Being There for Dad Too

When I gave birth to Ashley I lost over 2 liters of blood. My husband told me afterwards that during delivery there were times I looked dead. I told him that there were times that I could feel myself slipping away and what woke me back up was hearing him say my name. Then when I was rushed to the operating room, my husband was left alone with our dying daughter in his arms.

I will never know what all my husband was feeling that day, and I can only imagine. Why us? Why my child? There's nothing I can do. My wife could be dying too. What is going to happen to us? What's going to happen to me?.... I really do not know what he felt but I'm sure it is probably feelings that are as deep as the feelings that I have about the loss of our daughter that he will never understand too.

I remember when we first encountered other people after the loss of our daughter, every one would ask me if I was alright. Only a handful of people would bother to ask if my husband was alright too.

I really feel for the Dads after losing a child because every one treats the fathers as if they did not experience a loss as well. Sure the Dads are not openly crying out it or verbalizing it but it is alright (and actually appropriate) to show the fathers some compassion as well.

And Moms, let the Dad grieve in his own way. I remember for a while I did not know how to even talk to my husband about our daughter. I did not know if he just wanted to forget her or what. I just remember crying every day for at least 2 weeks afterwards and thinking does he even care? He did not cry (or at least not for me to see it) and he seemed almost normal. But then I saw it. He got this massive tattoo of Ashley's name and her birth date on the inside of his arm. That was how he grieved. That was how he showed he remembered, he cared, and that she is always with him.

During this journey, I noticed just how different men and women are. The man is going to deal with this in his own way-- whatever that way may be. As long as he is not hurting the woman or himself, his actions are acceptable. Also, allow him to feel comfortable to express himself in ways that he may not normally express himself as this hurt is very deep. If he cries, be there. If it takes him extra pauses to verbalize his heart, be patient. Even if he just wants to just sit there and be quiet with you, so be it. Every one handles death differently; and no one way is the right way.

Just remember, he loss a baby too.

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