Support Worker - New Zealand Lead
Hi, my name is Shaun Vivian and I live in Palmerston North New Zealand.
I am one of your support/admins for the DWA Pages and I also run the New Zealand page.
On the 5th December 2000 I became a dad for the first time to twin boys Joshua and Daryl. 90 minutes later I became a bereaved dad for the first time when my son Daryl passed away in my arms. This started my journey on a dad grieving. I noticed that most of the support we were given was directed to my wife and just wanted to scream at people what about me. I felt that I had failed as a father and as a husband and by people not acknowledging my grief, I felt that this is because they could see me as a failure. After a few months I joined the local Sands group and in 2012 I became the Chairperson of Sands New Zealand which I kept till 2014 and I continued my journey to help other dads and for people to recognise that Dads grieve to. This has been my goal for almost the last 20 years helping dads, showing them, it is ok to cry, it is ok to show emotion, its ok to talk about your child.
I have done many events to highlight that dads grieve to and I have slowly chipped away at what the public think about dad’s grief.
I retired from Sands in 2019 realising I needed to get away from the Sands umbrella and I found Daddy’s with Angels, I joined you all and was asked to help in the admin/ support side which I gladly accepted as I felt that this was a fantastic way to help Dads. I now have Sands groups in New Zealand referring their dads to me so I can help them. I do not know all the answers, but I am always there for you all when you need it