May 19, 2016

10 Years On

Posted by: david @ 7:26 am

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’s 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 up 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.

March 9, 2012

My lesson from Capt. Kirk

Posted by: david @ 10:39 am

Yesterday I was driving along listening to a radio program and all of a sudden I hear an insight into death and grieving I never expected.

Here I was listening to a bio of William Shatner (of all people) and Captain Kirk is giving me a concise definition of hope after death: “Life doesn’t have to end at death if love is present.”

WOW!! That is exactly how I have been feeling these past years. Life does go on with the love that is in our hearts from the life of our child. So true. I live each day remembering the joy my dear Stephanie gave me – despite the horror of her death.

I often tell my son that life is unpredictable but we must take what we are given and try to find hope in what we have rather than what we have lost.

And as William Shatner said: “Life doesn’t have to end at death if love is present.”

So it goes – life goes on.

-Steve Robinson

March 1, 2010

Thought for the Day

Posted by: rick @ 5:03 pm

“We deceive ourselves when we fancy that only weakness needs support. Strength needs it far more.”— Sophie Swetchine  

February 10, 2010

Planning to Feel

Posted by: rick @ 8:39 am

Just a thought… I’m working with a client on developing a new strategic plan. They need one for a variety of reasons, including that so much of what they are doing is reacting to what comes at them day after day. Similarly, I know I often react to thoughts and feelings related to my losses. But what if I planned ahead? What if I anticipated in such a way that I intend to care for and navigate those thoughts and feelings which I know will come again and again.

For my client, the planning process includes asking them a specific set of questions. What it would be like to ask ourselves some of those same questions.

One of them is this, framed for this personal purpose, which I invite you to ponder for a few minutes: What do I need to achieve, preserve, and avoid by how I care for and handle my grief?

January 2, 2010

Tell a Story

Posted by: rick @ 12:14 pm

Yesterday I saw part of an interview on either CNN or Fox News. The father of a young woman who died…this past year or two…said he gets a lot out of telling a story about his daughter, especially telling one during the holiday season which is a particularly painful time. He said something like, “Do a favor to a father who has lost a child by asking him to tell a story about him or her.”

I invite you to think about and tell a story. Comment here or write a post if you’d like, or share your story with someone near to you in the hours or day ahead. Then reflect on what it’s like. What do you experience?

December 23, 2009


Posted by: rick @ 1:34 pm

“Feelings are the internal reactions generated by our own interpretations of people, events and life experiences.” –William J. McKay

December 15, 2009

Sweet 16

Posted by: david @ 6:48 am

This week Natasha would have turned 16.  It’s the eighth time we’ve celebrated her birthday without her.  Each year on Dec. 17 we host a group of her friends and their families at the local Chinese restaurant for dinner.  I look forward to these gatherings — even though they are bittersweet — because they give me an opportunity to picture Natasha at whatever age her friends are now, to see how they look and interact (with each other, their parents and other adults) and imagine Natasha at a similar stage.  Somehow in my mind’s eye she’s keeping up with them — and I believe she lives on in their hearts, as she does in mine. 

December 1, 2009

“Grieve” is a Verb

Posted by: rick @ 6:10 am

Consider all the ways we act on the sorrow and the loss. We mourn. We make decisions about various things surrounding the loss, and act on them.

As I read Joe’s post, I noticed a number of actions. He and his wife sought counseling. He acts on his day by day determination. He and his family have turned their grief into something positive.

What actions have you taken, and what have they meant to you?

November 23, 2009


Posted by: brayton @ 9:32 am

 Hello Everyone- This Wednesday will mark the 5th observance of my son Eric’s sudden and tragic death at the hands of a drunk driver. He was a freshman in college, home for Thanksgiving, and three weeks shy of his 19th birthday. He was a passenger in the right-rear seat of a car driven by one of his high school friends who was legally drunk(.12% blood alcohol level),  and stoned. The car was traveling at a hideous rate of speed when the driver lost control, went into a 180 degree spin and crashed into a tree, snapping it in half. Eric took the full brunt of the impact and was dead within minutes from a subdural hematoma. All of the other occupants walked away from the carnage with minor injuries. I stopped asking myself “Why?” a long time ago, because I realize there is no answer to that question. Although I still occasionally drift back into the surreality of thinking none of this happened, I snap right back into the present…and continue to move forward with the life I have left in the most positive way I am able to. This senseless loss has changed the lives of my wife, surviving son and myself forever. We relate to each other differently, now. It has been a tremendous strain on our marriage, but with professional counselling and determination, we are making it work day by day. Our son, Matthew, has graduated from college, getting his feet wet in the business world and engaged to be married this summer. My wife has found a new job after being laid off, and I continue to work in my profession as an insurance wholesaler.So we move forward with the support and encouragement of friends, neighbors, and loved ones. But frankly, the holidays suck now. Part of me can’t wait for them to be over with, but I’m finding with each passing year that I’m embracing them a little bit more. Perhaps as time goes by, the old magic and spirit will get back closer to what it used to be like….especially if I’m blessed with a grandchild or two that I can spoil the hell out of !!  Eric’s passion in sports was football…..he was the nose tackle on his high school team. After his death, his coaches and former teammates established a scholarship fund in his name, and hold a memorial touch football tournament after Thanksgiving each year at Medfield High School. It has been a huge success and has enabled us to contribute to the college education of a graduating member of the football team, as selected by the coaching staff. They have also retired Eric’s number 40. What wonderful way to preserve his memory ! I invite you all to check out his memorial website (  to give you all an idea of how we have turned our grief and devastation into something so positve and powerful. I wish each of you a Happy Thanksgiving. I am personally thankful that I was blessed with such a fine son as Eric. I cherish the years I had with him as I watched him grow from a toddler into a young man. As his Father forever, nothing can ever take that away from me. I look forward to seeing as many of you as possible on December 10th !!!   (Mike’s a great host !)

Joe Perkins

November 9, 2009


Posted by: rick @ 12:46 pm

At, HOPE is defined as “the feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best…”

How much is HOPE in your vocabulary? What do you HOPE for? What do you get out of HOPING?

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