Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Men and Grief

We often criticize men for not grieving in an open way, but that is not how most men grieve.

Men typically grieve by doing, vs. the open showing of tears, and this should be valued just as we need to have room for people grieving their loss through tears. Men in history have done many great things out of great loss as have women, but I hear more complaints about men not showing feeling at a loss than women. What is missed is the beauty of men creating something out of grief with great action.

I propose that the geodesic dome by Buckminster Fuller many never have existed if he had not lost his daughter. “Fuller's young daughter Alexandra died from complications from polio and spinal meningitis. Allegedly, he felt responsible and this caused him to drink frequently and to contemplate suicide for a while. He finally chose to embark on "an experiment, to find what a single individual [could] contribute to changing the world and benefiting all humanity."” (Wikipedia)

In 1927 Fuller resolved to think independently which included a commitment to "the search for the principles governing the universe and help advance the evolution of humanity in accordance with them... finding ways of doing more with less to the end that all people everywhere can have more and more."

After this time came Buckminster Fuller’s invention of the geodesic dome, “the lightest, strongest, and most cost-effective structure ever devised”.

To paraphrase my good friend Tom Golden who wrote the leading book on men and grief, Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing:  Don’t ask a man who has had a loss how do you feel; ask him what do you need to do to deal with this loss?

By Martin Brossman Author of: Finding Our Fire - Enhancing men's connection to heart, passion and strength.

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