I listened to a very moving interview with Casey Gauntt the other day. (My thanks to Compassionate Coach Tara Nash for putting on her inspirational Conscious Grief series). Casey is a corporate attorney turned grief mentor after the death of his 24-year-old son, Jimmy, who was accidentally struck by a car in 2008.
Several of his anecdotes moved me to tears.
How impossible it was for Casey and his wife Hilary to attend the weddings and baby showers of Jimmy’s friends, until Jimmy’s best friend John asked Casey to be his best man in lieu of Jimmy. When Casey, struggling to write an appropriate toast, was called to (for the first time) look through Jimmy’s room, he found an old peer recommendation Jimmy had written for his best friend’s application to Brown University—the perfect testimonial to read at the wedding.
How a business acquaintance, Charles, who had also lost a grown child in a car accident, called Casey and told him he was now part of “the shittiest brotherhood” and would be checking on him regularly. Charles, and now Casey, regularly cold call men who have lost children to provide support and community.
How the process of grieving could not move forward without Casey facing his anger and denial around his father’s suicide when Casey was only 20 years old. I could go on. So many moving stories. Casey wrote a memoir, Suffering Is the Only Honest Work, sharing his journey of grief and healing in the face of unspeakable tragedy—and delving into spiritual and mystical matters in the process.
YOUR TURN: Do YOU have unresolved anger and grief? What do you need to facilitate healing?