WPP 007: Austin Shoecraft on losing his dad at age 11

You really need to be the parent in their lives still. Now you have to be both parents really. So you have to put in that much extra work. Even though [you’re] grieving, and with the whole world maybe crashing down, you still need to provide that structure and be that parent for that kid, because otherwise it’s going to affect your relationship going forward.
— Austin Shoecraft
Austin with his niece & nephew

Austin with his niece & nephew


I had such an interesting discussion with Austin Shoecraft for this episode. It’s such a privilege to talk to young adults who lost a parent when they were a kid, and talking with Austin really got me thinking about a lot of things, including about my own kids and how to best help them.

Austin lost his dad when he was just 11. He talked about growing up with his dad who was sick for as long as he could remember, and how hard it was not to have a lot of other strong memories since he was so young. He also talked about his experiences with peers, including how he changed schools. Now, as a 26-year-old, he has been attending a grief gathering of young adults called The Dinner Party, and he talked both about how that has helped him and also shared some reflections by the group in response to some questions I had posed to them ahead of time.

I hope you enjoy my discussion with Austin Shoecraft.

Links & resources for this episode

Episode 2 with Austin’s sister Kellyn Shoecraft

The Dinner Party

More links for listeners

Take Action Against Cancer - day of service Feb 4 2019


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