Father’s Day for the Bereaved Dad

Father’s Day can be challenging for the bereaved dad, just like Mother’s Day is for the bereaved mom. It only adds to the problem when fathers who have lost a child do not receive the support they need (but may not ask for) after their loss. This is not a fact I recognized around the time of Zachary’s passing, which I am sorry for. I was very introspective and self-focused back then, which is okay when you are trying to hold it together yourself. I still attempted to be there for my husband, though I’m not sure if I did a good job of it.

My husband Aaron resumed life quickly after our loss, which at the time hurt me deeply. I felt abandoned by my partner and couldn’t see that he was grieving. Boy, was I wrong! I did not appreciate the deep undertow of male grief. I expected Aaron to express himself in the same way as me.

Since then I have learned that everyone – not just men and women – grieve in their own unique ways.

This has been a gift, to recognize this, because it allows me to:

  1. Be more graceful with myself, having less expectations on how I should progress on this journey
  2. Be more compassionate with others who are figuring things out in their own way and on their own timeline

 

I recently published an excerpt from my book – obviously written from my perspective – and the corresponding chapter re-written through Aaron’s eyes. He worked with me on this, so I am not making up the male view on grief and marital struggle in the face of loss. Aaron has given his stamp of approval.

It was very important to me that these chapters be shared around Father’s Day.

My goal is to bring awareness to the male experience of loss. To give couples insight on their partner. To encourage men to speak out about their struggles. To prompt support for men after loss.

 

Happy Father’s Day to Dads of all kinds, including bereaved Fathers.

Happy Father’s Day to ALL dads!

 

Click here to read the two perspective chapters on the Huffington Post. I called it: “The Importance Of Recognizing Male Grief On Father’s Day: Re-Writing Loss From My Husband’s Perspective”

 

You can also read another article I wrote for The Good Men Project. It’s called: “He Said, She Said: One Couple, Two Perspectives on Grief” where Aaron and I answered questions about our loss, grief, and healing, but did so separately, then compared answers. Click here. 

 

Thank you so much for reading and sharing this information. I believe that we can change the way our culture thinks about loss by talking about our experiences in authentic ways. This ties into the “Healthy Grief Movement” that I am pioneering in my own slow-paced way. To that end, I would like to add a point to the manifesto list.

 

The “Healthy Grief Movement” Manifesto:

  1. People receive support no matter the kind of loss they experience
  2. There is a vocabulary to talk about loss and offer comfort
  3. Death is accepted as a natural and beautiful part of life
  4. There are positive personal and social rituals at the time of loss and for mourning afterwards
  5. There is an open, authentic quality to the conversation of loss
  6. People are encouraged to share their stories and remember their loved ones
  7. Support is given regardless – but in respect of – of gender, race, and religion (added in now)

 

I believe we can kick-start the “Healthy Grief Movement” in three key ways, though I recognize there are many more opportunities to take this idea and run with it.

  • Talk with children about death, normalizing it, and removing the stigma
  • Educate adults and youth about personal grief and how to help others
  • Encourage people to be open with their stories now, even if our culture is not yet receptive

 

Thank you for reading Wanted Chosen Planned. This is a blog about life after the loss of a child, but it is also much, much more. It is a place to find resources and to create community.

Sending out a virtual HUG this Father’s Day!

With gratitude,

– Alexis Marie Chute

 

P.s. If you know a man that likes to read and has lost a child, check-out Expecting Sunshine. Sorry for this plug, but I do believe my book can help men, women, couples! For more info on Expecting Sunshine, click here. 

Click on the image to save and share. Thanks for helping spread the word!

 

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