Stories of Men

Men and grief: how can men deal with the loss of a loved one

Men and grief: how can men deal with the loss of a loved one

How men can talk about grief

Men and grief: how can men deal with the loss of a loved one

Men and grief: how can men deal with the loss of a loved one

For many, the most difficult experience we will have in our lives is coping with the loss of a loved one; but what happens when men and grief come face-to-face? How do men respond to grief? And what can be said to comfort a grieving man?

How do men respond to grief?

Of course each experience for each man is different. But, when considering men and grief, it’s worth bearing in mind that they may often not initially feel comfortable talking openly about their feelings. They may also struggle to show emotion. I have spoken to this podcast to talk about my own case.

When my father was taken off life-support after having a fatal heart attack, I found that my initial reaction was a sense of numbness to the experience. It was initially too large, too unfathomable an event to process. How could someone who had brought me into the world and always been there as a guide and a presence suddenly just cease to exist? 

Many of my female family members openly cried during my father’s time in intensive care. Many again openly cried at his funeral. But such an immediate outlet of emotions was not available to me. I sat with the experience. It haunted me in my dreams, dreams in which my father would return but only briefly, both he and I knowing that, even in that dream world, his presence had become ephemeral, spirit-like. He could no longer exist in a substantial form.

In my experience, grief is never something that you fully come to terms with because losing someone who you are emotionally close to is essentially a loss of part of yourself. Something in you dies with that person who has gone. Your memories are the only way in which that lost part of you can still exist. But some men will take active steps to keep that lost person alive.

A different response to the loss of a loved one

As I said, with men and grief there is no set response. Anthony Ogogo, for example, a former professional boxer and bronze-medal winning Olympian, talks to this podcast about his reactions to losing his best friend to cancer. Anthony describes his friend as the life-and-soul of the party. Someone full of energy and positive spirits who died far too soon. Later in their friendship, Anthony describes how he and his friend began to have deeper, more meaningful conversations. Anthony tragically lost his friend just as that intimacy was developing. 

Despite his friend’s passing, in order to keep the friendship alive, Anthony still takes the time to send WhatsApp messages to his old friend’s number. He shares recollections with him as if his friend were still on the other end of the phone. 

loss of a loved one from childhood

So far we have focused on men and grief, but what about boys and grief and how grief can impact one’s manhood while growing up? Shaun Flores, a professional speaker, model and advocate, talks to this podcast about losing his own father at the age of 6 on Christmas Day.

It was just the day before when he had been shopping with his dad buying last minute Christmas gifts. Then, on what is supposed to be a time for families to fully come together, his dad was gone.

Shaun describes the trauma of this event which has contributed towards his mental health struggles and OCD. In Shaun’s case, not only did he have to process his own grief regarding his father’s death, he had to grow up without a dedicated father figure. He did not have that constant male role model to learn from and emulate. He was left to work it out for himself, having only limited memories from a very early age of the father who had once been a significant presence in his life.

The road to Recovery

Shaun began regularly speaking to a therapist and he found the right person to whom he could express all of the challenges he had experienced while growing up. Speaking to the right professional has helped Shaun to achieve equilibrium in his life. But, for him, therapy is an ongoing process. There is no destination, he is constantly navigating his way through an evolving journey.

Male grieving patterns

This is one way of thinking about grief. It is common to hear about the different stages of grief. Going from denial to anger to bargaining to depression and finally arriving at acceptance. It is not the case that everyone will go through all of these stages or that they will go through them in any specific order. Male grieving patterns, just like female grieving patterns, will vary.

One could describe my response to losing a loved one as being a combination between conscious acceptance and subconscious denial. Perhaps Anthony’s response may be an example of conscious denial. And perhaps the extreme trauma Shaun experienced of losing a father during childhood will mean that he can never fully accept the nature of his experience.

What to say to a grieving man

WThe idea that we are each navigating that evolving journey is one that speaks deeply to me. And when it comes to acknowledging men and grief and providing them support, the most important step must be to encourage them to talk about their experiences. Bottling up emotions will lead to greater trauma and that trauma will often express itself in damaging ways.

How to comfort a man

If a man is able to talk about his experiences, the next step must be to listen. What feelings does he express? What regrets does he have? What does he miss most about the person who has gone? What does he wish he had done or said before that person departed? What does he wish he could still do with that person now?

The more that men are able to talk about their grief and the more that those around them are willing to listen, the better men will be able to process and make sense of their loss. If my experience is anything to go by, losing a loved one will never truly make sense. But it can become a harsh reality that is emotionally tolerable. And, in finding those who are willing to care and listen, sharing one’s experiences can help to forge new meaningful relationships of future comfort and significance.



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Laura is the mix engineer for the Stories of Men podcast. She has a BA in Music from Nottingham University and an Advanced Diploma in Music Production and Sound Engineering from Abbey Road Institute. Alongside working for Our Voices she is a freelance sound designer and technician. Her highlights include sound design for JK Rowling audiobook ‘The Christmas Pig’, and sound effects editing on The Outlaws, on the BBC.

For the Stories of Men podcast, Laura is typically provided with a Voice Over and interview. She then cleans the dialogue, integrates the podcast intro and outros, chooses the music that will add to the storytelling and pacing of the episode, then bring all the elements together in the mix, followed by mastering and then delivering the final edit.

Experience in Industry: 3


Favourite Food: Potatoes

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Favourite Movie: Anything Marvel

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Hobby: Music

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I’m the community manager at Stories of Men. I spend most of my time focusing on the implementation of our marketing strategy, achieving goals and KPIs, and the rest of the time listening to the amazing stories of our guests. What I love most about working for Stories of men is the impact it has on peoples’ lives. It requires a lot of courage to tell your story out loud so I make sure these stories are heard by as many people as possible.

I was born and raised in Pakistan and I’ve been living in Hungary for over two years now. I have a Master’s degree in Marketing and I live for mastering the art of digital marketing.

Industry experience: 3 Years


Favourite Food: Biryani – introduced by the Mughal rulers in the Indian subcontinent; this dish is an absolute delight. Also, can never say no to a good burger – extra cheese!

Favourite Sport: Cricket – I grew up playing and watching cricket with friends and family.

Favourite Show: Stranger Things – I love how an odd group of friends fight against challenges bigger than themselves.

Favourite Movie: Harry Potter – The only movie I can watch over and over again!

Favourite City: Prague – Absolutely love the Baroque and Gothic vibe of this city.

Hobby: Netflix, Travelling, and Eating- I want to try different cuisines from every country once in my lifetime!

Favourite Book: The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown – A fast-paced thriller that keeps you hooked from the first page to the last.


I run Fascinate Productions, the production company behind the Stories of Men podcast. I’ve had a wide variety of roles in media, from underwater videography, to live televised sporting events around the world. But since listening to my first audiobook in 2016, I’ve been all about audio and jumped in with two feet. Podcasts are enabling the world to democratise its most valuable information. They’re about spreading messages, and sharing ideas, and it’s my mission to help those holding the knowledge, to distribute it far and wide.

When Alex approached us with the idea of making a short stories podcast, with a big social impact, he got our attention. As the producer of the show, I’ve heard his guests’ highest highs, their lowest lows, and the moments of change that made them who they are – it’s been a privilege helping to craft their most intimate experiences into stories for you to enjoy.

 Experience in Industry: 5 years


Favourite Food: Ice cream. It’s just the greatest culinary invention.

Favourite Sport: Rugby. I played from the age of 5 until 26 when a dislocated shoulder put me out of action. Still like to watch now though.

Favourite Show: The 100 – I love those ‘what if humans nearly got wiped out?’ type shows.

Favourite Movie: Gladiator

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Hobby: Listening to podcasts while on long walks with my dog Alfie.

Favourite Book: I love to read anything business/startup related… One of the most recent great ones was Good Strategy/Bad Strategy by Richard Rumelt



Richard Willan is the CEO of Fascinate productions, a podcast production and promotion company. Before starting Fascinate, he worked an audio engineer, mastering tracks for artists on major and independent labels.

He is an executive producer for ‘Stories of Men’ where he assists with production, creative direction of the show, and marketing strategy.  





Favourite Food: I love Indian food – My favourite dish is a Dansak. It’s a rich combination of hot, sweet and sour flavours, made from lamb and lentils.

Favourite Sport: I enjoy watching combat sports like MMA – Isreal Adesanya is my favourite fighter at the moment, due to his Tae Kwon Do base and speed. 

Favourite Show: Succession – an American satirical drama. The character development is incredible, and the writing is top notch. 

Favourite Movie: True Lies. I find it amazing that someone who can’t act (Arni) has so many great films.

Favourite City: London, because it is a melting pot of culture and the music scene is amazing. 

Hobby: Making music, going to gym and eating out. 

Favourite Book:  The Secret History by Donna Tartt. I love the world she created, and the incremental path the characters take into darkness. It’s amazing.


I am responsible for writing blog articles for the Stories of Men podcast. I have the privilege of listening to fascinating stories on the topics and issues regarding men that are of greatest relevance to our society today. Once I’ve done this, I create articles that provide an overview and description of the conversations in order to help spread them to the widest possible audience. My job is to make these articles as engaging as the conversations themselves.

As an English teacher who has worked with students from all over the world for over 10 years, I have got used to successfully communicating with those from different backgrounds and cultures. This has helped me to appreciate the value of connection across borders and boundaries. It has also helped me to appreciate that we are all able to learn from each other’s experiences.



Favourite Food: Chocolate. It’s an indulgence, I know, but it tastes so good. I particularly enjoy dark chocolate for its richness and smoothness. 

Favourite Sport: Football.Unfortunately, my local team (Nottingham Forest) is not in that top league but I hope that one day it will be.

Favourite Show: The Wire. 

Favourite Movie: The Godfather. 

Favourite City: Reykjavik. I had the pleasure of spending two weeks there a number of years ago and I loved the place for its beauty, culture and calmness. It’s rare that you can be in a capital city and experience genuine space and peace and quiet. There’s also a black sand beach to walk along, although, due to the cold, I wouldn’t recommend bathing in the sea!

Hobby: Watching films. I love films, foreign films, classic films, contemporary films, just all good films.

Favourite Book: “Into the Wild” by Jon Krakauer. 

I’m the Editor of Stories of men. I craft compelling narratives from the stories of our fantastic guests, editing their interviews and scripting the episodes. I’m a freelance journalist and audio producer from Northern Ireland, currently based in California. I cover social issues, health and gender – with reporting in The Guardian, Vice, NPR, Cosmopolitan and many others. My focus is shining a light on the communities and initiatives that improve people’s lives. I have a background in the nonprofit space, having worked in communications for a mental health charity, as well as an education start-up. I mentor young female writers and sit on the board of an NGO that empowers women in global supply chains. 

Favourite Food:  In a word, sandwiches. The possibilities are endless.

Favourite Sport: Show jumping. When I was little I wanted to be a professional horse-rider, and I still get a kick out of watching the pros in action.

Favourite Show: Fleabag: the writing and acting create a thrilling kind of intimacy I haven’t seen anywhere else.

Favourite Movie: Victoria is an incredible German thriller that’s all shot in one take – it’s a real trip. Plus it’s beautifully soundtracked by Nils Frahm.

Favourite City: Very hard to choose, but it’s got to be Barcelona. The food, the pace of life, the winding streets – there’s nowhere else like it. 

Hobby: exploring city streets on my bike – preferably while listening (safely!) to a podcast – is when I’m at my happiest. 

Favourite Book: Bernadine Evaristo’s Girl, Woman, Other is a stunning, utterly unique portrait of womanhood, race, ageing and the principles we choose to live 

I am the host of Stories of Men. I help to find men that have a powerful voice to share and then I speak to them and help to tease the stories out of them that will have a positive impact on the listener. 

While running Swoosh English, an online English school from 2013 – 2021, I had the opportunity to meet men from all walks of life and many of these guys had incredible stories. This inspired me to start ‘Stories of Men’ because I wanted to give these men a platform to share their stories with the world.

I love the detail that people go into and how people craft stories in different ways. My dream and vision for the future would be countless people messaging to tell us how a particular episode has changed their lives!


Favourite Food: Avocados – an incredibly delicious fruit that can be used in so many dishes. My favourite is guacamole with nachos!

Favourite Sport: Boxing and football (couldn’t choose one!)

Favourite Show: 2 comedy series: Alan Partridge and The Office (UK version). I just love English humour!

Favourite Movie: Shawshank Redemption: An unbelievable journey full of twists and turns.

Favourite City:  New York – Living there for a year in 2008 changed my life. It made me believe that anything in life was possible if you want something badly enough.

Hobby: Football, boxing, reading, learning Spanish, travelling and watching fascinating conversations on Youtube.

Favourite Book: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts – a book about an incredible journey.