Men in Grief: Stories of Loss, Stories of Hope

Men in Grief: Stories of Loss, Stories of Hope


Oct 12 2023


7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

COPE partners with National Widower’s Organization and Men’s Grief Network to bring this panel together provides insights from three men who experienced profound grief:

  • Joe Walko discusses the death of one’s spouse
  • Wil Haywood shares the impact of the death of one’s parents
  • Eric Washington provides insight into the death of one’s child.

The workshop focuses on their stories of loss and hope while dealing with the complexities of grief. Maria Georgopoulos, LMHC, FT, a clinician, and educator will provide guidance and further information including appropriate helpful interventions as we focus on the specific needs of bereaved men. How we express our grief depends on many important factors including one’s cultural or religious beliefs, past experiences of death, one’s support from friends or family members, intuitive or instrumental styles of coping, and societal expectations.

When: Thursday, October 12 7 – 8:30 PM EST
Where: Online
Cost: FREE! Or with an optional donation to support COPE families.

Reserve your spot on our Eventbrite Page!

About Our panel:

Maria Georgopoulos, LMHC, FT, is a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and Fellow in Thanatology, whose work focuses on grief, loss, and trauma. She obtained her Master’s Degree from New York University and has training in Psychoanalysis, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and Internal Family Systems.

Wil Haywood: At the start of the COVID-19 Pandemic in April 2020, Wil lost his mother to the virus just five days after being diagnosed with a low pulse oxidation level. Wil had to pivot immediately from the loss of his mother to care for his father, who had been suffering from the gradual debilitating effects of Lewy-Body Dementia. A few weeks later, his father was diagnosed with symptoms of Covid-19 borne pneumonia. After receiving treatment at a research university, he was transferred to hospice care, where he died six weeks after his wife. Wil currently works for a professional engineering association in the areas of corporate, strategic communications, and governance.

Joe Walko’s wife of almost 20 years passed away at age 45 in 2012, after a 4-year battle with breast cancer. Joe states: “My wife was a stay-at-home mom, and suddenly, in addition to losing my spouse and best friend, I was also a single parent who didn’t even know where the laundry room was, let alone how I was going to juggle these unbearable feelings of loss, a career adrift, and now single parenthood. I floundered on all fronts for a while, eventually realizing I couldn’t maintain my high-pressure job and raise my boys on my own; so I quit to concentrate on them, but also to get a handle on my grief.”

Eric Washington is father to a daughter who recently graduated college and a son that died at the age of 23 due to asthma, which Eric also suffers from. He describes his grief as having good and bad days, relying on his work and his faith to keep him going and states “Glory be to God, I will continue to live life to the fullest because one day, we will all be called back home”. Eric was inspired to write a book about his grief, Getting Back Up After The Death of A Child, to share his own experiences in the hopes that it will help others walking a path that no parent can fathom walking.
The information shared in this program is not intended to act as a substitute for any legal and mental health advice concerning individual situations; neither COPE, its Board of Directors, staff and personnel shall be responsible for any outcomes arising form any information or exercises provided in this program.