Too often, families cope with a death in the family as an entirely private experience. The authors of The Group oversee a support program for widowed parents at the University of North Carolina while empowerHER provides meaningful connections and special events for girls who lost their mothers. These two innovative programs have recently partnered to serve the needs of bereaved families and to collaborate in a unique and powerful way. Join us for an evening of conversation about the power of shared healing.
On a mid-October evening, a group of fathers gathered around a conference table and met each other for the first time. None of the men had ever thought of himself a "support group kind of guy" and each felt entirely out of place. In fact, nothing about their lives felt normal anymore.
The Group: Seven Widowed Fathers Reimagine Life chronicles the challenges and triumphs of seven men whose wives died from cancer and were left to raise their young children entirely on their own. Brought together by tragedy, the fathers - Neill, Dan, Bruce, Karl, Joe, Steve, and Russ - forged an uncommon bond. Over time, group meetings evolved into a forum for reinvention and transformed the men in unexpected ways. Through the fathers' poignant interactions, The Group illustrates that while some wounds never fully heal, each of us has the potential to construct a new and meaningful future.
Rosenstein and Yopp, co-leaders of the support group, weave together the fathers' stories with contemporary research on grief and adaptation. The Group traces a compelling journey of healing and personal discovery that no book has ever captured before. The men's touching efforts to care for their families, grieve for their wives, and reimagine their futures will inspire anyone who has suffered a major loss.
Donald L. Rosenstein, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where he is Director of the UNC Comprehensive Cancer Support Program and Vice-Chair of the Division of Hospital Psychiatry. He is currently the President of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society.