What 370 Men Say About
the Lives and Deaths of Their Fathers
From the National Survey
Behind FatherLoss

  • 65 percent of sons say that the death of their father was the biggest loss of their lives
  • 61 percent of sons cried over the deaths of their fathers
  • a man who had a bad relationship with his father was twice as likely as a man who had a good relationship to have problems dealing with his father's death
  • 12 percent of sons used alcohol or drugs to cope in the aftermath of their father's death
  • 28 percent of sons talked to, prayed to, or in some other way tried to communicate with their deceased dads
  • 68 percent of sons dreamt about their fathers after the death
  • 93 percent of sons who got involved in the late-life care of their fathers said that such involvement helped them later in coping with the loss
  • 55 percent of sons say they have regrets about things they did or didn't do when their fathers were alive
  • 8 percent of sons sought professional help to deal with the loss, and 96 percent of those sons said the help was valuable in coping with the death
  • 53 percent noticed themselves acting or speaking like their fathers after the death
  • 72 percent spent time with tools, photos, and other mementos of their fathers to help deal with the loss
  • relationships between fathers and sons tend to get better over time
  • a man's relationship with his spouse, partner, children, siblings and mother are more likely to get better than worse following the death of the man's father

Adapted from FatherLoss: How sons of all ages come to terms with the deaths of their dads (Hyperion Books) ISBN: 0-7868-6532-6

About The FatherLoss Survey

The Survey was conducted by the University of Kentucky Survey Research Center, under the direction of Dr. Ronald Langley,using methods developed by the American Association for Public Opinion Research. Dr. Robert Kastenbaum, professor emeritus at Arizona State University, a specialist in grief studies, served as a consultant on the survey. The survey's margin of error was plus-or-minus 5.6 percent.

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Copyright 2009 Neil Chethik