We don’t often hear from the bereaved dads out there, but they certainly do exist. I wonder if we will ever crack the code to what makes a man grieve so differently from a woman? I sure do wish we could. My heart aches for all the fathers who are missing their child(ren).
Perhaps they are doing so silently, not knowing how to find the words to share how brokenhearted and empty they are feeling. Perhaps they are uncomfortable sharing at all, for fear they will get uncontrollably emotional. I am sure there are some dads out there who are talking about their babies, and their feelings as a father of a child who is gone. And, while they might represent a minority of vocal fathers, I dare say their words are ones that could be shared by all.
Grieving openly as a dad is not as easy as it is for us mothers. It is expected (or at least more readily accepted) that we will lose our minds, weep uncontrollably, talk talk talk and talk some more about all the details of our child’s story to anyone and everyone who will listen with an open heart.
For men, there is very real and persistent familial and societal pressure to be the rock, the strength, and the support, especially in a time of grief. It is hard to cope at times with this fact, but the fact remains and its echoes linger in every moment of our lives.
I don’t imagine we can change generations of cultural beliefs and ingrained behaviors simply by willing it to be. I do hope that we do not let this stand in the way of honoring the fathers who are missing their deceased children on Fahter’s Day and every day.
So, while it might not be the happiest of days, we send our Father’s Day greeting out to all the dads who are missing a child this Father’s Day.