Lonely Boy anthology

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Crying is a strength, not weakness…

Many have criticized news man Anderson Cooper for what they consider diluting his credibility by doing a daytime talk show. Whatever you think of it though, you have to give him credit for shining a light on topics that are important to him. One such topic is loss and how “closure” is not something that can easily happen, or happen at all, when missing a loved one. All we can hope for is that time and working through it lessens the pain of the loss, and that missing that person becomes less of a burden and more a remembrance.

Here’s his latest show, wherein he calls on his mom’s wisdom to help him, and his guests tell the emotional truth about their experiences.

This particular clip is of a boy, Kyle, who lost his dad at 10, two years ago (coincidentally the same age that Anderson Cooper was when his father died). Kyle tells Anderson he allows himself to talk about his dad and cry as much as he feels he has to because it helps him. Kyle says that crying is a sign of strength, not weakness. Wise words for a 12 year old.

Kyle also talked about feeling frightened when his father died, and in the aftermath he felt that it was his duty now to step up and look after his mom and baby sister. This is an all too common result of father-loss (whether death or divorce), causing a boy to grow up too fast.

I recommend watching the show. It’s not a topic Mr. Cooper is likely to let go of.

Anderson Cooper celebrates his mom, remembers his dad

Sometimes when you ask a man who grew up without a father about his dad, he will immediately talk about his mother. He’ll talk about her strength and her sacrifice in having to play both roles. Sometimes he’ll even say that she was so good at it, that he didn’t know what he was missing.

Not Anderson Cooper. In his 2006 book, Dispatches from the Edge, he wrote:

“Sometimes I wonder if I’m the person I was born to be, if the life I’ve lived really is the one I was meant to, or if it is some half life, a mutation engineered by loss, cobbled together by the will to survive.” 

Yesterday, on his new daytime television talk show, he interviewed his 87 year old mother, Gloria Vanderbilt. Now, apart from his infectious giggle, this serious news anchor is usually pretty composed.  What brought tears to his eyes on this day were memories of his father, who died when he was 10, and specifically, his mother telling him his dad would have been so proud of  the man he became and his accomplishments.

The interview also covers the suicide of his brother.

Some people like to criticize Mr. Cooper for aspects of his personal life he doesn’t talk about but I think it’s more important that he has never shied away from discussing his father and brother and the impact their loss has had on his life. It takes courage but it helps others in immeasurable ways to use your public platform for the good.

Watch the show here.

Daddy’s Song

Failing boys

Last month the Globe & Mail had a series of articles on so-called failing boys, causes, solutions. One reaction to the series was by a young, Toronto student who wrote this illuminating article:

16-year-old: I’m fatherless, black, but no “failing boy”

This insightful youth also contributed an article to the Toronto Star a few years back:

Choices for children with no dads

It’s not a predicament any boy wants to be in, but good to know there is an awareness and some great role models out there for lonely boys.

Fatherhood 4.0 & Superdad

As part of my fall books preview for the Post Media, I discovered new fatherhood publications that are worth a peek:
Two disparate but important books explore fatherhood and all it means. Fatherhood 4.0: New iDad Applications Across Cultures, edited by journalist and broadcaster Dalton Higgins, is an anthology of stories that looks at the responsibilities of fathers through African and Aboriginal Canadian eyes.
In Superdad: A Memoir of Rebellion, Drugs and Fatherhood, National Magazine Awardwinner and former Citizen writer Christopher Shulgan recounts his journey from the distraction of drug addiction to the embracement of fatherhood. 


Read more: http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/titles+rake+this+year+crop+fall+books/3512793/story.html#ixzz16Gu5t19s

Father’s Day

On a day like today we are inundated with happy, heart-felt stories about fathers and their kids. But it’s important to remember too, that not all relationships have been full of sunshine and light. It’s a tough day for some fathers and sons out there, a relationship that is vital but sometimes rife with complications.  Here are a few news stories out this week and today for Father’s Day:

We Need Fathers to Step Up, by Barack Obama

Not all hearts and flowers

Fathers Matter More Now than Ever

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