Men Talk - December 2016 / January 2017


A Different Kind of Grief

– © 2016 Gloria Englund
My oldest son Aaron died of a heroin overdose in May 2007. He was 33 years old and had battled substance use disorder for almost 20 years. After he died, I was encouraged by friends and family members to attend a grief group specifically for parents whose children had died.

The first 30 minutes of the grief group involved a volunteer speaker or grief expert offering some tidbit of their experience or knowledge for our support or pondering during our small groups which followed. I felt like this group could be the place where I could focus on my own grief process and not worry about where Aaron's brother or father was in their process. Second was that Bob, Aaron's stepfather, often joined me at these groups. Just knowing this meeting was as important for him as it was for me created an unspoken grief bond between us. The group seemed to create an opening point between us that we could not always find by ourselves.


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