COLUMBUS (WCMH) – With Columbus on pace to break its homicide record, more families are being left with the pain of losing a loved one.
A new support group for those families is in its very early stages.
Columbus already has Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children group, and now, a group for fathers is in the works.
David Fluellen, the organizer of the new group, said there is a huge need in the community for this support, adding that while fathers might not show as much hurt on the outside, they need help, too.
Fluellen was born and raised in Columbus and knows the toll the violence is taking on the city.
“It’s really heartbreaking,” he said. “It really is. Again, especially when it hits home. I have a friend that’s lost all three of his sons. I can’t imagine that feeling.”
Fluellen is the founder and CEO of the Urban Family Development Center, which runs DADS2B, an organization that helps those about to be new fathers. Now he plans to help fathers who have lost children, too.
“It’s huge,” he said. “It’s huge in the fact that again we simply need a space for men to come in, to openly express their feelings.”
Fluellen is amazed by the work Mothers of Murdered Columbus Children does in supporting those whose children have been taken too soon. Working with that group, he is starting Fathers of Murdered Columbus Children.
“It kind of hit me like a ton of bricks, seeing all these moms, all these women that are pouring out their hearts that have lost their sons, lost their daughters and I was just like, ‘Yo, where are the dads?’”
While men are often not as open and forthcoming with their pain, Fluellen hopes to give them the space where they can be.
“From an early age, we’re taught not to openly express our emotions, especially in urban inner-city communities because you could be taken advantage of,” he said. “My uncle used to say pressure busts pipes and if I continue to bottle those emotions, bottle those feelings, it’s going to come out, and often times it comes out at the wrong time.”
Fluellen is planning on holding the group’s first meeting around the holidays because he said those can often be some of the hardest times for those who have lost loved ones.