The Grief of Dads

Support and Hope for Catholic Fathers Navigating Child Loss

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Format: Paperback

Publication date: September 1, 2023

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For a variety of reasons—including cultural norms, a man’s traditional role in the family, and lack of support—a father’s grief often fades into the background when his child dies. The Grief of Dads was written by Catholic fathers just like you who have lost a child at any age and from any circumstance. These dads offer the support, spiritual guidance, and companionship you need as you make your way through grief.

The Grief of Dads is an important resource to help you know that you are not alone and to work through loss and the upheaval of deep grieving with help from men who have been there, too.

Authors Patrick O’Hearn and Bryan Feger, along with Ryan Breaux of Red Bird Ministries—an organization that guides individuals and couples through the trauma of losing a child—want to normalize conversations about men’s grief.

Drawing on the richness of the Catholic faith, they offer stories from the men in the Bible and from male saints who knew the pain of losing a child and yet found hope and healing in God. The authors share their own stories and the experiences of seven other fathers who lean on their faith and seek healing with help from the sacraments, the Bible, fellow Catholics, and the devotional practices of the Church.

The book includes resource lists, journaling space, prayers, spiritual reflections, and letters of spiritual support, as well as guidance for friends, family, and pastors of grieving fathers. Kelly Breaux, cofounder and president of Red Bird Ministries, wrote a chapter for wives as well.

Product Details

Pages: 224

Trim size: 6 x 9 inches

ISBN: 9781646802531

Imprint: Ave Maria Press

  • “A beautiful, restorative resource.”

    “As parents who have lost children ourselves, we know this book is a beautiful, restorative resource. Dads—your grief is real. Allow the Lord to use this text as a way forward for deep healing in your life.”

    Jackie and Bobby Angel
    Catholic authors and speakers

  • “A roadmap to follow and permission to heal.”

    “Packed with rich stories and powerful testimonies, The Grief of Dads is a beautifully written book for Catholic men who grieve the death of a child. It gives you a roadmap to follow and permission to feel; a reason to heal and a purpose as you move forward, learning to live with your loss and your grieving.”

    Paul George
    Author of Holy Grit

  • “Encouragement, enlightenment, and instruction.”

    The Grief of Dads opens hearts to the unthinkable reality of losing a precious child. Wisely grounded in our Catholic faith, it offers encouragement, enlightenment, and instruction—whether you are a grieving parent or a bystander who longs to reach out in compassion. It speaks the truth that we longtime bereft parents know firsthand.”

    M. Donna MacLeod
    Author of the Seasons of Hope program

  • “Your grief is important and you are not alone!”

    “As discussions of these losses finally become more commonplace, I worry that dads are being left behind. This book tells loss dads, ‘Your grief is important and you are not alone!’ I highly recommend The Grief of Dads to any bereaved man looking for answers, for solidarity, or for ideas of where to look for God in the shattering grief that comes with losing a child.”

    Abigail Jorgensen
    Catholic bereavement doula
    and professor of sociology and health care ethics at Saint Louis University

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