The death of a child devastates both parents, but each grieves differently. For dads in the Boston area, Fathers Forever has created a community of mutual support for men to help them heal.
Established by four men who originally met in a bereavement therapy group, Fathers Forever is an organization exclusively for men grappling with the emotional, physical, psychological, social and spiritual impacts of the death of a child. However, it takes a different approach from most grief support groups—either lay or professional.
The men come together primarily for monthly breakfasts, occasional dinners and gather for holiday events. In the course of these get-togethers, they form a camaraderie, teaching and learning from one another. The Fathers Forever website hosts a blog and posts recommended readings for its members. The organization also helps dads honor their children through charitable events, such as runs, benefits and auctions.
“Since our daughter died after a six-year journey with pediatric cancer, it is the only place that [my husband] Christopher has found community to help him through the ongoing experience of living as a bereaved father,” says nominator Gail Doktor