Today have the father read.
Fathers are so critical. This time of grieving may feel centered around the woman, but you play a vital role in this grieving process. Obviously, I do not know exactly how you feel, but you are feeling something. Grief is grief regardless of male or female. I will not leave you out of this conversation or healing journey. You lost a child just as much as the mother, your wife, or your girlfriend did. You are hurting, and your feelings need to be acknowledged. Men and women handle grief differently, and even more so, every person handles loss differently. You may go through the previous posts if you like, and I encourage you to do so.
My daughters’ father was barely involved in my pregnancy. When Nila had passed, he barely spoke to me. At the funeral, he cried but said very little. We never talked about the death or the effect it had on him or me. Then one day, he was gone and still is. Even seven years later, I wish I could talk to him about it.
The following are your goals:
- Acknowledging the loss of your child
- Get healed, don’t ignore your grief.
- Communication is necessary right now.
- What your role is for your family
Acknowledging the grief for you and your partner is VERY important right now. Do not pretend that nothing happened. You lost a baby too, and you need to decide how you feel about it and what you will do with this grief moving forward. It will be easier for you to pretend nothing happened than your wife, girlfriend, or the mother of your child, but do not. Fight the need to run from this pain. Fight the need to brush it under the rug. Be there not only for the mom but for yourself!
Evaluate where you are with your grief. Are you in denial? Are you avoiding it? Are you lashing out in pain? Are you simply grieving? Once you know where you are, start moving forward through the grieving process. Deal with your denial and anger. Allow all the pain in. Don’t shut it out. Speak about what you are going through—walk through your grief. You do not need to rush to help your family. Start the process, and then you can guide your family along the path of freedom with you. If you do not know where to start or heal, ask God how you should proceed. You cannot give what you do not have, and if you are not on the road to healing, you cannot ultimately help your family.
Communicate! I cannot say this enough, communicate with your wife or girlfriend. Talk about it even if you don’t want to talk. Women need communication. It is not a want but a need. Every woman is different, so be respectful to her currently but don’t keep quiet. Allow her to talk about it as much as she wants. If you need to talk about your stillborn more than her, I pray she will give you that same freedom.
As the man of the house, you are called by God to lead. So, no matter how much she fights, you show her in this time of pain with patience, grace, and love. You are the leader of this home, whether your partner lets you behave that way or not. And the only way to lead is by being led by Jesus. So, right now is the time to get on your knees in prayer with God. If you don’t have a prayer life, get one. You need Jesus now more than ever, and she needs you, even if she is pushing you away. It will be your prayers and closeness to God our Father that will guide you in your healing your heart, the leadership of your family, and helping your loved one through this horrible tragedy. That is your role, and God will give you the strength to fulfill it.
If you are not with the person, you had a stillborn with, I encourage you still to help her through this process as much as she will allow. Although I am Nila’s mother, and Josh was her father, no one else can give me his perspective, and I wish I could have heard his heart or his head about it all. I wish I could have experienced his side of the story and his memories.
You are exactly who your partner needs right now, so be there for them. I pray they are there for you as well.
Always meditate on scripture. Here is a suggestion.
Eph 5:25 “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her.” NIV
Until next time.
Disclaimer, I am not a therapist or doctor. If you are considering hurting yourself or others, please seek medical attention. This advice and may not work for everyone.