The Fatherly Podcast strives to present a diverse, honest look at the experience of fatherhood, whatever the experience entails. And this week, the program addresses arguably the most painful moment a parent can endure: losing a child. To mark the upcoming fifth anniversary of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, host Joshua David Stein speaks to Mark Barden about his son, Daniel, one of the twenty children killed that day. We could have recorded thousands of episodes like this one – in 2017 alone, 681 children have either died or been injured as a result of gun violence – but today, we remember one child through the words of his father.
Barden is the executive director of Sandy Hook Promise, a nonprofit dedicated to finding sensible solutions to the problem of gun violence. He founded the organization soon after the death of his son and it is largely made up of the parents of Sandy Hook victims. On the episode, there are no other segments or talk of policy. The focus is squarely on the story of Mark and the story of his son, Daniel, because so often these stories have a tendency to disappear forever.
His conversation with host Joshua David Stein is unlike anything The Fatherly Podcast has presented before, and while this episode is not easy or uplifting, it is one of the most impactful shows we’ve made this season.