By Scott Mastley —

My first- and second-grade daughters, Margo and Molly, were surprised to see their daddy blinking back tears while watching a dog grooming show on TV.  They were successfully avoiding bedtime by snuggling with me on the couch, so I found a show that we could watch together, and even though I had no interest in the Groomer of the Year, it was age-appropriate for them.

Then something happened that instantly and emotionally connected me to the outcome of the show.  One of the two finalists mentioned that he had buried his brother six months earlier and hoped to earn a life-changing win for his business and his family.

This television competitor was in my club, a club that neither of us wanted to join, one that requires a harsh initiation.  We had to endure the loss of our only siblings, and each of us lost our brother.  That was enough to put me in his cheering section. Knowing that he had suffered the absence of his brother made me hope for his victory.  I knew how badly he needed the force of something positive in his life.

When the winner was announced, and my guy won, he fell to one knee and covered his face with his hands.  He talked through tears about losing his brother to a violent lifestyle and described the transformative power that this honor would bring to his life. He would move his wife and child out of their dangerous neighborhood and begin a new legacy, get a fresh start.  I was saddened by his loss, endeared to him by his vulnerability, and uplifted by his ability to go after and attain a new life for himself and his family.  I cried a little, and my girls saw me.

I cry now. That’s just the way it is. When Artist, the newly crowned Groomer of the Year, drove off in his mobile-pet-grooming-studio holding a check for $50,000, I was proud of him.  Sometimes a smile and a tear share a moment and it was nice to share that one with my daughters.  Go Artist!

Scott Mastley, surviving sibling and author of Life With Grief; When a Brother or Sister Dies, can be reached at

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Scott Mastley

Scott Mastley

After losing his brother in a car accident, Scott Mastley found The Compassionate Friends and became a regular at the monthly sibling group meetings. He helped lead the sibling group and eventually was asked to be the Sibling Representative for metro Atlanta. This led to opportunities to raise awareness by appearing on Peachtree Mornings television show and Fox 5 News. He searched for resources focused on sibling grief, and after finding none, wrote Surviving a Sibling, a book for surviving siblings and those who love them. Scott lives in Suwanee, GA with his wife, Doreen, and two daughters, Molly and Margo. He has a consulting business, Mastley Performance Group, that provides human resources and safety consulting to growing businesses, speaking/training, and coaching. Scott appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” discussing “Surviving a Sibling.” To hear Scott being interviewed on this show by Dr. Gloria and Dr. Heidi Horsley, click on the following link:

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