About

Summary

In Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back I tell the candid stories from grieving dads that I interviewed over the last two years. The book offers insight from fellow members of, in the haunting words of one dad I interviewed, “this terrible, terrible club,” which consists of men who have experienced the death of a child. This book is a collection of survival stories by men who have survived the worst possible loss and lived to tell the tale. They are real stories that pull no punches and are told with brutal honesty. Men that have shared their deepest and darkest moments. Moments that included thoughts of suicide, self-medication and homelessness. Some of these men have found their way back from the brink while others are still standing there, stuck in their pain.

The core message of Grieving Dads is “you’re not alone.” It is a message that desperately needs to be delivered to grieving dads who often grieve in silence due to society’s expectations.

I know I needed to hear it. And if you know someone who has lost a child, they need to hear too.

Project Overview

Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back is a book I wish I’d never had to write. It’s also the book I wish I had after the death of my two children — a book that no grieving dad or anyone who cares for him should be without.

As any grieving parent will tell you, there are no words to describe the hell one experiences after the death of a child. In this brief overview I won’t even attempt to summarize the devastation that is endured. Many men have no clue how to deal with or understand the myriad emotional, mental, and physical responses experienced after the death of a child.

I developed the idea for Grieving Dads in October of 2009, and by January of 2010 I had launched the www.GrievingDads.com blog. Literally within a few days, I started to receive emails from grieving dads from all over the world. I started to collect detailed online surveys in the spring of 2010, and by summer of 2010, I started traveling to conduct interviews for this book. The face-to-face interviews continued until the fall of 2011, and I spent the last eight months formulating the lessons I learned from these men into this book.

During this time, I discovered that these “silent grievers” actually hungered to share their stories, to speak their children’s names aloud and describe what had happened. Now, having completed my interviews with men from “this terrible, terrible club,” I have collected the most vivid and illuminating stories for Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back. Stories appearing in the book have been carefully selected to represent a cross-section of fathers, as well as a diverse portrayal of loss. This approach helps reflect the full spectrum of grief, from the early days of shock and trauma to the long view after living with loss for many years. In short, any father who has lost a child was welcome to participate in the project and encouraged to do so, and thus any bereaved father will find brotherhood in these pages, and will feel that someone understands them.

While there is plenty of raw emotion in this book—I encouraged every grieving dad to be candid—the stories are not exercises in self-pity nor are they studies in grief. They are survival stories instead. Some are testimonies to hope. Some are gut-wrenching accounts of overwhelming despair. But all of them are real-life stories from real-life grieving dads, and they show that even if one reaches his physical and emotional bottom, it is possible (although not easy) to live through that pain and find one’s way to the other side of grief.

Like all of the grieving dads in this book, I found myself in a state of physical, mental, and emotional collapse after the death of my two children. As if the losses alone weren’t enough to drive me to the brink, I tried to deal with my grief according to the conventional wisdom so many men are brought up with, which perversely, increased my suffering all the more. We all know the party line about how men are “supposed” to deal with loss or even disappointment: toughen up, get back to work, take it like a man, support your wife, don’t talk about your emotions, don’t lose control, and if you must cry—by all means do so in private.

It was only after reaching the brink of my physical and emotional health that I could finally admit how wrong the ways men learn to grieve really are. So after seeking help, finally allowing myself to experience and express my pain, and recovering to the extent that I could function again, I made a promise that I would do something to help all the dads out there who, like me, are left alone in their grief with no avenue for help and no models to follow on how to grieve.

This book is a result of that promise.

Status of the Book

As I mentioned in the video, the concept of this book was pitched to over 30 high profile literary agents and directly to several publishers over a two month period. I received a response from about 75% of them, which universally amounted to, “no thanks.” Many of them mentioned that this is an honorable book, but men typically do not buy these types of books.

Basically they were saying that this book couldn’t be profitable enough for them to invest in it.

Although I understand their thought process, I disagree with their assessment of the market for this book. Not only do I think grieving dads will buy this book, but I also think the women and caregivers in their lives will also see the need for it, since it provides a rare glimpse into the pain these men carry.

The manuscript is written, the cover has been designed and it is currently in final interior design and layout. It is tentatively scheduled for a late May 2012 release.

Funding the Book

I have funded 100% of this book up until this point, but I need help to make this book the “go-to” resource for men’s grief as it relates to the death of a child. I often hear from grieving dads who ask me, “what can I do to help you with this project?” Up until this point, my pride has gotten in the way of asking for assistance. However, a friend of mine recently told me that this project isn’t about me—it’s about the people in this world who need this book. As a result, I am prepared to set my pride aside and ask you to assist me in proving the agents and publishers wrong.

In the project video above, I mention we need $18,000 to turn this book into a resource that people know about and can use in their journey through the death of a child. However, since the video was produced, it has become clear that the true need exceeds $20,000. Here is how we plan to put the contributions we receive here on Kickstarter.com to work:

• Creation of an EBook (several formats)
• Funding the printing costs for the first 1000 books;
• Hire a Public Relations firm to assist with obtaining exposure for this book in television, print, radio, internet and book tours. The publicity exposure will allow us to grow this mission and reach other grieving dads on an international level.

I am confident we will obtain the funding we need in order to take exposure for Grieving Dads to the next level. Most people can think of someone they know who has experienced the death of a child. But even if you can’t, I promise that if you have ever loved a child, you will personally benefit from this book. As fathers who have read the book tell me, the stories of these grieving dads serve to remind us all that the lives of our children—and the time we have to spend with them—are the most precious commodities known to man.

I NEED YOUR HELP TO ACHIEVE OUR GOAL OF RAISING THE $20,000 BY FATHERS DAY 2012.

Take a look at the unique awards I am offering as part of this campaign, and please do whatever you can to help put this book in the hands of the people that need it most.

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

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    All items listed above (excluding limited edition) PLUS I will travel to your city and speak (30 minutes) to an organization (civic or corporate) that is selected by the backer. (I will request an additional contribution to cover 50% of airfare and accommodation expenses - travel outside North America will require 100% travel costs).

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    I will travel to your city and present a ½ day workshop to the backer and a selected group of friends (I will request an additional contribution to cover 50% of airfare and accommodation expenses - travel outside North America will require 100% travel costs). This will also include eternal gratitude from me and all the grieving dads that are waiting for this book.

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Funding period

- (30 days)