When a child dies, fathers grieve. Culturally, men grieve in different ways, often because of how they are taught -- or not taught -- to show grief and sadness. Because of the perceived need to "stay strong" and hide emotions, it's imperative that dads actively seek ways to process and deal with grief over the loss of a child. Dads can seek comfort in other dads, see a therapist or counselor, attend a support group, become a member of an online support group, and share their story with others to seek healing by opening up.
Online resources specifically for dads dealing with infant and child loss can be more difficult to find. The following list may help you or someone you know begin the process of working through your grief and finding the way to continue everyday living.
Grieving Dads - This site is based on one dad's experience of the loss of two children and his subsequent sharing and inviting other dads to share of their losses. Kelly Farley went on to write a book by the same name in which he shares the collected stories of grieving fathers. On the site, you can find blog entries (dating back since 2010) of his experience and those shared by others, an invitation to share your own story (anonymous if desired), and links to his book and one-on-one coaching and workshops.
A Blog for Fathers When a Baby Dies- Another helpful collective of personal grief stories (and sharing through comments) can be found in this blog. Author Tim Nelson began the blog as a way to deal with the loss of his full-term stillborn child, Kathleen.
Daddit Thread- While there isn't a Reddit specific for infant loss support for dads, there is an incredibly helpful thread that shares advice for a dad who has just lost a child. Reddit also has a general pregnancy/infancy/child loss support page.
General Resources- While these resources are not specific to dads, they offer support and resources for both parents and can be immensely helpful.Find resources and in-person support groups atPregnancy After Loss Support,Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Directory, andShare. Find additional resources, and online and phone support atFirst Candleand on the list of websites shared atHealing Hearts.
If you're a friend or family member of a father who has experienced loss and wondering what to do and how to support, check out the simple andto-the-point advice in this article on Huffington Post by author and co-founder of Reconceiving Loss, Tara Shafer.
TagsBirth Parenting Dads Partners Infant loss Miscarriage Healthy Pregnancy Fathers Pregnancy Loss Child loss Grief