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.
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.