When a couple experiences the loss of a child, so often fathers feel they have to be strong and support mothers in their grief. One beautiful couple in Perth, Australia has created a video that shares the grief fathers go through as well.
My friend Carly Dudley lost her son, Christian, in 2007. I ‘met’ Carly, if you will, in 2009, when she created a beautiful memorial picture for my son, Matthew. At the time, that was something she did for grieving families in honor of her son.
Over the years, Carly became well-known in the loss community. I came to love her for her compassion and heart, but mostly for her inclusion of fathers in the process of honoring grief. Carly is responsible for International Bereaved Mother’s Day every May, but she and her husband, Sam, are also responsible for International Bereaved Father’s Day, which was September 10.
To honor bereaved fathers this year, through Carly’s CarlyMarie Project Heal, Sam and Carly created the most beautiful video, compiled of pictures of grieving fathers worldwide. Sam said that after the death of Christian, he felt he needed to ‘suck it up’ and be strong for his family. The intent behind the video was, according to Sam, so no other father felt alone. He wanted fathers to share their grief and their stories, so they could know that fathers also grieved fiercely, and often without much awareness that they do.
The Dudleys want to spark something inside fathers that reminds them to also look for beauty in this world, to know that it’s okay to mention their children’s name in sorrow and in joy. He also wants people to know that there is support and love for fathers available, and he wants fathers to feel united in that support.
The video had music composed by Damien Greenwood and Jason Schmectig, who is from Jeenyis Scoring, and reaches to the depths of emotion as it accompanies the display of pictures of fathers from over 22 countries. For more on Carly’s Project Heal and her other efforts, you can also go to her site.
Photo Credit: CarlyMarie Project Heal