’s Day.



  7. Steven Stuart says:


    I will do some research for you for getting a publisher to take on this project, but in the meantime, you may want to consider self publishing through Amazon. It may not be the option you were pursuing, but it is a viable option for getting this book out. If you decide to go this route, let me know when the book is out. I will be first in line to purchase it.

    Here is the link.


    Also, I found this quote that at least made me smile about Colin when I read it. Hopefully it will help you feel a bit better as well.

    “The caterpillar dies so the butterfly could be born. And, yet, the caterpillar lives in the butterfly and they are but one. So, when I die, it will be that I have been transformed from the caterpillar of earth to the butterfly of the universe.”

    – John Harricharan

    Peace and healing to you and your wife,

    • GrievingDads says:


      Thanks for the information and thanks for calling me this morning to check in with me. I am doing well, just frustrated. I know it is unrealistic of me to expect publishers that have not lost a child to see the value and need for this book. I will keep at it until it happens.



  8. Sarah says:

    Don’t give up! All of us who are feeling grief during these holidays especially (fathers’ day for me; I lost my dad five years ago) are praying with you for God’s help. I was listening to Laura Story’s “Blessings” as I read your post. It’s encouraging me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGniRk_GcLs

    • GrievingDads says:


      I will not give up. I am just venting a little. I have to go back and regroup and try to come at this from a different angle. I will make sure it gets published. A lot of people are waiting for this book. Nothing was off limits with the dads I interviewed. A lot of truth, pain and emotions were expereinced. I look forward to having the book out there for others to connect with.

      Thanks for the encouragement and the video.



  9. I grieve with you brother! You are justified in feeling deep sorrow over never having spent time with your precious son and daughter.

    I too SO identify with this time of year being difficult. May 22nd is the 3 anniversary…squashed between Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.



    • GrievingDads says:


      I know you grieve with me. I know you and all of the others also feel it this time of year. How could we not, its a time to be loved by you children and their not here to enjoy the day. It’s extra tough when an anniversary falls within that time frame. My son Noah’s birthday is on June 8th, right before Father’s Day. Nothing will change that. It will also be a time of reflection.



  10. Sara says:

    We had Livvys birthday lady week, I fell apart again she would have been 12. Not a day goes by where I don’t miss her but her birthday, my birthday, mothers day are worse for the memories we never got to make.

    I’m so sorry publishers don’t realise the value of your book. Could you make it an ebook and publish it that way. It’s a book that needs to be read.

    • GrievingDads says:


      “Memories we never got to make” pretty much sums it up when to comes to me missing my children.

      It is a book that needs to be read and I am confident it will get published. I am committed to making it happen, it just gets frustrating at times. I know how much its needed.

      Thanks for your encouragement.



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