What We Expect of Men

As a bi-coastal radio show, Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley interview experts around the world. This episode features Dr. Bob Baugher, a psychology instructor at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington. He teaches courses in death education and psychology. He’s also a popular national speaker, and has written several articles and seven books on grief and bereavement. His most current project is a video, “Men & Their Grief; 20 Years Later,” where he follows men on their grief journey over a two decade period.

People are more alike than they are different, says Dr. Baugher, and that’s true when talking about men vs. women in grief. There are many factors at play, including how society has “taught” men and women to grieve. However, everyone feels fear, anger, loss, and sadness in grief. This project shows what a grief journey looks like for a select group of men. It’s not indicative of what’s “normal” and Dr. Baugher says there are many instances that complement how women grieve.

What We Expect of Men

People expect men to be both macho and manly, but also sensitive and caring depending on the situation. That’s a tall order to fill. For many men in grief, they feel pressure (whether real or not) to be the strong one—especially in a situation like the death of a child, where they feel they need to care for their partner/mother of the child, too. Getting support is critical.

For some men, it’s off-putting and intimidating to seek out support. “Don’t ask a man necessarily, ‘how do you feel about that?’” he says. Instead, ask, “What’s going on in your body?” or another specific question that can be answered. “What’s going on in your heart?” is another great lead.

Bob Baugher

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Bob Baugher, Ph.D., is a Psychology Instructor at Highline Community College in Des Moines, Washington where he teaches courses in Psychology and Death Education. As a trainer for LivingWorks he has trained more than 1,000 people in suicide intervention. He has given more than 600 workshops on grief and loss across the U.S. including England, South Africa, and Namibia. As a professional advisor to the South King County Chapter of The Compassionate Friends, Bob has been invited to speak at many of the TCF national conferences during the past 20 years. He earned a certificate in Thanatology from the Association for Death Education and Counseling and in the 1990s he was a clinician with University of Washington School of Nursing Parent Bereavement Project. Bob has written several articles and seven books on the bereavement process. Reach him at b_kbaugher@yahoo.com. Dr. Baugher appeared on the radio show "Healing the Grieving Heart" with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss Coping with Anger and Guilt After a Loss.

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