When you get "blindsided" by your grief

Sometimes you can think you have "moved on" and dealt with your sadness but then, suddenly out of nowhere, something triggers your grief.

No... you aren't going crazy.

I remember the first time it happened to me was a few weeks after Kathleen's death. It was a beautiful day and I had run to the grocery store alone to pick up some things. It was a good day and I was feeling fine. When I turned down the diaper aisle, my sadness hit me out of the blue. I could barely move and knew that I was going to break down if I didn't escape. I left my cart full of groceries, walked out of the store, and went home feeling like I was losing my mind.

Come to find out, that was not a particularly unusual thing to have happen and it didn't happen again for a long time, partially I think because I was aware it might.

For a lot of men, their dreams for their child that died focuses much more on the future than it does the newborn stage. I was speaking at a conference with Sherokee Ilse once and we had couples in the room draw a picture as they envisioned themselves that day with the child they had lost. Most women drew pictures of themselves cradling and rocking their baby. Men, on the other hand, were much more likely to draw pictures of themselves playing ball, seeing their child in ballet slippers, or walking a bride down the aisle.

I have another story to share about an incident that occurred much later in life, but I'll write about that later.

How about it, guys? Anything to share that might help a dad in the future keep from feeling like they are going crazy? Thanks!