When we lost our son John in 2011 the bereavement classes we attended were not specifically for child loss and in just a short time we realized that a general grief class is not a place you want to be for child loss. My wife found Umbrella Ministries, a Christian support group specifically for moms who have lost children about a year after we lost our son. I have seen first hand the wonderful miracles that have taken place during my wife’s participation with Umbrella Ministries.
So I started to think that maybe there should be a group like that for men because despite what men want folks to think, they suffer terribly when they lose a child. My wife continued to go to the monthly meetings offered in San Diego and I continued to think that there should be a group for men. One day, in March of this year I received a call from a client of mine and I knew something was terribly wrong when I heard his voice and when I asked him about it he wouldn’t say anything. But I kept pushing and pushing and finally he told me he lost his only son and all I could hear was suffering on the other end of the phone and the sound of the suffering was the catalyst that allowed me to get up enough courage to start the men’s meeting.
At that time the North County women were talking about the need for a group in North County because the one in San Diego is one hour away, so they got together in March and
after only one small meeting with three moms, Diane, my wife (John’s mom), Kelley, Chace’s mom, and Amy, Alyssa’s mom and we started the North County Umbrella Ministries Group for Moms and Dads! We meet at my home in Vista usually the second Wednesday of each month and the moms have their meeting in our living room and the dads have their meeting in my back office.
Several men showed up the first meeting and that meeting in the back office changed mens lives and mine for the better. You are in a special club that you wouldn’t wish any father being a member of. Noone wants to talk about it, no one understands except another dad who has also lost their precious child and is suffering their loss alone.
A lot of men are suffering alone consumed with their loss. I have a little insight to this condition because I am one of those men and I know I’m not the only one. If you are a dad who has lost your child or children, you may find some comfort with our group. You are welcome to come and sit with other men bringing hope to each other through our suffering. Every month our meetings get larger and each month more men are getting comfort from knowing that they do not have to go through this alone.