June 17, 2012 at 7:53 PM
This past week was a significant week for my husband and I. It was not just the week leading to Father’s day but the week our son, Jude, was originally due. We made sure we spent time taking care of one another as we reflected on how different we thought this week would have been six months ago. Today, on Father’s day, the mass at our church was in memory of our son. It was a very real reminder of what we have lost as we prayed and celebrated the life of our son.
All throughout this week, friends and family in my life have sent me gentle reminders to be good to myself, to take care of myself this week, to be present to the feelings I had this week. Friends gave me cards, a good friend sent me flowers; gently reminding me that she is thinking of me, is always with me through this journey. These special people in my life allowed me to process this week, to think about my loss, to honor my son.
Since the very first day we lost Jude, the one thing I knew for certain was everyone was concerned about me. People always asked how I was coping with this loss. They would ask my husband how I was feeling and check in with him about me. I have always been concerned with how my husband was doing. He, too, has experienced the loss of a child yet dads often get overlooked.
Today, on father’s day, I focus on my husband and the gift he is to my family. My husband lives for his children. He was a father the minute we found out we were pregnant and felt the loss of our child just as powerfully as I had. He may not be as emotional or self reflective as I am; but I know he thinks about the son he lost everyday. He especially thought of him today.
Sometimes we forget the fathers who have experienced a pregnancy loss. They have it hard. They take care of their wives or partners and want to do what they can to comfort them. I know my husband has been concerned about helping me cope with this loss, allowing me to take care of myself. But we cannot forget Dads need comforting as well. We need to remember to ask them how they are doing; ask them if they need anything; send them reminders to be gentle with themselves.
On this father’s day, I remember my husband, a man who will do anything for his children, for his family. I remember that he too is thinking of his lost son, of what that child would have brought to our family. I know that most men are not as outward in their grief, or as in need of formalized support. However, this does not mean that they are not going through this time of grief and loss. We need to do a better job at helping them and reminding them to take care of themselves as well.
Today, I am thinking of all those men who have lost children and may need a special reminder to care for them selves. This day is for you. My hope is you will feel the support you need as you remember all of your children.