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For Dads

"You have the right to honor your baby in the best way you can." -Laura and Franco Fanucci, Grieving Together A Couple's Journey through Miscarriage

While it may be true that men and women grieve differently, it is also true that each individual grieves differently and for different lengths of time. Unfortunately, men may not receive the same support as the woman who has just experienced the loss of a baby (especially miscarriage) even though they may experience many of the same emotions (helplessness, anger, frustration, sadness, jealousy, depression, numbness, ambivalence, etc). 

According to "Grieving Together A Couple's Journey through Miscarriage", Laura and Franco Fanucci say: "Grief for men can be manifested physically as stress, exhaustion, insomnia, weight gain, or loss of appetite. They may try to escape from grief by diving back into work, exercising, indulging in TV or video games, or self-medicating through alcohol, drugs, or other addictions. Men sometimes bury their grief, hoping it will disappear if they ignore it- but unresolved grief usually resurfaces later down the road."

 

When asked these 4 questions (post miscarriage): "How did you feel? What did you need? What did you get? and What could you have used?" One man replied:

 

How did you feel? -  "I felt hurt about the loss of my child, lost on what to do, confused as to why, helpless, angry, uninformed."

What did you need? -  "I needed information for closure, memorabilia to remember, space, help to not feel overwhelmed, words to comfort and to be comforted, words to encourage. People to understand my wife and help; not brush her off."

What did you get? -  "I got some answers, a space (to bury baby), keepsakes to help remember my child, people wanting to help, but not really knowing what to do- asking (me) what I needed (when I didn't really know myself)."

What could you have used? -  "I could have used someone to check in on us (friends being friends), information at hand (especially for what to do), information for others so they could know how to help or what to do."


Comfort in scripture: We can look to examples of grieved fathers in scripture such as King David and Job, as well as the expressions of grief found throughout the Psalms.

 

According to Thomas R Golden-

What aids the "masculine side" of healing:

Map of the terrain

Knowing his strength

Linking his strength to action

Linking his action to his pain

The courage to stand in his tension

Using the future


*Disclaimer*  The following book is not officially endorsed by the diocese, but may be helpful in understanding the way men grieve throughout the world and in different cultures. It is found as an option in the bereavement section of some certified doula curriculums: Swallowed by a Snake: The gift of the masculine side of healing by: Thomas R. Golden

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