Kelly Farley and his wife were living their best lives. They were both successful engineers climbing the corporate ladder, getting ahead in life.
"We put off having children for a while to get our careers going," said Farley. "When we decided to have children, we ended up having to go through fertility treatments."
After a series of fertility treatments, Kelly and his wife became pregnant with their first child, Katie. That excitement quickly turned to sorrow when they lost Katie in the fall of 2004.
About a year later, they decided that they would try to conceive again. This time it was a little boy and they felt blessed that Noah was going to be a part of their lives. Unfortunately, Noah passed away in the summer of 2006.
"After the first loss, I was trying to run from the grief. I had never seen a grown man cry until it was me trying to fight it off," said Farley. "I didn't know it was acceptable for a man to feel pain and surrender."
Kelly says he didn’t want to get out of bed and for the most part he didn’t for about 3 months. All of the pain from the loss of Noah and all of the pain he buried after the loss of Katie rushed to the surface.
"Eventually, I surrendered and realized I needed help. I reluctantly decided to meet with a counsellor and finally admitted that I was dealing with depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I refused to give in and was determined not to let this define me," Kelly explained.
Kelly looked for resources and for a support system to help him through this difficult time, but he soon realized that nothing existed for fathers dealing with the loss of a child.
"I began a small blog called the Grieving Dads Project which provided an outlet for me and it provided a valuable resource for the men that grieved alone and in silence," said Kelly.
The response was so overwhelming that Kelly felt he had to do more. He decided to write a book about his journey, Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back.
"It has inspired others to take action to find a purpose to honour their children," said Kelly. "It has created a ripple effect, a movement that says that it’s okay for me to feel, to hurt and to share my emotions."
Today on Connections, Kelly shares his story and talks more about the Grieving Dads project and his book, Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back.