A Grief Support Blog

This blog will allow you the opportunity to acquire both support and guidance after experiencing a significant loss.

Is There Hope After You Lose a Child?

Child Loss Death Gun Weapon Hope Recover

Ed Owens is a former police officer and United States military member who currently serves as the Vice President of the Grief Recovery Institute. He took the time to share his journey into grief recovery, which is deeply personal and profound and stems from a tragic event that shattered his world.


As a law enforcement officer for 23 years, Ed was accustomed to navigating challenges with resilience. However, the death of his three-and-a-half-year-old son, Eddie Ryan, brought him to a breaking point. 


One night after work, his evening took a tragic turn when Ed's son found his backup gun. The locking mechanism on the issued metal storage box that his backup gun was in failed to keep it secure, resulting in a fatal accident. Despite Ed's extensive training and efforts to save his son, Eddie Ryan passed away after a four-hour struggle in surgery. Feelings of guilt and self-blame compounded the profound grief that followed as Ed grappled with the belief that he had failed to protect his child.


Ed shares the initial aftermath of his son's death, describing the overwhelming sense of chaos and pain that consumed him. He recounts feeling bombarded with well-intentioned but ultimately unhelpful advice and support from others, leading to a sense of isolation and desperation.


Ed discusses the constant barrage of painful memories and emotions that plagued him day and night. He vividly describes the sensation of being trapped in a loop, unable to escape the overwhelming flood of grief and regret.


Many of Ed's friends and even professionals told him this feeling of emptiness and sadness was his new normal, but he refused to accept the bleak narrative that his grief would be a lifelong sentence of suffering. Despite the overwhelming pain and desperation he experienced, Ed remained steadfast in his belief that there had to be a way to reconcile his desire for healing with the reality of his loss.


Over five years, Ed embarked on a relentless pursuit of relief, trying various approaches, from counseling to medication to numbing the pain with alcohol. However, none of these strategies provided the solace he desperately sought. Instead, he found himself trapped in a cycle of self-criticism and despair, unable to escape the relentless grip of grief.


Ed talks about compartmentalization, a coping mechanism ingrained in his background as a law enforcement officer and combat veteran. While compartmentalization may be necessary in specific contexts, it’s limiting in processing profound emotional pain and loss.


Ed was determined to defy the label of "the dad who lost his son," refusing to let his identity be defined solely by his grief. Through his candid reflections, Ed offers a message of hope and resilience, affirming that there are other options beyond the suffocating grip of pain and despair.


Following the dissolution of his marriage and a period of deep sorrow, Ed was introduced to the Grief Recovery Method by a friend. Despite initial skepticism, Ed felt a glimmer of hope and decided to enroll in a Grief Recovery class.


Initially, Ed was apprehensive and skeptical; however, his determination to find relief from the suffocating grip of grief outweighed his doubts. Ed almost walked away from the class out of fear but ultimately decided to trust the process and continue.


Ed is grateful for finding healing through the Grief Recovery Method. He acknowledges the years spent in darkness and pain, recognizing that it wasn't anyone's fault but rather a result of not having the necessary tools to cope with grief.


It is crucial to spread awareness about the availability of tools for dealing with grief, and Ed urges others not to wait to seek help. It’s a misconception that one must wait a certain period before addressing one's grief. According to Ed, the most accurate picture often emerges in the immediate aftermath of loss.


Ed's mission is now to offer hope and support to others grappling with grief, underscoring the transformative power of finding the right tools for healing.





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