After the Flowers Die: A Handbook of Heartache, Hope and Healing After Losing a child by Author Melanie Delorme
“Is it possible to survive the loss of a child?”
Even though you might be feeling that the answer to this question is no, never, absolutely not; be assured that not only is it possible for you to survive, but you are also strong enough to thrive after this devastating tragedy.
The loss of a child creates a gaping hole in a parent’s heart that seems unbearable and the only people who truly understand your pain are other bereaved parents. Melanie is one of those parents and, in After the Flowers Die, she offers encouragement, hope and honest suggestions for how you can once again experience joy.
This book is written in an easy to read A to Z format and covers topics that many parents may experience, such as anger, bitterness, birthdays, Christmas, hope, signs, and more. If you have lost a child and are feeling hurt and lost, this book is a great starting point for you to acknowledge your loss, celebrate your child’s life and find hope.
Are you ready to begin your journey towards healing?
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So often in North American society, dads are expected to follow certain rules. Manly men do not express emotions in public, nor do they ever cry. Dads are expected to be the rock of the family, to hide their self-doubt and pain from the world.
Typically, women are viewed as nurturers, the pillars of the family who are allowed to show softness and emotion without judgement. Whether we like it or not in our age of gender equality, moms are the parents who give birth and sacrifice their bodies, their sleep, and sometimes their careers to raise healthy babies. The connection moms have with their children is instant. If it were possible, a lot of men would switch roles with their wives for that opportunity to bond.
Early in our marriage, Gerry and I read the book Men are from Mars, Woman are from Venus by John Gray. Chapter three is titled “Men Go to Their Caves and Women Talk.” While the book is not about grieving, it does offer some insight into the differences between men and women that can help us understand each other. The gist of the chapter is that while most women are quite comfortable talking about their issues and their feelings, most men prefer to be alone with their thoughts and may retreat into a “cave.” It seems socially acceptable for women to cry publically, yet there is a double standard when it comes to crying men.
Because of these differences, dads can be forgotten mourners, left feeling alone in their grief.
If you are a bereaved father, please know it really is okay for you to express your emotions publicly. If that is something that makes you uncomfortable, let your wife, or someone close to you, know that you are still grieving. Let them know what you need. Accept that it isn’t always possible for you to be the “rock.” In fact, in order for you to be a rock, you need to take care of yourself emotionally to keep any unaddressed grief from manifesting itself in the form of physical ailments.
If you are a bereaved mother, please know that your husband is grieving even though he may not express it outwardly very often. Try to support his need to be alone, even though it may feel like he is abandoning you or not grieving at all.
Recognizing that there are differences in the way people mourn opens the door to healing for everyone. Perhaps we can even learn from one another.
Melanie Delorme was a content English teacher, wife, mother, sister and friend when without warning she gained the title of bereaved parent when her eight-year-old son Garrett was accidentally killed in a hunting accident. Her road to healing brought her to write her first book. Melanie is involved with her local chapter of Compassionate Friends and is passionate about offering hope to other bereaved parents.
She is currently living on a ranch in Southern Saskatchewan with her husband, Gerry, and their two children.
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Melanie’s Top Ten Favorite Children’s Movies
- Monster’s Inc
- Beauty and the Beast
- The Fox and The Hound
- Captain Underpants
- The Incredibles
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