Hello, my name is Adam and I was asked to share on my experience in the Men’s Grief Support Group.
I had first been introduced to the Bereaved Families of Southwestern Ontario organization after my former partner and I went through three traumatic losses trying to start a family.
We attended the pregnancy & infant loss group with other couples who had experienced similar situations. It is tough to find the right words to describe it, as it was an emotionally rough time, both in my life and in the group. Though there was a lot of heavy feelings, and crying, the outcome of knowing that I wasn’t alone in these feelings was extremely beneficial.
However, like most people my journey did not end there. I found myself struggling with my mental health and sobriety for a few years. It wasn’t until during the pandemic I realized that I needed to make some changes in my life, and the opportunity to participate in the Men’s Grief Support group presented itself.
I had experienced first hand the lack of support and stereotypes most men are forced into in our society. “Man up, sit down. Chin up, pipe down. Socks up, don’t cry. Drink up, just lie.” It is largely still a taboo for us to talk about or question gender roles when it comes to grief. It is a burden which is assumed we must carry alone.
Finding myself in a place where I was trying to be proactive in bettering my mental health, I knew I needed to speak with other men about their own journey’s of grief. Even though I didn’t find that I was currently in a bad place or in crisis, I also wanted to help foster and support a much needed community.
Our co-facilitators were great at guiding us through introductions and sharing the stories which brought us together. Offering support and guidance along the way. I have found that being able to give my grief space outside of my own mind very helpful.
Hearing how other people have and continue to navigate their individual grief allows me to add context to my own story.
I can better understand my thoughts and emotions as they present themselves.
Whoa, heavy, right?
Simply put, family and friends mean a lot to me. However, there are some things I have been through in this life that they do not fully understand. Which is no fault of their own, it is because they haven’t had to deal with it in their lives.
I knew going into the this support group that it would be a safe and open space for people to share and understand each other.
I was not disappointed. Hearing our stories of sadness, frustration, anger and how life goes on if we are ready or not, gave me the continuing encouragement I need to be a better and stronger me.
I want to thank everyone involved in making it happen, as I feel we are all better for it.