Father’s Day for Bereaved Fathers

I can’t pretend to understand exactly what it feels like to be a father who buries a child. I’ve only been able to watch from the outside as my husband absorbed the impact of that great wound.

But I can tell you this:  for dads, like moms, each holiday is another mile marker on the road of grief.

It is another poignant reminder that things are not as they were-they are not as they should be.  

father hurts too

Many men keep the hurt bottled up inside, don’t talk about it, don’t seek out fellow bereaved fathers, and don’t cry as much as their wives.

It is easy to forget and overlook the ongoing pain of child loss for fathers-especially when outward signs are few.  

But I promise you-that dad in the pew on Sunday-he’s hurting.

That man shaking hands and joking-he remembers.

He hasn’t forgotten that one of the special people that called him “Daddy” is no longer around to do it.

Tell him you remember too.

Speak his child’s name and share a special memory.

Acknowledge the pain.  Let him express his grief.  

And honor him as a father to ALL his children-those that walk the earth with him and those that don’t.  

good father unsung



Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

10 thoughts on “Father’s Day for Bereaved Fathers”

  1. Yes, fathers do grieve. I can attest to that. Sometimes in my blogs, I just tell stories because I don’t know exactly what to say. Sometimes, I’m right on and say exactly what it is. I plan on something about tomorrow but don’t know when I’ll get to it. It’s excessively difficult this year since my best friend just passed away. I haven’t processed anything and might take some time to get there. Walking his wife, also a close friend, through this process of arrangements for funeral and things trying to make things flow smoothly for her. Thank you for your posts. They’ve been helpful. Hugs.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for reminding of us of this tragic reversal. While I am missing my father so terribly, I did not think about father’s who do not have a child to celebrate with. My Father’s Day post is devoted to those who’ve lost their Dad, especially very young, and those who are estranged.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Melanie—my wife shared the link to your blog not long after our 22-year-old son died in a fall from his fraternity’s rooftop 3 years ago. Your words have been the single greatest support for me on my grief journey. Thank you from a Grieving Father.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m very thankful the blog has been a help on your journey. I am sometimes afraid that since I write from a bereaved mom’s perspective, I’m leaving dads out. Even though I know y’all experience many of the same emotions and struggles, I never want to assume my experience translates to that of another. Praying that you feel the Father’s loving arms around you tomorrow in a special way.


      1. Melanie, I second Jerry’s thanks to you! As you know, there are many grief ‘resources’ out there – in fact, I had no idea of the extent of that until we lost Emily 19 months ago – but your words and heart have cut through so much of the fog for me. It was clearly God’s grace that brought you to me and you have made the difference in my journey. In so many ways, and so often. Most of all, it is your utter conviction that (a) our children are now happy and perfected and that (b) we WILL see them again…in the midst of your sorrow…that has made all of THIS less unbearable. What a gift you have given this mama. Thank you so much.


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