I ended a big happy weekend last night by relaxing on the couch watching TV with my husband. I was about to drift off into an early bedtime when Secret Millionaire came on tickling my curiosity. The show takes successful professionals who make a lot of money and connects them with charitable organizations in a community. Without disclosign their wealth, they volunteer for and learn about these organizations. At the end of the show, they reveal their truth selves and their wealth and donate large amounts of money at their discretion to each of the charities. All around it's a feel good REAL reality show and we've always felt inspired by watching.
Within the first five minutes of the show it was clear we were in for much more of an emotional journey with this particular story. The internet millionaire, husband, and father of five shared that four of his children they were able to keep on Earth. Through tears, he relayed the story of the phone call he got from his wife near the due date of their son that "there was no heartbeat". As soon as he uttered those words, the tears convulsed out of me in a way I have not felt for YEARS!!! My husband too felt the diluge and had to leave the room, spilling tears of his own.
I stayed paralized in emotions throughout most of the episode through the visit to an organization that took care of children with special needs, offering training classes, and equipment. One particular child lives with Cerebral Palsy and the center made him a sensory tent out of ordinary objects which immediately got in and adored!!
The boy's father stole away in tears, tears of happiness, pride, and I am sure gratittude. When the Secret Millionaire sat down with him, the father explained that, like the SM, he worked too much to be ab le to provide for his family and the needs of his son. He didn't get to go to the center to watch his son discover basic life skills like is wife did. Seeing his son in the sensory tent in their home and the happineness it brought him gave him pride in all his hard work, that it is making a difference yet he wishes he didn't have to work so much so that he could see more moments like this. The Work-A-Holic Secret Millionaire could relate, before the loss of his son and amost losing his own life in a span of 4 months, he too worked too much and missed out on the wonderful wonders of life. The part that got me again, was watching and listening to him relating to now be able to see all of the new things his son was doing because he was working. It left me wondering if he was only talking about his living children...
Towards the end of the episode, the modd lightened and miracles were being performed both in the charities and in the SM. I was able to peel myself off the couch and enjoy watching three charities receive large sums of donations from him.
After the episode ended, I was forced to think about the emotional hurricane that had just rocked my entire being for the last hour, to be honest I wasn't sure it was over.
In talking with my husband later I learned that he thought it juts triggered my heartache over our son. Maybe so, but what touched me even more was a father speaking openly, using all emotions, unabated for hte whole world to see.
Throughout this grief journey, the majority of my contacts and conversations have been with Angel Mommies and only then do I get the rare accounts of their partners' pain. Hearing these accounts second hand pulls at my heart strings yet seeing a father speak on the loss of his child with raw emotion and no holds bar collapses everything I am used to in hte grief world. I have seen my husband's pain for the last three years, I am familiar, often engrossed in the muddy emotions that losing a son leaves a daddy with.
Through the years his emotions have changed, they are still there but present themselves in a different capacity. Seeing this father share his story with the world brought me back to the silent tears my husband would cry over his son becuase there was not sound, word, or utterance needed when the pain is that great. The Secret Millionaire's openness brought back the raw emotion of loss, deep in the wound, though life covers it with scabs and scars.
I guess until that point I got the idea that Angel Mommies bare the brunt of the emotional journey of losing a child, not to say that Angel Daddies don't feel the emotions too, but since the Mommies are usually the only ones that are vocal and social about it, I always thought we Mommies needed to talk about it more.
I am proud of him for sharing his tragedy with the world and bringing a father's voice to child loss, although I know that was not the point of the show...I now have more respect for and will search harder for an Angel Daddy who speaks.