When child loss occurs, especially an early loss such as a miscarriage, stillbirth, or an ectopic pregnancy, a mother suffers a double blow. She not only has to work through the emotional grief of the loss, but she has to work through the physical grief.
Just for Dads
When child loss occurs, for some reason most of the sympathy expressed is pointed in the direction of the mother of the child. The reality is that fathers grieve the death of their child, too, and they need support during this difficult, lonely time.
Many fathers, however, have experienced the devastation of losing a child, and there seems to be an almost non-existent recognition of the fact that fathers suffer from feelings of lost dreams, loneliness, failure, and loss of identity when a child has died.
I often hear from women concerning their husband's kids from a prior relationship. They notice that Dads who don't live with their kids find it challenging to stay connected, and describe the difficulties of integrating these kids into the family when they come to visit.
Many new fathers -- not all, to be sure -- love their children enormously, but from a safe distance. We all know that it's important for a dad to help with the baby. But how do you accomplish that, especially if his idea of childcare is putting her in a motorized swing while he watches Sportscenter?