Our son and only child, Dylan, passed from a heroin overdose on November 28, 2016, just after his 24th birthday and just before receiving a chip to celebrate six months of continuous sobriety. My wife, Allyson, and I were devastated and really struggled to release the new hope we had from the enormous progress Dylan had made. We attended various grief meetings and two things always stood out – the meetings weren’t designed to help parents continue to live when they came out of “the fog” and very few fathers ever participated. So we turned to an evidential medium to hopefully find some answers and that reading put us on a path to attend the 2018 Helping Parents Heal Conference. The conference provided even more validation and a venue to share with other parents who were searching for answers. For the first time, we left a meeting feeling lighter and more hopeful than when we arrived.
We will always remember and miss Dylan but now understand that we’re living and learning what is meant for us. I’ve decided to help other parents, and particularly fathers, learn how to have good lives after their loss and come to know their own “truth” which will certainly help me to do the same.
During the 2022 Helping Parents Heal Conference, we are very excited to have a Helping Fathers Heal session, including a panel of dads who will answer questions and will use the same format as our weekly meetings. This is an exciting opportunity for members (and non-members) to meet in person, who have until now only been able to meet via Zoom.
In March 2019, Helping Parents Heal began this men-only affiliate group to provide a safe, secure place for men to share about their challenges and successes after their child’s passing. Helping Fathers Heal began with 5 members and now exceeds 450 members in 12 different countries. The group has a closed Facebook page and holds a Zoom every Wednesday night from 8:00 - 8:30 Central Time.