I’ve gotten a similar comment from two different bereaved fathers in the past two days.
It goes something like this, “I’m offended by the implication (one was in a meme, another was a reader comment) that mothers grieve more than dads”.
I appreciate the comments even though I disagreed with the interpretation these men gave to what was actually stated.
I responded by saying that since I am a mother-not a father-I write from my own perspective. I don’t try to fit my shoes on anyone else’s feet.
I also said that if they chose to read any blog post I have written, I have never implied nor stated that a father’s grief is somehow less than a mother’s. The only differentiation I make between my grief and anyone else’s is that child loss is qualitatively different than other kinds of loss.
Losing your hamster just isn’t the same.
I don’t claim special status because I’m a mother grieving my child.
But I will absolutely, positively admit that often dads get overlooked when people offer comfort and solace.
Maybe it’s because fathers (as a group) tend to be more stoic, less demonstrative and quieter about the boatload of feelings grief brings. Often men grieve privately, shed tears in secret and may not post anything on social media even when they are really struggling.
As all of us in the bereaved parent community know, most folks are trying hard to wait us out-hoping beyond hope that this period of active mourning will pass sooner rather than later.
So dads sometimes play right into that desire by staying silent.
Let me just say this: Fathers grieve too.
Dads miss their children just as much as mothers. My husband was overwhelmed by grief for months after Dominic left us. It literally incapacitated him for a period of time. So I know firsthand about a father’s grief.
If you’re a dad and feel marginalized, overlooked, forgotten or underrepresented in the bereaved parent community, may I ask you to do me a favor?
Share your grief.
Be a voice for bereaved dads everywhere.
I, for one, want to hear what you have to say.