Grieving

A Father In Need Of Prayers

Thumbnail image for A Father In Need Of Prayers July 16, 2012

Father Mike is the pastor at our church. He gives some pretty good homilies. He gave one a few weeks ago that’s had me thinking since. He was talking about sins of omission and sins of commission. He likes to bring in examples from recent news, and this Sunday one of the examples he used was the story […]

Read the full article →

A Prayer Request

Thumbnail image for A Prayer Request December 23, 2011

Tonight my cousin Denise lost her daughter Jessica. It brings back memories of that night two and a half years ago. Debbie and I were sitting on our couch going through every picture of Richard we could find. We sat there crying, hugging and, if you can believe it, laughing as we looked at the images […]

Read the full article →

Crazy Thoughts?

Thumbnail image for Crazy Thoughts? December 4, 2011

After your kid leaves this earth you do a lot of thinking – at least I do. I come up with some pretty crazy ideas too. A few months before Richard died I was involved in a truck crash. My Toyota pickup truck verses a Big Rig. It ran over me on I-64. It was […]

Read the full article →

The Last Jolly Rancher

Thumbnail image for The Last Jolly Rancher October 30, 2011

Richard was a fan of Jolly Ranchers. In case you don’t know,  Jolly Ranchers are rectangular blocks of fruit flavored hard candy. Each Jolly Rancher comes individually wrapped in cellophane wrappers. He had lots of them in his apartment. There were a couple of containers of them on his desk. There was a cup full on an […]

Read the full article →

Unfinished Business

Thumbnail image for Unfinished Business October 14, 2011

Today I’m exhausted. I’ve begun the process of taking care of all my unfinished Richard business. It’s a pretty impressive to-do list. There are just so many little things that need to be done, so many loose ends that need tying. In the early days after Richard’s death I had a lot of energy to […]

Read the full article →

Do You Watch Old Home Movies?

Thumbnail image for Do You Watch Old Home Movies? June 24, 2011

My aunt Sally died last weekend. Her funeral was today. The funeral home people provided my uncle and cousins with a nice memorial page that included a slide show of pictures of Sally. I remember going through pictures of Richard on that night when we found out he was gone. The next day, Sarah, the […]

Read the full article →

Two Years

Thumbnail image for Two Years May 23, 2011

It’s now May 23rd… two years from the day Richard died. Yeah, I know the “official” date is the 28th of May. But that wasn’t when he died, it’s when they found him in his apartment. In my heart I know he died on this day. We were at the farm that day. I remember […]

Read the full article →

Grief Gut

Thumbnail image for Grief Gut May 22, 2011

Let’s get one thing clear right at the start… that isn’t a picture 0f me. Most of the images used on this site came from my camera. But not that one. I bought that one. And I’ve never eaten more than half a pie at one time. Oh, and another thing. Debbie tells me she’s […]

Read the full article →

The Suit That Never Was

Thumbnail image for The Suit That Never Was March 7, 2011

Our church consists of two separate church buildings connected by a central hall. There is the mid 1800’s era church we now call The Chapel. Our main church, the one where all the Sunday Masses are conducted is on the other side of the hall. We call that one The Church. The Church’s entry doors […]

Read the full article →

Another Stumbling Block

Thumbnail image for Another Stumbling Block February 17, 2011

After Richard’s death one of the item I had to decide on was about cars. I was using a 1995 Toyota Camry as my driving to work car. Had 160,000 something miles on it. Richard had a 2004 Toyota Corolla with less than a third of the miles my Camry had. I needed to figure […]

Read the full article →

How to Summit Grieving’s Everyday Mountains

Thumbnail image for How to Summit Grieving’s Everyday Mountains January 20, 2011

The blog Zen Habits is one of the most popular on the Internet. The following post is an adaptation of a post called A Guide to Reaching Life’s Summits. I thought many of the points and tips in the Zen Habits post apply to the grieving parent’s journey up the mountain of pain we all face […]

Read the full article →

The Lost Christmas Eve

Thumbnail image for The Lost Christmas Eve December 5, 2010

It may be a long night. I’m sitting here listening to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra album called “The Lost Christmas Eve.” I’m on the second repeat so far. There will probably be many more. When I get in these moods I can listen to the same music over and over for hours. The lost Christmas Eve… […]

Read the full article →

A Meeting Place For Grieving Dads

Thumbnail image for A Meeting Place For Grieving Dads November 17, 2010

Being a grieving dad is no fun. It has all this emotion stuff. Let’s face it, most of us guys aren’t too good with that kind of stuff. And the resources geared toward grieving dads seem to be limited. Kelley Farley, a two time grieving dad, is trying to improve that. He’s working on a […]

Read the full article →

Another Birthday

Thumbnail image for Another Birthday August 31, 2010

Today is Richard’s birthday. He would be/is 24 today. This one has been harder than the last. Last year his birthday was just 3 months from his death. In fact we had just gotten his death certificate a couple of weeks before that. We were still numb. The Novocain of early grief has worn off. Richard was […]

Read the full article →

The Camaro Conundrum

Thumbnail image for The Camaro Conundrum June 28, 2010

It just never seems to be easy. There is a 1997 Camaro sitting in our driveway. It’s been there for several years now. It doesn’t run. This was Richard’s car. I bought it for him from the cousin of a coworker of mine while Richard was still in high school. It looks pretty good and […]

Read the full article →

Observations After a Year

June 9, 2010

We’ve made it through our first year as grieving parents. I thought I’d post a few observations. Even after a year I still can’t believe this is real. I’m still waiting to wake up and the nightmare to end. I’ve only seen Richard in one dream. I would have expected to see him many times […]

Read the full article →

One Year

May 28, 2010

We’ve completed our “year of firsts.” We had several days to remember. Mother’s day was the anniversary of the last time we saw Richard. It was a tough day. May 22nd was the last time anyone in the family talked to him. Debbie called him that Friday evening about his plans for the weekend. She […]

Read the full article →

Mother’s Day

Thumbnail image for Mother’s Day May 10, 2010

Yesterday was Mother’s Day. A hard day for all bereaved moms. It was Debbie’s first Mother’s Day with Richard gone. It came with all the pain of no longer having him there to tell her “Happy Mother’s Day”, of not getting another goofy card from her kid and from just knowing he is gone. But […]

Read the full article →

Feel Like a Tennis Ball

Thumbnail image for Feel Like a Tennis Ball April 11, 2010

Back in my college days I liked to play tennis. Never was very good at it, in fact my girl friend at the time used to beat me every time we played. I feel like I’m back at playing tennis. But this time I’m the ball. I’ll be depressed and in the dumps. Then – […]

Read the full article →

Grieving Dad’s Project

Thumbnail image for Grieving Dad’s Project April 5, 2010

I stumbled upon this site today. Geared toward grieving dads. Kelley Farley is a bereaved father that’s had two children die. He has decided to write a book to help grieving fathers. His website tells his story and leads to a survey where you can tell yours. He hopes to get enough stories about dad’s […]

Read the full article →

Easter

Thumbnail image for Easter April 4, 2010

It’s Easter Sunday. Another big family gathering day. Another check mark on our Year of Firsts check list. Our first Easter without Richard. I really hate these Year of Firsts check off items. But I’m pretty sure I’ll hate the Year of Seconds, and the Year of Thirds and on and on etc., etc., just […]

Read the full article →

Grieving Dads Do The Funniest Things

Thumbnail image for Grieving Dads Do The Funniest Things March 24, 2010

My boss at work came into our break-room last night, where I was eating my supper. He said, “You win the award.” “What award?” I asked. “The one for making the biggest part order in company history.” He handed me a sheet of paper. It was a copy of an email sent to cancel the order. I […]

Read the full article →

When Should You Return to Work?

Thumbnail image for When Should You Return to Work? March 10, 2010

A big question many of us must face after losing a child is when do I go back to work? Most are probably like me – you need the money, so you have to go back as soon as your employer’s funeral leave has ended. My employer gives us 5 days paid time off for […]

Read the full article →

Miracles

Thumbnail image for Miracles February 24, 2010

Church can be a dangerous place for a grieving parent. In his sermon Sunday, Father Bill mentioned some miracles. He started with several taken from the Bible, including the story of Christ raising a little dead girl back to life. Father Bill then told us of a local family. One of the boy’s in the family […]

Read the full article →

Grieving Dad’s

Thumbnail image for Grieving Dad’s February 18, 2010

The following is from We Need Not Walk Alone, the national magazine of The Compassionate Friends. The Father’s Grief By David Pellegrin TCF Honolulu, HI At my second meeting of The Compassionate Friends about three years ago, one of the mothers said how nice it was to see a man attending, since “men grieve differently from […]

Read the full article →

Perpetual French Fries

Thumbnail image for Perpetual French Fries February 4, 2010

I don’t guess this really has that much to do with grieving, but it’s sort of amazing. In the week before Christmas I was on vacation. Debbie wasn’t, and since she works at our church, Christmas is one of her busy seasons. I went in to help her one morning with some stuff to get […]

Read the full article →

The Dream Fades

Thumbnail image for The Dream Fades February 1, 2010

They say all good things must end. And so it seems to be. I had a dream a few weeks ago. It gave me a great sense of peace. The feelings from the dream were strong, but they’re fading. Lately I’ve been thinking about what it was like for Richard in those last moments. How […]

Read the full article →

The Grief Roller Coaster

Thumbnail image for The Grief Roller Coaster January 19, 2010

Life after lossing a child has been a big roller coaster ride. There have been a lot of deep plunges into the unknown. And then there have been times the track has leveled out, maybe even climbed a small hill or two. But the ride continues and the path ahead is uncertain. Right now the […]

Read the full article →

Ambush

Thumbnail image for Ambush January 9, 2010

Debbie needed something for show-and-tell time at the next Compassionate Friends meeting. She was supposed to bring something that was important to Richard or something he was proud of. The idea was for everyone to show their item and tell the story about what it meant in the life of their child. She asked me […]

Read the full article →

You Have No Idea How Much

Thumbnail image for You Have No Idea How Much January 7, 2010

Got snowed in today. Debbie took the occasion to clean out the drawers in the kitchen cabinets.  In one of the drawers were many old greeting cards. She handed me one. It was a birthday card from Richard to me. The front of the card is above. The inside is below. Yes Richard, it does […]

Read the full article →

Christmas Morning 2009

Thumbnail image for Christmas Morning 2009 December 25, 2009

Dear Richard, It’s Christmas. You’re not here. It’s not the same without you. No country ham. We did have bacon, nice and crispy but not burnt. Sarah passed out the gifts. You weren’t sitting cross-legged on the floor to get yours. Your stocking was empty. Unless you count all the thoughts of love that we […]

Read the full article →

A Christmas Letter to God

Thumbnail image for A Christmas Letter to God December 15, 2009

Dear God, I hope this letter finds you well. How are things in heaven? I hope all is going well. I guess they’d have to be pretty good, or they wouldn’t call it heaven would they? Down here on earth they say you are all knowing and all powerful. That you never screw up. In […]

Read the full article →

Precious Child by Karen Taylor-Good

Thumbnail image for Precious Child by Karen Taylor-Good December 13, 2009

We will be attending the Worldwide Candle Lighting tomorrow.  On the web page about this event there is a video. It features the song Precious Child by Karen Taylor-Good. The song grabbed me. It’s beautiful and amazing. I found a video on YouTube that just has the song – no info about the Candle Lighting. […]

Read the full article →

The Trees Fall

Thumbnail image for The Trees Fall November 24, 2009

We’ve had our house for more than 25 years.  There is a huge maple tree beside the house. It’s not in very good shape. We’ve feared it would come crashing down on the house. For most of the 25 years we’ve been here, there’ve been plans to have that tree – and others – cut […]

Read the full article →

Emotional Tug-of-War

Thumbnail image for Emotional Tug-of-War November 23, 2009

Last week was a bad week. Maybe it was because the holidays are getting near- Thanksgiving is this week, Christmas just around the corner. Maybe it’s because they’ve been advertising the benefits of generic drugs at work – but they left out the dead kid benefit part of the story. It could also be today […]

Read the full article →

Saying Goodbye a Bit at a Time

Thumbnail image for Saying Goodbye a Bit at a Time November 20, 2009

I finally canceled Richard’s cell phone. For nearly six months we’ve been paying for that phone. And it has just sat there on the divider between our kitchen and TV rooms doing nothing. No phone calls. No text messages. Nothing. So why did we waste all that money? Because it’s just hard as hell to […]

Read the full article →

I Just Want To Scream!

Thumbnail image for I Just Want To Scream! November 20, 2009

There have been times since Richard died that I want to scream. Very loudly, at the top of my lungs. In anger. Yesterday at work was one of those times. We are going through our annual process of signing up for benefits for next year. During this period they have various insurance and health care […]

Read the full article →

Full of Joy?

Thumbnail image for Full of Joy? October 27, 2009

The Responsorial Psalm at mass yesterday got my attention. It was: “The Lord has done great things for us. We are filled with joy.” Filled with joy? It’s now been five months since Richard left us. I’ll admit the Lord has done great things for us. And I’m grateful for them. Honest. And I keep […]

Read the full article →

Questions with No Answers

Thumbnail image for Questions with No Answers October 23, 2009

The death of your child leaves you with a lot of questions. There are lots of “what if” and “why didn’t I” type questions. The ones that come from that guilty feeling that you should have done something to prevent this. But I have other questions. Questions I’ll never be able to answer. The day […]

Read the full article →

Saying Thank You Shouldn’t Be So Tough

Thumbnail image for Saying Thank You Shouldn’t Be So Tough October 13, 2009

After Richard’s funeral we wrote thank you cards like crazy. We sent one to just about everyone that signed our guest book at the funeral home. And to all the people that sent flowers or food. We sent out several huge piles. We tried to avoid being too generic, and put personal notes in each […]

Read the full article →

The Four Month Report

Thumbnail image for The Four Month Report September 28, 2009

It has now been 4 months since the “official” date of Richard’s death. Just thought I’d list a few observations about where we are in our grieving process. I don’t cry as much. Not openly. I cry inside just as much. I still miss my kid. Debbie and I go to work everyday. We’ve done […]

Read the full article →

The Big Game

Thumbnail image for The Big Game September 20, 2009

Richard was a big sports fan. His bedroom is decorated in Miami Dolphins colors. They were his favorite NFL team. We had many sports talks. The sports minded members of my family are University of Kentucky fans. I went to school there in the 70’s . My parents had season tickets to the football games. […]

Read the full article →

Franklin on Death

Thumbnail image for Franklin on Death September 18, 2009

The founders of our nation were pretty smart folks. Following the death of his brother John Franklin, Benjamin Franklin wrote this letter to Elizabeth Hubbard, his brothers stepdaughter, on February 22, 1756 Dear Child, I condole with you, we have lost a most dear and valuable relation, but it is the will of God and […]

Read the full article →

Grieving Sucks

Thumbnail image for Grieving Sucks August 31, 2009

Grieving for a lost child takes pain to a whole new level. This site is the story of our journey through grief for our lost son Richard. Therapy maybe.  I’ll probably also share some stories about Richard. We were very proud of him and like all grieving parents, we don’t want him to be forgotten. […]

Read the full article →

Richard

Thumbnail image for Richard June 10, 2009

Here’s a quick tip for you. If you miss a call on your phone, and don’t recognize the number, and when you call back they answer, “Fayette County Coroner” – your day is about to go in the toilet. Mine did. It got worse. After apologizing for breaking the news to me over the phone, […]

Read the full article →