Dads are often overlooked or forgotten in the aftermath of baby loss. We typically emphasize support for the mom who has physically endured the unimaginable and at times fail to recognize that dads grieve too. They experience the same loss but may work through the grief differently.
I remember years ago feeling like there just weren’t enough resources for grieving parents. When I would stumble across a resource like a blog post, article, book, or podcast,10 times out of 10 it would be geared toward a grieving mother. But I often wondered, what about dads?
Yes, women and men grieve differently and experience the loss in their own unique way, but we cannot forget about the dads who have walked alongside us in our darkest days. They, too, need support, acknowledgement, and encouragement.
Men already have to deal with the societal expectation to "be strong" or "get over it". They carry the weight of their entire family. At a loss for words, they hold our hands, they serve us, and pick up the pieces all around us. They love us in sickness and in health, in life and death. They are asked, "How is your wife doing?" when all the while, they are left in the dust grieving in isolation. They may feel helpless when they are unable to fix what's broken.
Staying strong with an outward appearance of resilience, they feel the pressure to be privately working through their sorrow in whatever way feels right to them. Maybe what feels right is doing something with their hands, like a project, or something productive that can help ease the unbearable nature of not being able to fix this. Maybe they are able to process in written form more than verbal. Do what feels right. There is no single correct way to grieve.
If you are a grieving dad whose baby is in Heaven instead of your arms, I want to offer you some encouragement from the bottom of my heart. I am so sorry you know the pain of loss firsthand.
You are not walking this path alone.
It will not always feel this suffocating.
There is hope to be found.
Your story is not over.
Your fatherhood matters.
Your baby matters.
Your grief matters.
Your grief may look different, and that’s okay.
It’s okay to grieve. To ask for help. To show emotion. To lean on your wife. To cry out to God. To wrestle with tough questions. It's okay to not be okay.
To the grieving mom
If you are a grieving mom who stumbled across this blog post in hopes of finding ways to encourage your grieving husband, I want to give you the biggest virtual hug. I’ve been in your shoes and the weight you’re experiencing feels unbearable at times. You look to your spouse and in his strength and grit he carries what he can. He wasn’t meant to carry it all on his own. He is not designed to know and meet each of your needs (spiritual, physical, emotional). The only One who truly knows your every thought is the One who created you. Lean on Him. Full-sprint run to the one who creates and sustains each of us.
Pray for your husband. Ask that God would meet him right where he’s at. That God would bless him with strong and supportive friendships that can care for him. We weren't meant to walk this road alone. Be patient with him, be a safe space, check in with him, pursue him, and remind him he is not alone.
Lamentations 3:20-25 (NLT) “I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; his mercies begin afresh each morning. I say to myself, “The Lord is my inheritance; therefore, I will hope in him!” The Lord is good to those who depend on him, to those who search for him."
Resources For Men Grieving Miscarriage
Books on Grief for Men:
- Ours: Biblical Comfort for Men Grieving Miscarriage By: Eric Schumacher
- Grieving Dads: To the Brink and Back by Kelly Farley
- Fathers Speak: On the Death of a Child by Emily R. Long
- From Father to Father: Letters From Loss Dad to Loss Dad by Emily R. Long
- Men and Miscarriage: A Dad's Guide to Grief, Relationships, and Healing After Loss By Aaron Gouveia
- Holding on to Love After You've Lost a Baby: The 5 Love Languages for Grieving Parents by Gary Chapman
- Suffering by Paul David Tripp
Podcasts on Grief for Men:
The Joyful Mourning Podcast:
- Episode 018 - Strengthening Your Marriage after Pregnancy Loss with Matt & Ashley Opliger
- Episode 069- Navigating Marriage After Infant Loss - Trisomy 18 With Laura & Andrew Moore
- Episode 070- Navigating Marriage After Infant Loss With Mary Margaret & Tim Powitz
- Episode 080- Marriage After Miscarriage & Infant Loss with Aaron and Ashlee Proffitt
- Episode 083- 7 Things Your Husband Wants You to Know About His Grief with Ashlee Proffitt
- Episode 111- Marriage After Miscarriage with Josefina Sanders
- Episode 165- Marriage After Miscarriage and How to Support a Grieving Dad | with Joseph & Corrie Lovette
Footprints on Our Hearts Podcast:
- Episode 037- A Dad’s Perspective on Second Trimester Stillbirth and Pregnancy After Loss
- Episode 010- Henry’s Story, Supporting Bereaved Dads and Pinecones with Chris Binnie
- Episode 53 Praying for Healing, Preparing for Death with Clint Watkins
Through The Lens Podcast:
Support Groups for Grieving Men:
- Grieving Fathers (Facebook Page)
- Grieving Fathers (Closed Facebook Group)
- The Grieving Dad’s Project (Closed Facebook Group)
- Grieving Dads – To The Brink and Back (Facebook Page)
- A Father's Loss (Father's who have lost children)- Facebook Group
- Walking With You- Support For Grieving Fathers- Facebook Group
- Miscarriage Matters 2 Men- Facebook Support Group
Helpful Websites & Blogs for Grieving Men
Encouragement for Grieving Dads:
- For The Dads- StillMothers.com
- Father’s Grief Archives- on Share.org
- A Father’s Grief- Still Standing Magazine
- For Men Dealing with Miscarriage, Loss and Grief- DadVerb Youtube Video
- Dads Hurt Too: A Father’s Memoir of Miscarriage- Eric Schumaker
- Honest Answers From a Grieving Father About Life after Baby Loss | Q & A with Jacob Anderson on The Morning Blog
- Wisdom & Hope For Grieving Fathers after Two Baby Losses | Q & A with Rodney Noel on The Morning Blog
- Wisdom & Hope For Grieving Fathers after Two Baby Losses | Q & A with Matt Randall
Encouragement for Grieving Dads on Father’s Day:
- Happy Father’s Day: A Message From The Women Who Love You - The Morning Blog
- Father’s Day is Different For the Dad Whose Baby is in Heaven by Jenny Albers
- Dear Dad | From a Grieving Dad to a Grieving Dad on Father's Day by The Morning
- Bereaved Dads Are Brave Dads- Still Standing Magazine
- To the Brave Fathers Who Have Been on the Losing Team by Jenny Albers
Encouragement for Marriage:
- How to Keep Your Marriage Intact after Miscarriage – Relevant Magazine
- From Man to Man after Miscarriage: Honest Talk about Marriage and Loss by Trevor Bowen
- He said, she said: Couples talk about miscarriage and marriage by Adriel Booker
- 5 Tips For Holding On To Your Marriage When Grieving by Still Standing Magazine
For Wives, Looking For Ways To Support Your Husband:
- Supporting The Man You Love Through Miscarriage, Pregnancy Loss, and Grief
- How Miscarriage Affects a Marriage by Lindsey Bell
Gifts for Bereaved Fathers:
My husband and I created this intentional care package with a grieving dad in mind. We desire to help send love and encouragement to dads who have experienced unimaginable loss. We hope and pray that this gift makes them feel less alone in their grief.
Gift Set Includes:
- Journal - "Yet I still dare to hope" hardbound journal with elastic band and accordion pocket
- Leather Bookmark - "He gives strength to the weary" bookmark with suede tassel
- Watercolor Hymn Art Print - “Farther Along”
- Hand-Poured Soy Candle - Sandalwood Vanilla 4oz.
- Resource Cards - Book Recommendations, Encouraging Bible Verses for Grief, and online resources
- Pour-Over Latte - Copper Cow Coffee Premium Vietnamese Coffee: Flavor: Salted Caramel coffee with latte creamer packet
- Ghirardelli Milk Chocolate Caramel Square
Care Package Add-on Options:
- Ours: Biblical Comfort for Men Grieving Miscarriage By Eric Schumacher & Paul Tripp
- Citrus Pinch Me Therapy Dough: a professionally developed, soft, pliable dough infused with calming aromatherapy
Bible Verses for Grieving Men
- Deuteronomy 31:8
- Psalm 23:4
- Psalm 34:18
- Psalm 56:8
- Psalm 126:5
- Isaiah 25:8
- Lamentations 3:20-24
- Matthew 5:4
- John 16:33
- Romans 8:26-30
- 2 Corinthians 1:3-5
- 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
- 1 Peter 5:7
- Revelation 21:4