Derek Larsen

About Derek Larsen

Derek Larsen is a loving husband to his high school sweetheart, Carissa, whom he met as a sophomore, and devoted father to his two amazing boys. While it took him 13 years to finally marry her and start a family, it was not long after the wedding that they were pregnant with their first child. An event they had literally fantasized about for over a decade, they expected a fairy tale pregnancy. It was quite the opposite. At 20 weeks, they were told that the pregnancy would not last and to prepare for the worst. The next month was a living hell, as they simply waited and hoped, until their precious Emanuel Robert succumbed to Intrauterine Growth Restriction (IUGR) and was stillborn at 24 weeks on 12/31/10. After spending a career in advocacy and politics, Derek briefly considered starting a nonprofit to focus on outreach and policy for parents of stillborn children. However, he quickly realized that he needed to focus on himself and his family instead of putting energy into an activity he did not have the strength to maintain. After grieving together and hearing months of no real answers from doctors while fearing that IUGR would reoccur, they found the faith to try again. Even in the hospital on the day Elijah Monroe was born, Derek was just waiting for another dreadful loss. Now in a new stage of grief, Derek is attempting to focus on using the loss of Emanuel to be an amazing and dedicated father to Elijah. Derek has presented as a keynote speaker at a conference for healthcare professionals on “A Father’s Perspective” and hopes to continue to utilize his experiences and share his journey while contributing to PALS as a grieving dad.

This Pain Will Be Useful To You

This holiday season will mark five years since we lost Em. It's with bewilderment that I can even write that sentence. Five years. That Halloween, we sat around as kids came to the door in anticipation of each costume. We would laugh and picture Em in all of them. We'd talk about our costumes from [...]

By |2016-10-13T17:11:36+00:00December 3rd, 2015|From Dads Who Know, Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

Consumed By Fear

I was never prepared for the part of parenthood that would force me to confront being consumed by fear on a daily basis. I am sure that fear is a constant state of being for parents who have never faced a loss of their child, but it is so prevalent after you do experience a [...]

By |2016-10-13T17:13:40+00:00September 2nd, 2015|From Dads Who Know, Parenting After Loss|2 Comments

The Greatest Insecurity

It is very difficult to handle any holiday after you experience the loss of your child. However, the holiday that bears the title of what you wanted to be, of what you are, and of what you are grieving is a whole another issue. For me, I felt that it was especially hard because my [...]

By |2016-10-13T17:15:20+00:00June 21st, 2015|From Dads Who Know, Parenting After Loss|0 Comments

Unforgivable Guilt

“How many children do you have?” “Is that your only kid?” These are the most innocent questions for most parents. When you’ve dealt with the loss of your own child, these questions often bring up difficult situations combined with uncompromising guilt. Everyone deals with grief in different ways, and I’m sure everyone deals with these [...]

By |2016-10-13T17:16:34+00:00April 29th, 2015|From Dads Who Know|0 Comments