Colin Campbell is a lot of things - writer, husband, friend - but the role he identifies with most is being a father. So, when his two teenage children, Ruby & Hart, were killed by a drunk driver in 2019, Colin was lost and terrified. Who was he without his kids? How would he survive the intensity of grief? Soon after their deaths, well-meaning friends and family would say, "There are no words," but for Colin, this phrase wasn't comforting. It left him feeling more alone because what he really needed were words. Words so he could talk about Ruby & Hart. Words to help articulate his pain. And words from others who shared what they remembered and missed about his children. Colin's book, Finding the Words: Working Through Profound Loss With Hope and Purpose, outlines the words and actions that helped him stay close to Ruby & Hart while learning to live in a world without them.
Topics in our conversation:
- How Colin continues to honor and remember Ruby & Hart
- The rituals and routines that were helpful in the early days of grief
- How Colin navigates guilt and anger
- Learning to lean into the pain
- Finding ways for joy to live alongside grief
- The myth that the death of a child leads to divorce
- How Colin continues to embody being a father
Colin's article in The Atlantic - What Losing My Two Children Taught Me About Grief
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Grief Out Loud is supported in part by the Chester Stephan Endowment Fund in loving memory by the estate of Theodore R. Stephan.