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the loss of a child

The Loss of a Child: One Father’s Story


Having a special needs child is one of the biggest challenges a parent can face. But the loss of a child is so inconceivably painful, many of us can’t bear the thought of it. Today we talk to a man who has endured both.

Zane Shook’s baby had all the chips stacked against him. The doctor gave Zane and his wife the option to abort, but despite the odds, they committed to having their child. Wyatt was born with a chromosomal disorder and severe birth defects that prevented him from ever speaking. He was mentally challenged and unable to walk, but that didn’t keep him from laughing and enjoying life. Wyatt courageously fought to live, but just shy of his eighteenth birthday, he lost the fight.

Zane Shook talks about the little warrior his son was, the joy Wyatt brought to his life, and how he survived the insurmountable grief of losing him. You will want to pay close attention to this special episode.

The dying away of all we thought mattered, with the birth of the only thing that truly matters is dadhood.–Zane Shook

A Warrior Named Wyatt

“I want to tell you about a warrior.
A warrior named Wyatt Zane.
My mentor, hero, cuddle and battle buddy, my son, my king…

Wyatt means small courageous fighter, and courageous in battle.
He lived up to that name.
We won many battles, but sadly, we lost our war…

The only thing harder than losing a child is learning to live again.
You have to find a way to forgive yourself.

When we are shattered, we get to choose how we put ourselves back together.
From pain comes power.
In grief, can greatness be born.
it is beautifully tragic.
Whoever, where ever you are, if you can hear my voice.
I believe in YOU!!
For all the fathers fighting their own battles, big and small,
KNOW THIS…
You are stronger than you realize.
Sleep is overrated, you will endure.
If you can learn to still yourself when you are tired, confused and afraid,
you will not only find a special beauty in that moment, but in yourself.
For this is the fire in which we are truly forged.
Trust your instincts, live, laugh, and love with ferocity.
Wyatt Zane Shook
My Lil Warrior and King
My greatest love”

~Zane Shook

What You’ll Learn

• How learn to live again without your children
• The grief process when losing a child
• Accepting that the grief will be a part of you
• Finding inspiration to keep you grounded
• The guilt a father feels after losing a child
• Giving yourself permission to live again
• When times get dark, bathe in the darkness. Don’t try to fight it.
• Be methodical and precise despite fear and anxiety.
• Put one foot in front of the other—not moving on, but moving forward.
• Zane honors his son Wyatt by staying strong.
• Put a system in place to check yourself.
• How Zane keeps positive—volunteer, go outdoors, hobbies, martial arts, writing, sharing his story with other parents.
• Zane’s upcoming books

MENTIONED EPISODES:

Raising Kids with the Dichotomy of Leadership with Jocko Willink


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faith through loss

Glory and Strength: Keeping the Faith Through Loss with Nate Edmonds


The death of a spouse is something that’s almost impossible to comprehend. How can you go on without the love of your life? How do you survive without the mother of your children? Going through something this life-altering can cause a man to question his faith and wonder if he will ever find happiness again.

Today’s guest is Nate Edmonds. He is a musician, worship leader, and author of More Than All the Glories. Nate’s story is brutally tragic. He was living his dream as a touring musician with his wife, Dana. Life couldn’t get any better, when they had two kids, until Dana was suddenly taken from him by an aggressive cancer.

Nate talks frankly about being tested, not only as a husband and father, but also as a spiritual leader. He tells the heartbreaking story of Dana’s last days, and how he and his children tapped into their faith to survive. He also reveals how he fought through the darkness and rebuilt his life and his family to live in a happiness he has never known.

Nate’s story is a testament to the power of faith in the face of devastation and grief. Don’t miss this powerful interview.

Nate Edmonds

Growing up the son of a minister, Nate Edmonds has lived a life in search of the heart of God as far back as he can remember.  In his 25 years of ministry, he has held many positions from administrative and broadcast roles to leading worship and writing songs through Fuzed Worship, an outreach of Joyce Meyer Ministries.  After tragedy struck his family in 2015, Nate set out on a path of discovery.  In 2017, he was ordained as the Worship Pastor of Element Church, in Wentzville, Missouri.  Through his latest book and music project, MORE THAN ALL THE GLORIES, Nate tells his families dramatic story of love and redemption.  Together with his beautiful wife Amy and their 5 children, Nate’s vision for his life is to bring glory to Christ through his story and songs.


MORE THAN ALL THE GLORIES: A Memoir of Love and Redemption

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28 (ESV) If you need hope, encouragement, and a renewed faith in the goodness of God, this book is for you. MORE THAN ALL THE GLORIES is simply captivating. In it, Nate Edmonds shares with vivid detail, his family’s story of love and redemption. He painstakingly relives the trials and suffering his family experienced through a battle with cancer and rebuilding an entirely new life after a tragedy. But this memoir is not a sad story full of lamenting or bitter questions. Rather, it’s a celebration of God’s faithfulness in all seasons of life. Nate’s journey exemplifies Romans 8:28, “God works all things together for good.” It reveals the glory of God in suffering. It shines the light of truth that is so hard to see in the middle of the storm.

Look for truth. Everyone has the ability to hear the voice of God.

What You’ll Learn

  • Nate’s wife’s sudden cancer diagnosis
  • How he and Dana broke the news to their six and eight-year-old kids that their mom was dying
  • Within a month, Dana went from being totally normal and running a business to sleeping 20 hours a day.
  • What the stress and anxiety of her illness did to his body.
  • Nate had a hard time asking for help.
  • He eventually learned he had to take care of himself to be strong for his family.
  • The words that have lead Nate all his life, “For His glory, by His grace.”
  • Being resilient with faith
  • How to hear the voice, the internal guidance from God
  • How he and Dana made the decision to stop cancer treatment.
  • How Nate trusted the journey of Dana’s death. If God planned it, He also gave Nate the strength to get through it
  • Dana made videos for her kids to watch after her death each year up into their twenties.
  • How he met his future wife, Amy, while he and Dana were making arrangements at the funeral home.
  • 3 months after Dana died, Nate moved on. He married Amy within 30 days of the first date.
  • The people who were still grieving for Dana were angry with him, but he had pre-grieved.
  • The love for Dana was not passionate love. Amy ignited something new in him.
  • How Nate manages his blended family.
  • How he sees the goodness of God in all the hardship and loss.
  • What to do when kids have a crisis of faith and give up on God
  • How to reframe tragedy into a battle

MENTIONED EPISODES:

Working to Live, Not Living to Work with Aaron Walker

Wild at Heart with John Eldredge

A Father’s Last Words

 


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Nate Edmond’s Links

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When a Father Commits Suicide

When a Father Commits Suicide

We all go through dark times in our lives. Whether it’s financial difficulties, marital tension, struggles with our children, or failures in our work, we may sometimes wonder if we’re simply a burden to all those around us.

Today’s guest is Adam Schafer. He is a host on Mind Pump, one of the biggest podcasts on iTunes. Adam is not a dad, but he was the son of a father who committed suicide. Adam was seven years old when his dad shot himself, and the tragedy created a shock wave that still reverberates in his life today.

Children whose fathers commit suicide have a 50/50 chance of being suicidal themselves. Adam struggled with isolation and depression because of the impact of his father’s suicide. He shares how he uses times of darkness to forge himself into the man he is today.

'When you decide to exit out of this place early, I don’t think you realize the collateral damage that truly comes from that.'—Adam Schafer #suicide #depression #mentalhealth #men #dads #fathers Click To Tweet

Adam Schafer’s Story

One day, Adam’s uncle came to pick him up from school. He didn’t see his uncle often, so it was a nice surprise for Adam. But instead of going home, he was taken to a neighbor’s house where the whole family was waiting in tears. Adam was told his father shot himself on accident while cleaning his gun. Of course, this wasn’t the truth.

Adam couldn’t process the emotions. He felt guilty because he didn’t cry at the funeral. When Adam returned to school, he didn’t know what to tell the other kids about his father. He told them his dad died in the Air Force and let them fill in the blanks.

His young mom was at a loss as to what to do. She had to take care of Adam and his younger sister. A year later, she married the first man who came into her life. It was an abusive relationship, and at as young as 8 years old, Adam was between his mom and stepdad breaking up fights.

At the same time, they were a very Christian family. Adam learned and listened in church how people were supposed to treat each other, but he would see the opposite at home. He remembers trying to teach his mom and step dad how to communicate with each other. At the age of 10, he felt like he was the most mature person in the household.

Adam’s mother isolated them, avoiding the stigma that came with the suicide. Because of this, Adam never developed certain social skills that most people take for granted, like how to enjoy family gatherings and how to receive gifts. These experiences were never part of his life.

Adam is now 37 years old. Till this day, he is still sifting through the fallout from his dad’s suicide. It has been a complex and difficult journey but it has also helped Adam become more empathetic and self-aware. He has learned to smirk at times of darkness, knowing that the best times of his life are waiting for him on the other side.

'You create so much damage that a person can’t even unpack and figure out.'—Adam Schafer #suicide #depression #loss #grief #children #families #relationships Click To Tweet

What You’ll Learn

  • Why you don’t have to have a kid to be in the role of a father
  • How suicide sets up kids for failure later in life
  • How Adam pieced together his father’s suicide
  • What circumstances led to his father’s suicide
  • How the suicide destroyed Adam’s relationship with his mom
  • Why he doesn’t know how to respond to getting gifts
  • His challenges in being part of his wife’s close-knit family
  • How the Bible laid a foundation for his healing
  • How the ripple effect of his dad’s suicide trickles down to younger siblings and to generations past, present, and future
  • Adam’s battle with depression after getting off testosterone
  • His message for dads who are suffering in a pit of darkness
'You’re better off here for sure. In the darkest times, the other side of that is always the best times of my life.'—Adam Schafer #mentalhealth #mentalillness #suicide #suicideawareness #dads #men #fathers Click To Tweet

 

MENTIONED EPISODE: Mind Pump Ep. 837 – Larry Hagner of the Dad Edge Podcast


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Adam Schafer’s Links

mindpumpmedia.com

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TDE Brian - A Father's Last Words

A Father’s Last Words


Our guest today is Brian Froneyberger. He battled stage 4 incurable head and neck cancer. Ten days after recording this show, Brian lost the fight and passed away. He was only forty-six years old. He left behind a wife, a son, and a daughter.

What you will hear today are a father’s last words. They are a gift to all of those who listen. No man knows how much time he has left. Brian bravely opens up about facing death, how it puts life in perspective, and what really matters most before the last goodbye.

His family is now coping with the loss. They are also in trouble financially. The Dad Edge Alliance has donated $1000 to their Go Fund Me campaign. You can help too by clicking the link below.

HELP BRIAN’S FAMILY

Donate via their GoFundMe page.

'You take for granted what being here means ... being able to pick up a phone and talk to your kids.'—Brian Froneyberger #brianstrong #dads #men #fathers #family Click To Tweet

'My gratitude for me is seeing other people smile.'—Brian Froneyberger #lastwords #gratitude #death #dying #parents Click To Tweet

Brian’s Story

Brian was the typical dad and a healthy guy. He coached, worked out, and ate clean. He didn’t drink or smoke. Then in 2015, Brian noticed a spot on the back of his throat. He thought he might have to have a tonsil removed. Then a few months later, he noticed the lymph nodes in his neck were swollen. When he went for a biopsy, they told him the news that no one, especially a father, wants to hear. He had squamous cell carcinoma.

Brian had tell his wife, his kids, and his parents. The good news was that doctors assured him that it was treatable with a very high success rate of being cured. Brian had a great outlook as he began treatment.

His particular type of cancer was caused by the HPV virus. HPV a very common virus that most humans will have at some point in their lives. Most peoples’ immune systems will fight the virus and eventually clear it, but in some cases the virus can remain, causing cancer.

Unfortunately, the chemotherapy and radiation were not effective. Brian’s lymph nodes swelled even more, and he was forced to undergo a surgery called a radical dissection of the neck where doctors removed 23 lymph nodes, muscle, nerves and a section of Brian’s jugular vein. Recovery was brutal, especially because the radiation therapy made Brian’s skin weak, but all in all, it went well and the family was hopeful.

Tragically, within five months his cancer came back. This time, Brian was told that squamous cell carcinoma that recurred was incurable and that he had a year to two years to live. It was a crushing blow after being under the impression that he could beat the disease. It was a conversation he didn’t know how to have with his family.

With new treatments coming out every day, Brian went back to his normal life as much as he could as he waited for a miracle. Eventually, he couldn’t work anymore and his family fell into financial turmoil from the lack of income and the enormous amount of medical bills. Still, Brian tells us how he spent his last days, not by trying to finish a crazy bucket list, but by appreciating the simple moments in life with his family.

What You’ll Learn

  • How Brian and his wife divorced and remarried
  • How his perspective on daily life changed after his diagnosis
  • How important it is to love each other, get a long, solve problems, and talk through them
  • How it is just as important to know when not to talk
  • The balance between teaching kids accountability and also teaching them nurturing and love
  • What inspired him to make memories with his family
  • The amazing t-shirt campaign students and their families organized to help him
  • What Brian wanted to be remembered for
'My ambition to live daily is to live with love.'—Brian Froneyberger #BrianStrong #cancer #dads #fathers #parents Click To Tweet

HELP BRIAN’S FAMILY

Donate via their GoFundMe page.


Resources

Fill out an application for The Dad Edge Alliance

==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

GRAB A COPY OF THE DAD’S EDGE HERE

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We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links


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How to Use Problems as Opportunities

How to Use Problems as Opportunities


Life is full of challenges. We all will go through times of adversity. If we’re going through them alone, we might feel hopeless and cope in negative ways. How can we get away from a fearful victim mentality, and instead, use problems as opportunities?

Thursday Throwdown is our short show where we feature regular dads. Today we have Jason Palmer as our guest. He has faced adversity and loss, including the death of a child.

At first, he reached for alcohol to ease the pain, often drinking a whole bottle of whiskey just to be able to sleep at night. But deep down inside, he knew that he was meant for more. Life didn’t have to be this way.

Then Jason discovered our episode about giving up alcohol. It inspired him to give up drinking and join the Dad Edge Alliance.

He tells us how he took ownership of his life and trained himself to look at his problems as opportunities and to move from fear-based to solution-based thinking.

'You have to sit down an intentionally focus on what’s serving you and what’s not.'—Jason Palmer, The Dad Edge Alliance #dads #men #fathers #alcohol #drinking Click To Tweet

MENTIONED EPISODES: 

How Giving Up Alcohol Will Revolutionize Your Life with Ruari Fairbairns

The Life Lessons Learned from Going One Year Without Drinking

How to Conquer Alcohol Addiction with Ruari Fairbains

 

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Connect with Jason Palmer

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Resources

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==>NEW!!<== Grab a copy of The Dad’s Edge AUDIOBOOK on iTunes or Audible

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We have new Dad Edge T-Shirts!  Grab one HERE

Download a free chapter from: THE DAD’S EDGE on UNLIMITED PATIENCE HERE

Check out this free resource on: CONNECTION WITH YOUR SPOUSE

Download this free resource on:  CONNECTION WITH YOUR KIDS

Links


Hungry for more out of life?

Become a member of The Dad Edge Alliance

CLICK HERE!

Dad Edge Alliance


What did you think of the show?

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