JUNE 2011 IssueVol 2, Issue 12


I Did Not Know 

What To Say  




WELCOME EVERYONE!  Our online community is growing and we are honored to have you be a part of the journey. 


In honor of Father's Day, I would like to dedicate our newsletter this month to my brother-in-law's father Don, who passed away unexpectedly this past Thursday.  Our family was blessed to have had Don in our lives.


Father's Day can be difficult for those that have lost their father and for fathers that have lost a child.  Our hearts go out to all those that are grieving a loss today.


Featured Article...Many men feel alone in their grief after the loss of a child.  Kelly Farley, Founder of the Grieving Dad's Project, offers many ways to support grieving dads by sharing his personal story in his article Positive Ways to Support a Grieving Dad.


A Little Inspiration..."I Will Not Abandon You" - An amazing story of love and friendship every person that is looking for ways to support a grieving friend should read.  See details below.


Do you have a story you would like to share?  We invite you to submit your inspirational stories, letters that have reached your heart, a favorite quote or poem, an unforgettable outing, or a book that touched your life.  We would love to hear from you. 


Each month our newsletter will feature a new article giving you a different perspective on how to assist your friends and family through the grieving process. Please feel free to pass our newsletter on to anyone that may benefit from our articles and inspirational messages.


With Love and Gratitude,





Any man can be a father.
It takes someone special to be a dad.
- Unknown

In This Issue
Featured Article
Monthly Inspiration
Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts
Discussion Topics
About Us
Quick Links

Pass It On 
Forward to a Friend
Join our Mailing List!
Our Past Newsletters are Now Available.

Click Here for our Newsletter Archives.
Featured Article of the Month

articlePositive Ways to Support a Grieving Dad


I often hear from grieving dads that tell me they feel alone in their grief after the death of their child.  It amazes me that after going through something as profound as the death of a child, that these men feel so alone and isolated.  As much as it amazes me, I can relate because I too felt alone after the death of my two children.


I felt so alone that I would go online and search for other grieving dads that were out there.  However, I didn't find what I was looking for or needed at that point in my grief.  I didn't find it because most men do not feel like they have permission to tell their story or to share how they are feeling, out of fear of being looked at as less than a man or weak.  We all know that society is not comfortable with an openly grieving person, but they are even more uncomfortable with a man showing his emotions. 


This problem comes from men being taught at a young age that we should not show "weakness" and that we have to "be strong".  As a result of these "lessons" we do everything we can to hide our pain.  We try to take on the role of protector.  We feel it is our role to help our wives through the loss and to keep everything operating in the household.  This approach only prolongs the grief process and can delay it for years.


Because most people in society feel uncomfortable with a grieving parent's pain, they want to try to solve their problem, but they can't.  This isn't something you can give a pep talk for and expect the person to walk away feeling differently.  You cannot solve this problem.


It took me a long time and a lot of internal pain to realize I had to address my own pain before I could help my wife through hers.  I realized it was important that we should travel this journey together, helping each other when we can.  Once I realized I need to address my own pain, I started to open myself up to others that were there to help me.


Once I started to address my pain, I made it my mission to reach out to other grieving dads and so I started the Grieving Dads Project as a way to create a resource for men and provide a location where these dads can go to speak honestly and openly about what they are dealing with.  This blog is a place where these men can go and not feel so alone and to realize that other men are thinking and feeling the same way. 


As part of building the Grieving Dads Project, I have traveled the last year conducting workshops and speaking to child loss support groups as well as conducting one-on-one interviews with grieving dads.  These interviews were designed to help me capture the rawness of this profound grief.  The information I learned and the stories I heard will be told with brutal honesty in a book that will provide a glimpse into the aftermath of what grieving dads deal with when a child dies.


As a result of the Grieving Dads Project, I have spoken to hundreds of grieving dads and the one thing I have learned is people need to tell their story.  Not only do they need to tell their story, they need to be allowed to share their emotions while telling their story.  The following are a few ways to provide support to the Grieving Dads you may know:


1.     Encourage them to talk about what they are feeling and thinking
        (even the really dark stuff).

2.     Remind them that they are not alone.

3.     Let them speak openly about their pain.

4.     Do not try to solve their problems and be a good listener.

5.     Encourage them to find support groups for men.  These groups could be
        grief related or a group of men that are all dealing with various life struggles.

6.     Do not push them through their grief and allow them to tell their stories.

7.     Allow them the time to process what has happen to them.

8.     Allow them to turn to or away from their faith as needed.

9.     If they start to cry, let them, it helps cleanse the soul.

10.   Let them know you are there for them at anytime of the day, and mean it.


Keep in mind that people that are grieving are ultra sensitive, so it is important to think before you speak.  Understand how your words may be interrupted by the receiver.  If you really don't know what to say, say nothing.  There is healing in silence.  It is better to sit quietly and listen than to fill the air with words that are not helpful. 



About Kelly Farley

Kelly Farley, like many men, was caught up in the rat race of life when he experienced the loss of two babies over an 18 month period. During the losses and the years that followed, he felt like he was the only dad that had ever experienced such a loss. He realized that society, for the most part, doesn't feel comfortable with openly grieving dads.  This realization inspired him to reach out to all bereaved dads and to provide a conduit to share their stories.  Kelly is the Founder of the Grieving Dads Project and co-sponsor of the Farley-Kluger Amendment to the Family Medical Leave Act of 1993 which will extend benefits to parents that experience the death of child.

This Month's Inspiration

Inspiration "I Will Not Abandon You

"I Will Not Abandon You" is an amazing story of love and friendship every person that is looking for ways to support a grieving friend should read.  This article was featured on the Grieving Dad's Project website in March and is so touching that I encourage everyone to take a few minutes to read this heartfelt post. 


Often those that are grieving feel that their grief is a burden to their friends.  This article shows that we all learn through the grieving process and to have a friend that is willing to go through the journey with us is truly a blessing.


Visit http://grievingdads.wordpress.com/2011/03/09/i-will-not-abandon-you/ to read this amazing story.

Thoughtful Sympathy Gift Ideas

Sympathy Gifts

Father Picture Frame

Personalized Memorial Wood Picture Frame

Words alone can not express the true feelings one has when dealing with a loss of a loved one. The use of a treasured photograph can provide support during this most difficult time. The Personalized Memorial Picture Frame provides the perfect backdrop to highlight your favorite photo.


Our Thoughtful Sympathy Gifts page offers a wide variety of sympathy gift ideas for your loved ones.  We hope the thoughtful gifts listed on our website inspire you to give warmth and joy to your friends and family in their time of need.


If you are an author or an expert in the grief recovery field and would like to be interviewed, please contact us at info@ididnotknowwhattosay.com.

To order these books and preview other inspirational books, be sure to visit our Helpful Books page.


Discussion Topics

We invite you to join our on-going discussions on our Facebook page.  Not on Facebook?  We have also posted our discussion topics on our Blog.  Current topics include: 
About I Did Not Know What To Say.com & Lori Pederson
LoriLori Pederson created I Did Not Know What To Say in April 2009 as a platform to inspire and provide resources to people that wanted to help their friends and family through the grieving process. 
Lori's expertise comes from those experiences that only life can provide.  Over the past twenty years, Lori has lost many family members, including her mother to ovarian cancer, as well as many friends, colleagues and pets.  She is no stranger to loss and the grieving process.
Throughout her life she has been blessed with many friends and relatives that were there for her as she experienced these great losses. She understands that although people want to help, they often don't know where to start.  I Did Not Know What To Say.com was created out of Lori's desire to assist people find the words when they don't know what to say or do.
You can learn more about Lori and her organization by visiting www.ididnotknowwhattosay.com, reading her personal Blog or contacting her at:
Lori Pederson

Each week we will be adding new inspirational stories and resources to our website and Blog.  Help us reach our goal of providing inspiration and insight to the world by sharing your story or resource with our online community.  We would love to hear from you! 

Share Your Story. Please email us your inspirational stories, letters/cards that have reached your heart, a favorite quote, an unforgettable adventure, a thoughtful gift idea, a book that touched your life, or a suggestion for our website or newsletter to

If you are an author or expert in the field of grief recovery, we would love to interview you for our Blog and/or one of our upcoming newsletters.

If you have a website, Blog or newsletter, we ask that you consider including our information on your site.  Here is the link:   

I Did Not Know What To Say
IDidNotKnowWhatToSay.com is a website created to inspire and provide you with tools to assist a love one through the grieving process.

With Love & Gratitude,


Founder, I Did Not Know What To Say

Copyright 2011' I Did Not Know What To Say(TM) Newsletter.  All Rights Reserved.