Statement on Denison University ReMix

I wish Denison University success with its future ReMix summits. However, based on my experience in 2019, I don’t see how or why I would participate again.

When selected as a speaker for Denison University’s ReMix in 2019, I spent months developing a presentation on a tough topic I wasn’t able to talk about previously — the death of my 8-day-old son — because I thought the process my wife and I went through might provide some inspiration to attendees.

I didn’t realize the death of my son qualified me as “privileged.” But that was made abundantly clear to me on the opening night when I was told that the “hardship” of losing my son simply wasn’t good/bad enough to qualify as an actual hardship. Frankly, I can’t think of anything that would possibly be harder for anyone, no matter your status.

It was ironic since I was led to believe one of the goals of the exercise where that comment was made was to show everyone has a story — and, more importantly, everyone’s story matters.

To be honest, I haven’t felt privileged in the now three-and-a-half years since he died. But I recognize some people need to score points at the expense of others. I just didn’t think that would happen at this event.

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