10 Years On

Fathers Forever has been gathering regularly for 10 years — hard to believe. I’m willing to bet that, regardless how long it has been since each dad in our group lost his child, at times (perhaps a lot of the time) it feels like yesterday.

Similarly, I clearly remember Fathers Forever’sĀ initial breakfast meetings in a hotel restaurant near Boston in 2006. There were many awkward moments when, in the midst of a deeply emotional conversation, a waitress would walk up to the table to cheerfully introduce herself and offer to take our order or ask the obligatory, “How is everything here?” You can imagine the looks she would receive. Often there was some gallows humor.

We’ve been fortunate for the past few years to have had access to a private meeting space at a suburban Boston art gallery — no more waitress interruptions. So the first Friday of each month, a group of us pulls upĀ chairs around several long folding tables laden with donuts and bagels to share whatever is on our hearts and minds. It’s painful, helpful, enlightening and cathartic.

I’m personally grateful to all the nearly 100 men who’ve participated, whether just once or regularly, in our gatherings over the past 10 years. It requires a leap of faith (and some courage) to sit down with a group of guys and bare your soul about the most painful event in your life. Thanks to all who have done it, and continue to.


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