The Death and Life of the Greatest Dad Blogger of All Time — in the Words Written by the Best Dad Bloggers in the World

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A man named Oren Miller died this week. You might not know his name, but it is more than likely that your favorite dad blogger does. Dadhood had a profound loss, and here is what the world’s dads had to say about it.

 

At the end of The Dead Poets Society, a film about a secret group of young writers learning to express themselves, their visionary and teacher Mr. Keating (played by Robin Williams) is fired. As he is leaving the building, the young men reject the encroachment of their old learning and stand up in defiance. As he walks out the door, he hears them each declare, “Oh Captain, My Captain” as they salute his departure, while owning his spirit forever. The blogger world lost our “Mr. Keating” this week. As he walks out the door of life, we, 35 dad bloggers, too are standing on our desks putting our salute into words. “Oh Captain, My Captain.” These words are for you, Oren Miller, the greatest dad blogger of all time.

“I was having the time of my life, and I didn’t even know it.” Oren Miller.

If you want to be important—wonderful. If you want to be recognized—wonderful. If you want to be great—wonderful. But recognize that he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. That’s a new definition of greatness.“ Martin Luther King Jr. (thanks to Josh Misner)

“On Saturday the blogging world lost one of its most popular exponents. At the young age of 41, Oren Miller lost his nine month battle with stage 4 lung cancer… Oren was the founder of the now 1,000 plus strong Facebook group Dad Bloggers which features independent bloggers, freelance writers and journalists, comedians and cartoonists, book writers, publishers and artists; all who are fathers and active parenting bloggers from 15 countries around the world. While you might not be familiar with many of the names of these writers, you would more than likely have read a post or two from many of these writers on publications such as The Huffington Post, The Good Men Project, Babble, Scary Mommy, Mamamia and iVillage Australia to mention a few. You may even have shared a meme, cartoon or viral video on social media that was created by one of these men.” Darrell Milton, (Modern Father Online) Oren Miller- a Father and a Blogger and a Friend

(From Australia) “Oren Miller, you cast a long shadow, one that stretches to far flung continents. Your story breaks hearts. Your work strengthens them. You are loved, treasured and cherished by so many because you helped us all spread the message that men care, that men cry and that men “dad”… (Oren) is part of an emerging group of men that want to talk about fatherhood. That want to re-define masculinity. They want men to share their stories of joy, pain and love.” Seamus Patrick Curtain-Magee, (Daddy Bloggers) Thank You Oren

“Oren Miller had this idea “so crazy it might just work” to bring dad bloggers from across the globe together, as one …. It’s a place for dads of all backgrounds to come together… for debate, for friendship, for fatherhood. It is because of the members of this group–and part of Oren’s brainchild–that the idea of the modern father is shifting. The bumbling, hapless dad is being kicked to the curb–hopefully for good.” Nick Browne , (Papa Brownie) The Finality of a Life

“Though he is gone his influence is going to live on in the lives of many people and that is worth celebrating.” Jack Steiner (The JackB) People Die

“If you’re a dad blogger, Oren is a metaphorical giant … Armed only with his Golden Rule of “don’t be a dick,” he … created an invaluable community of personal support and professional development… most notably, Oren is a man who stood up and bravely fought a battle he knew he couldn’t win. And I’m not sure there’s anything more courageous than that.“ Aaron Gouvela (The Daddy Files) The Fall of Life

“The group’s unity, cooperation, and strength in numbers has positively impacted the societal image of the father … The image of the “bumbling dad” who doesn’t know how to change diapers or raise his kids is very quickly becoming a thing of the past. The new image is the strong, caring dad who might work in or out of the home, or be a stay at home parent, but either way is essential in the raising of his kids… the lives of guys worldwide, and by extension, their kids, families, and communities, have all been vastly improved in ways that will last forever, because of Oren.” Kevin McKeever and Jeff Tepper, (City Dads Group) Tribute to a Father

“Oren was the undeniable leader of the Dad Blogger group. Even though he would have never accepted that title, it was clear by the esteem everyone holds him in that we would follow him anywhere… He never wanted this Dad Blogger group to be about him. He wanted it to be about us. … But that’s the thing about great men; whether they want it to or not, it will always become about them because they inspire us, lead us, show us how to be better, and at the end of the day that is how legacies are born, and Oren Miller’s legacy will live on forever.” Mike Cruse (Papa Does Preach) A Tribute to a Man I Never Met

Oren 1“He built this community that I needed, that so many of us needed. Oren, count me among the chorus of lives in which you have made a profound difference… Know that there are men, writers, fathers all over the world holding you at the front of their hearts, grateful for the fact that you walked on this planet. We love you. We will miss you.” Sam Christiansen (Dork Daddy) For Oren

“Oren was an interesting man. A great writer, ardent support of at-home fatherhood and dedicated to telling stories. He was forthright in his intentions and where he stood. He didn’t back down… (In person) he was very soft-spoken. He made no effort to bemuse or impress. I admired him that way. Sometimes I find myself performing when listening would do better. Online, he could be dry and witty, almost brash. I liked it. I tend to enjoy that streak in people when it’s used for the right reasons.” Charlie Capen, (How to be a Dad) For Oren

“I could see the spark in his eyes, when a quip would come to mind that he’d hold back when in what was still unfamiliar company. But over the weekend, as we got to know one another better, he stopped holding back. I could tell that that quiet, unassuming nature wasn’t shyness so much as a penchant for letting others take the lead and not wanting to be the center of attention.” Chris Routly, (Daddy Doctrines) My Friend Oren

“Behind each post that I write is the inspiration of Oren Miller. Oren had a dream, that dads around the world would unite together as one and support each other. That is exactly what happened this past weekend. I have never seen a group of men mourn and support each other in the midst of tragedy.” Brandon Billinger , (The Rookie Dad) Oren Miller, Husband, Dad and Writer

“I asked to join and Oren let me into the party. As a result I have become a better writer, and through reading about the experiences of other dads I have become a better dad…I don’t think Oren knew where this group would go and what it would and still could become when he created it.” Chris Farley Ratcliffe (Dad Goes Round) A Tribute

“He shifted the narrative of what modern fatherhood meant to the world. Advertisers, Film and Television have responded in kind by depicting fathers as competent nurturing parents instead of the 1950s stereotypical “dumb bumbling Dad.” Vincent Daly, (Cute Monster) Oren Miller

Oren Miller was my friend. A few years ago, he saw a problem and, after waiting fruitlessly for it to be fixed, fixed it himself. Oren saw dad bloggers in pockets of the internet with no home base gather for support, ideas, networking, and camaraderie. So he created one. …The group of men that Oren cobbled together have one thing in common; we want to be better a dad. “ Buzz Bishop, (Dad Camp), These Men Make Me Want to be a Better Dad

“My friend died this past weekend. After having only shared a handful of days and moments with Oren Miller over the past few years … I considered him a friend. If he had ever called me at 3am, the first time his number would’ve appeared on my phone, I’d have … driven the 2 hours to lend him a hand with whatever he needed. No questions asked.” Jeff Bogle (OWTK) The Loss of a Friend

“My story of Oren is about hope. It’s about the human capacity to shape the world for good… We fight and cry, love and learn from one another… That’s Oren’s legacy for me… He has shown me how to live. He has shown us all the meaning of grace and dignity…I will always tell that story. Always.” Carter Gaddis (Dad Scribe) Oren Miller Tribute

“I was reminded of Oren’s words after he found out that he had Stage 4 lung cancer in May of 2014… ‘Our family and some friends were building sand castles, going in and out of the water… It was only on the drive back that I realized I had been experiencing the biggest tragedy of human existence: I was having the time of my life, and I didn’t even know it.” Joel Gratcyk (Daddys Grounded) Hug the Ones You Love

“Oren handled it like a Zen master– he took it in stride, he wrote about it, he made his peace.Adam Gertsacov, (Dadapalooza) Rest in Peace

“Last week Oren posted on the Dadblogger page that his time has come… We announced to him how we will be here for whatever he needs and will do our best to take care of his family; We take care of our own. During the Dad 2.0 Summit, it was announced that the scholarships will now be known as the Oren Miller Scholarships… We take care of our own.” Victor Aragon (Fan Dads) It’s So Crazy That It Did Work

“Oren didn’t need to reach out to me. But he did… I want to thank him for sending that first message. I want to thank him for being a friend to so many.” Pete Wilgoren (Dadmissions), His Name is Oren Miller

“I want to thank him … for being an inspiration and role model. His inspiring message is simple. Be present. Enjoy your life. Enjoy the time you have with those you love. Every day is a gift.” Scott Behson (Fathers Work and Family)  Every Day is a Gift

Oren 2“We all need Orens in our life… He meant so much to so many. If only all of us could have that kind of impact. What an amazing and better world this would be if we all tried to be more like Oren. … A few months ago we messaged back a forth a few times and he ended it with, “Thank you.” I didn’t respond back and we left it at that. I am the one who is thankful.”  Jason Greene (One Good Dad)  A Dad Blogger Remembers a Dad Blogger

“He touched many lives, including mine. ..Last night I dreamt I was at Oren’s funeral…as I was speaking about Oren and what he started, all the other dad bloggers in attendance got up as stood behind me as a show of support and to demonstrate the reach that he has had. We are all in this together.” Danile T. Monk Pelfrey , (Post Post Modern Dad)  For Oren

“I am thankful for the group of guys he brought together who work together to become better fathers, husbands, and all around good men.” Christopher Rivas, (All X’s and One Y)  The Ugly Truth

(From Spain) “This person who had the big idea, this pioneer, has died. He has my respect for everything for which he stood, and my unconditional admiration for the ability to create and maintain this huge community that has long since transcended relationships.” Joquim Montaner, (#papanoara:Dad Six) Gracias, Gracias Por Todo

(From the UK) “My twitter feed is alive with #dads4oren my Facebook is full of praise, love and remorse all for one man, one man who made a difference in peoples lives, one man who was an inspiration to so many, and one man who in his life made better dads of many of us.” Ashley Crombet-Beolens (When the Dust Settles)   Passing of a Stranger

“Every time I hug my children, I will feel Oren’s presence in the embrace. With every moment I spend listening to them, it will be Oren’s words encouraging me to do so. Whenever I am able to set aside something I may think is important to me personally, in favor of re-prioritizing my family to be first, it will be because Oren’s influence altered my way of thinking … Oren’s commitment to serving others was his greatness,” Josh Misner (Mindful Dad)    A Soul Generated by Love

“What was this guy’s name?” Me: “Oren.” Luke: “We should pray for his kids.” Tor Que (And I’m the Dad)   Someday

“His outlook on life forces me to readjust my own, and I know I’m lucky for having known the man and read his words. I can’t hold back the tears and that’s how it should be.” Dave Lesser (Amateur Idion/Professional Dad)   I Missed the Most Important

“Oren wrote the most existentially heavy sentence he perhaps could’ve written just five days before he passed. “I’ll be dead soon.” He was right. We’re generally not predictors of this.” Thom Hofman (Daddy, Medium-Well)   Sun Will Set

“Certainly not one of us could have imagined that he would be gone so quickly. But then he was. So what do we do now? Well, for now we grieve. We will write posts about Oren, and our memories and experiences with him. We will sing songs. We will laugh, and we will cry. One thing we will do, as suggested by Tommy Riles from Life of Dad, is … walk with our children. We will love them, we will appreciate our time with them, and we will bear witness to the legacy of an incredible man that touched so many lives in the cruelly short life that he lived. “ Adam Hall (Tenor Dad)   We Almost Met

“He was a great teacher… He showed me that the Bible Verse about it being ‘better to give than to receive’ is not so much about physical things, and more about giving yourself. Oren did that his entire life.” Spike Zelenka (Double Trouble Daddy)   No Goodbyes

“Oren showed me that there’s an infinite amount of compassion and love to go around and he constantly showed us just how amazing it really is to be a parent, especially on the really rough days.” Daniel De Guia (Fit to be a Dad)    Farewell to My Friend

“Beth told me … I should come as soon as I could … Oren started giving me instructions on his processes for running the Facebook group… Before long Oren began to drift off, the pain medication taking its toll on his weakened state, and Beth helped him back up to bed. Granny Frannie, in her unending exuberance, declared that this had been “a good day.” I was curious as to what constituted a good day at this point. She explained that she hadn’t seen Oren that engaged or focused in the last few days as when he and I were working on the dad bloggers page. And he hadn’t been down for a meal in those same few days. He was enjoying what would be one of his last moments of normalcy… it was a sight to behold. This man, full of so much love and compassion, passion and opinion, with a sense of community and striving for all to be included, was tending to his legacy. He was ensuring it was in good hands and would continue to do all the good it had done in what shouldn’t have been — but were — his final years. Oren, please know that your legacy, your group, your fathers — are in good hands. In the hands of those that have shared and supported your vision. We’re in the hands of each other, continuing to laugh and argue, comfort and counsel, inspire and challenge. And even more importantly, our families are in good hands. Hands that come together to learn, to hold firm to one another for support, to learn wisdom and patience and compassion, hands that allow us to be better spouses, partners, sons, and fathers. When we search our souls and pour them onto the page, we will carry on your legacy. When we hug our children just a little bit tighter, we will carry on your legacy. And we will always hold you — and your family — close in our thoughts and in our hearts.” Brent Almond, (Designer Daddy)   The Eulogy

“Be present. Enjoy your life. Enjoy the time you have with those you love. Every day is a gift.” Oren Miller (thanks to Scott Behson)

 

 

Hallelujah video by David Stanley and John Willey

Tribute video from Dad Needs a Nap.

 

About Rob Watson

Rob Watson is the lead editor for the Dad and Families section on The Good Men Project. He is a gay dad, business man in high tech communications, a community activist and a blogger/writer. He is one of the founders of the evolequals.com blogsite, a regularly featured blogger on Huffington Post as well as a commentary columnist on LGBTQ Nation, Gay Star News, Impact Magazine, The Next Family and others. His stories and commentary have been read, shared and liked by hundreds of thousands of readers a year.

Comments

  1. Garrett Imeson says:

    As an expecting father, I am new to the “dad blogger” scene but it sounds like Oren was amazingly loved and respected. While he is gone too soon, I can’t help but be impressed by the outpouring of admiration for the man. The community will not soon forget him, from the looks of the people quoted in this piece. Well done. R.I.P. Oren.

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