Please join Author Richard Pryor and his family on March 30th at Davios Italian Restaurant in Lynnfield, MA at the Market Place in Lynnfield. For the book signing of Richard’s book, Warriors of Life “Conquering Grief and Battling your way Back to Happiness.”
Spend the afternoon with Richard, his family and friends as they celebrate the release of his book in hopes that his story and this book will help a lot of people struggling with grief.
We will be celebrating with amazing food from Davios, drinks and some incredible entertainment. With each book purchase you will receive a free signed copy of Richard’s Book and you can take a selfie with him if you like…with Barbara as well.
We are not sure if the GUCCI boys will be allowed in the restaurant…But maybe a cameo outside if possible…and who knows maybe their grandogs will show up, Ollie and the newest addition to the family, Ollie’s bro..Miles.
PROCEEDS FROM THIS GALA will benefit his son’s foundation. The Richie Pryor Foundation
I had written another article to start my new blog, but felt a hungering urge that I had to address another celebrity tragedy that really hit home with me.
Well here I am at 4:20 am in the morning wide awake staring at the ceiling after my dog Herbie bit my toe. My wife and I have 3 dogs and Herbie and I share a king bed because he is my second wife and he has some type of foot fetish. Therefore, post bite. I am laying here and can’t fall back asleep because I cannot stop thinking about the recent passing of the young and the restless star Kristoff St. John at the young age of 52. Sources are stating that it could be suicide. Kristoff’s sons Julian passed away couple of years ago.
My wife first told me about this tragedy yesterday afternoon
and we chatted for some time about how we could relate so much to Kristoff’s
agonizing pain because of his son’s passing. As bereaved parents we walk on that tightrope
of life where a memory can sway our emotions from happiness to sadness in a
blink of an eye. You can never prepare for that moment when a song that your
child loved plays on the radio, eating a meal he or she enjoyed, reliving a
memory of a magical moment you shared with them and knowing that there will be
no more new memories. The emotions that come with these experiences range from
sadness to pure happiness. It is something that can’t be controlled now matter
how much control you think you have. That is one of the biggest illusions of
life…Thinking that we can control so much. That is BS. The reality is that we can
only control a few things and coming to grips with this reality is the first
step in discovering happiness.
passing is determined to be suicide, he will be severely judged by society. Not
for being an amazing actor, father, son, husband, friend and co-worker, but for
being weak because he took the easy way out. That he should have fought harder,
he should have seen a therapist, he should have talked to someone. There is
something he could have done instead of taking his own life and create more
pain for his family. Those are what I called the shouldhaves (I just invented
this word so it is not in the dictionary yet) and they should try to see things
from another person’s perspective. During my journey of grief, I came across a
lot of these know it all’s that had all this advice but had not experience. I
discuss this in length in my book,
the chapter called whose got your six. More about that later.
I am here to tell all those shouldhaves that they should
have taken a course in compassion. I am Kristoff, along with almost every other
bereaved parent out there that is a member of this community that we didn’t
want to be a part of. The loss of a child is the most traumatizing experience
that a parent can have. It is not natural, it is beyond comprehendible and the
biggest question we have is WHY. We as
bereaved parents fully understand what stories were playing in Kristoff’s mind
and what he thought about every single second of every single day since his
son’s passing. It is almost impossible to think of anything else. It consumes
every thought from the moment you open your eyes until the moment you try to
close them at night. Then you have the shouldhaves that said you should have
gotten over it.
What is life going to be like now? How could I have let this
happen? My only job was to protect him or her and I couldn’t even do that. I am
a failure as a parent. Why wasn’t it me? Why did God/universe do this to me? How can I
keep going on? Questions like this haunt our minds because we believe that there
is such a finality of death. Our minds will tell us that there is no escaping
this loop of grief that is constantly beating us down and pushing us deeper
into the darkest hole of depression. We lose hope and when hope is lost the
alternatives are very few. Hence the word hopelessness.
After the loss of my son Richie, I spent a year and a half
keeping myself numb. I didn’t want to face the reality of his passing. I called this my mask of society. The
consequences of living with the reality was something that I couldn’t
comprehend and couldn’t even begin to understand. The constant stabbing into my
heart that felt like I was having a heart attack 24 hours a day. The empty
feeling knowing that I would never give my son a hug, hear him laugh or see his
beautiful smile again tortured my already weakened body and mind. The pain was constant
and horrific and the only way I could avoid it was to keep it at a bay by any
means possible. Which usually meant alcohol and a lot of anti-depressants. You
will also have the people that will judge us for this as well. I say that I was
being resourceful and did whatever I needed to do in order to survive in that
moment. Because that is how one survives an unexpected tragedy that drops a ton
of freaking bricks on your head when you though life was amazing. Moment by
moment, step by step, that is what it takes to keep going and to find the
happiness you once enjoyed.
While I was living in my world of numbness there were
moments of contemplation where ending it would have been a viable option to
stop the constant stabbing in my heart, alleviate the emptiness, eliminate the loneliness
and to once and for all power off my mind. This conversation with myself would continue
at length about the pros and cons of this decision. I am wondering if Kristoff
had these same conversations going on in his head. If I had to guess I would
say yes. Because on my journey of grief that was the consensus for most parents
that lost children. It is hard to find a way out, when the only thing we want
is to have something that we can never have again in this physical world. This
is one thing that we can’t fix, no matter how popular you are, how much money
you have and not matter who you know. The finality of this loss cannot be
undone. However, to move forward through grief there must be a glimmer of hope.
For hells sake it is not easy. It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my
life. It is my hope that if you lost a child loved one or are feeling sad you
will find some of that hope here in this article.
I am sure there are people reading this that will say that
thinking about taking yourself out to end the pain is the weak person’s way
out. Are those shouldhaves still reading this. They probably should not be
reading this. I say to them, in those
moments of irrational thoughts we become selfish and can only think about our
own pain. Not the aftermath and debris field of life that will lie in the wake
of another tragedy. We only are thinking of 2 things. One, ending the pain and
two, laying with our child. I can guarantee that Kristoff was thinking about
these two things for the past several months since his tragic loss.
I understand what Kristoff was going through because as bereaved parents we have all been there and have had those moments of irrationality. I am here to tell let the world, all bereaved parents and anyone else that is struggling that there is a way through the grief and struggles of life. The key I found was being able to master the one thing that was at the root of my depression and hopelessness. Yes, the thing between our two ears…our mind. By giving your tragedy a different meaning. To redirect your mind to focus on what you have instead of what you have lost. I know it is a huge step, but this not only goes for bereaved parents but for anyone out there that is depressed and struggling to find the light. In the end, all we really want is some relief, someone to understand us and some hope that there is a life and happiness on the other side of the horror story we are currently living in. The world doesn’t need any more labels and judgement from the shouldhaves. We clearly have plenty of that now. Now is the time for compassion, understanding, connection and love. That is what we are here to do and to provide to each other as human beings.
When my son passed the meaning I gave his passing was, why
did this happen to me. This meaning kept me in the darkness when all I wanted
was to see the light. I finally found hope and the light when I began to give his
passing a different meaning. I began to ask myself questions. How can I create
something meaningful out of this? What can I do to take this tragedy and
reframe it into something that will not only help me but serve others? I found
that when I took the focus off myself and put it on others, like my wife, my
other son, my family and the world; that is when my eyes began to open, and a
small glimmer of light started showing through the darkness. That is when I
began to see things in a different perspective, that is when I discovered the
true gifts that I have been given in this world. That is when I realized that my
wife and I had an angel in our presence for 27 years and he provided us the
gifts that we are sharing with you in this moment and will continue to do for
the rest of our lives.
I know this a sh*t ton to swallow right now. Small steps.
That is what I found was so helpful. Not thinking about tomorrow, just thinking
about the next couple of seconds. As time goes on the small steps will help you
find the path through the grief and on the other side of what I call
rediscovered pure unfiltered happiness. I am a better person, husband, father,
son and friend as a result of the journey that I have been on. This is possible
for everyone out there and getting in the right frame of mind is the key to
discovering the light and happiness. For now, the biggest thing you need to
understand in this moment is that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
There are resources and incredible people in the amazing
world that can help you get through that grief, emptiness and loneliness and
find the light. You just need to be resourceful and think about what your child
would have wanted for your life. Would they want you to be unhappy? Would they
want you to be angry? Would they want you to live the rest of your life
carrying around the burden of their loss? What do you think?
If you don’t make a change, things won’t change. Therefore,
what can you do today to make things a little lighter in your life? What can
you do right now to help yourself? Who
can you talk to? What book can you read? How can you find a resource that will
help you on your journey to rediscover happiness that you once experienced? How
can you discover more happiness in life? It’s out there and you just need to
have the determination and grit of a warrior to seek it out and grab it.
I am also doing research for my next book about happiness. I
call it the happiness experiment. It consists of a happiness quiz to measure
your own happiness as well as 3-week challenge to discover more happiness in
If you are interested in participating and helping with my research
for my book. Please click on the link below to participate in my happiness experiment
and make happiness contagious. Like any experiment it is a work in progress. If
you run into any challenges, please hit me up at Whatsup@richiepryor.com