David Roberts

David J. Roberts, LMSW, CASAC, became a parent who experienced the death of a child, after his daughter Jeannine died of cancer on 3/1/03 at the age of 18. He is a retired addiction professional and is also an adjunct professor in the psychology and psychology-child life departments at Utica College, Utica, New York. He is a volunteer for Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc, in New Hartford, New York and the chapter leader for The Compassionate Friends of the Mohawk Valley.

Dave has presented several workshops at national conferences of The Compassionate Friends and Bereaved Parents of The USA, in the past. Dave was also the opening keynote speaker at the 2011 national gathering of the Bereaved Parents of the USA in Reston, Virginia. He is also a featured speaker, workshop presenter and coach for Aspire Place.(www.aspireplace.com).

Dave is a contributing writer for the Open to Hope Foundation and The Grief Toolbox. He has contributed articles to several other grief and self- improvement sites and publications, as well. Dave has co-authored two books with Linda Findlay of Mourning Discoveries. One is on navigating grief during the holidays and the other is on pet loss. He is also a Huffington Post blogger.

One of Dave's articles” My Daughter is Never Far Away" can also be found in the book Open to Hope: Inspirational Stories of Healing and Loss.

Excerpts from Dave's article for The Open to Hope Foundation, called The Broken Places, were featured in the 2012 Paraclete Press DVD video, Grieving the Sudden Death of a Loved One.

Dave has also appeared on Open to Hope’s radio show, Healing the Grieving Heart show and their television show, Finding Hope After Loss.

Dave’s website: www.bootsyandangel.com is devoted to providing support and resources for individuals experiencing loss.

Deceased Daughter is Never Far Away No Comments

Before my daughter Jeannine died in 2003, I was never one to believe in things that I could not see. My version of reality was defined by hard evidence, not by intuition or feel. Jeannine has given me signs of her presence in a variety of different ways since her death. As a result, my new reality has been defined more by what I feel and experience, then hard facts. With that in mind, I would like to describe one of my more memorable experiences following Jeannine’s death…

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Personal Growth Following a Loss: One Parent’s Story No Comments

According to Dictionary.com, Providence is defined as, among other things, the foreseeing care and guidance of nature over the creatures of the earth. Until May of 2002, I would have accepted that definition without reservation. I felt protected and maybe even immune from the tragedy that affected other individuals in society. Arrogance didn’t drive this perception; I just never allowed my mind to go to the deep, dark places where others already had been. However, providence did blink (mightily, I might add)…

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The Importance of Adequate Support for the Bereaved No Comments

In his book, The Spiritual Lives of Bereaved Parents, Dennis Klass, Ph.D., discusses the importance of bereaved parents maintaining connection with their deceased children in communities that support that connection. Our ability as bereaved parents to access and receive support from other parents who understand our pain is critical to us feeling less isolated in our grief. Adequate support also is crucial in helping us adjust to a world without the physical presence of our children…

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A Father’s Perspective on Grief No Comments

Since early 2003 I have embarked on a journey of enlightenment and discovery that has redefined me as a person and in the process has helped me become a more loving and spiritually centered person. There are days where I wish my redefinition of self hadn’t come at such a cost to my family and me. On May 26,2002, my then 18 year old daughter Jeannine was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of cancer called alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a disease that affected her connective muscle tissue…

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Mother Taught Son How to Grieve With Dignity No Comments

My mother, Sadie B. Roberts, died on March 11, 1994 at the age of 77, due to complications arising from a massive bacterial infection. She died less than 24 hours after being admitted to the hospital. Her death left a tremendous void in my life. My mother raised me as a single parent, since I was five years old. My father left us and was never heard from again. I am also an only child, so my mother was all that I had growing up. When she died, I found myself at 38 years of age, an orphan, even though I was married…

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Coping with the Death of a Child No Comments

Coping with the Death of a Child is undoubtedly the worst experience a parent will go through. David J. Roberts, LMSW, CASAC, became a parent who experienced the death of a child, after his daughter Jeannine died of cancer on 3/1/03 at the age of 18. David has kindly agreed to share his experience of coping with the death of his beautiful daughter Jeannine and we hope that his experience might help you if you have gone through a similar experience. My life up until 2002, was fairly routine, probably even boring by many people’s standards…

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A Pain Unlike Any Other No Comments

I am 57 years old and no stranger to loss. My first experience was when I was five years old. My father, Austin, abandoned my mother and me for reasons that are still unclear to me; I never saw my father again. When I was fourteen, my mother discovered that he had died when I was eleven years old. On March 11,1994, my mother Sadie, died of a massive bacterial infection. The death of my last surviving parent was extremely painful not only because my mother was a huge influence in my life, but also because I felt orphaned…

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The Tigger in All of Us No Comments

A good friend of mine, who has also experienced the death of a child, sent me a clip of the song “The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers” on April 27th of this year, which would have been my daughter Jeannine’s 28th birthday. Jeannine became forever 18 on 3/1/03 as a result of a rare and aggressive form of sarcoma. Jeannine’s favorite Disney character was Tigger. Jeannine loved Tigger because he bounced and was the only one. Jeannine certainly bounced with what seemed to be an endless supply of energy during this lifetime…

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Why Ask Questions About Your Grief Journey? No Comments

I recently had the honor of being the opening keynote speaker for this year’s national gathering of the Bereaved Parents of the USA. I spoke about the evolution of my grief and observations and lessons learned during the past eight-plus years that have helped me adjust to the reality of life without the physical presence of my daughter Jeannine. One of the things that I addressed was my need to ask “what if,” “could have,” “should have,” and “why” questions throughout my early grief…

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Terminal Grief No Comments

My life as I knew it ended on May 26, 2002, when my eighteen-year-old daughter Jeannine was diagnosed with alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare, aggressive and incurable form of cancer. Jeannine died on March 1, 2003, at the age of 18, approximately ten months after diagnosis. When she was diagnosed, the experience itself was surreal. In the blink of an eye, I went from the everyday joys of being a parent to a vibrant daughter to the horror of having that same child diagnosed with a terminal illness…

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