Don't Forget the Dads are Grieving Too
This man right here, is a parent, a dad - whose son died. Our experience with grief has been different, but it's still grief. He did not just lose his infant son. He lost the first cry, the first eye open snuggle, introducing him to his older sister, his first car ride, introducing him to our pup, late night diaper changes and early morning cuddles. He lost hearing “dada” cross his lips, breaking up fights with his sister, crawling and walking and running around. He lost school days and school trips, buddies and girlfriends. He lost watching our son graduate from high school and pick a career path. He lost our son’s wedding and children, our in laws and grandchildren.
You see, when a baby dies, more is lost than just a baby. Everything that baby could have been also dies, a future lovingly imagined - gone in an instant. Hearts shattered, tears shed.
Slowly, gradually a new meaning of life is found, one where nothing is guaranteed or promised. Where anyone or anything can be taken without warning. Where time no longer has meaning. So, when you see a mom grieving, remember she’s not the only one who lost a future. She's not the only one who has had to navigate a new reality. There are others who are also struggling, who’ve felt the impact, so deeply, of a life that ended before it began.
You never know what someone is facing.
*written by Butterfly Run Vancouver committee member Mary Pate, in honour of her partner, her son Robert and for all the partners and fathers who are grieving.