Soundwaves Perinatal Bereavement Support

Bereavement Support For Parents Grieving the Loss of a Baby During or Just After Pregnancy

Father’s Day June 16, 2009

The Father’s Day after I gave birth to my stillborn twin sons my husband and I hosted my family at our house for a dinner together. My niece made my husband a tie out of paper and crayons. She also made one for her own father (my brother) and her grandfather (my father). My husband and I had not yet successfully had a healthy, living baby. Upon seeing my husband wearing the tie, my father said “Hey, why did you get a tie? You’re not a father yet.”

Those words cut me like a knife. And although he didn’t say anything, I’m sure my husband was hurt as well. I had had two miscarriages and carried the twins for six months when they were stillborn. Weren’t we parents? I felt very much like a mother.  And I know my husband felt very much like a father as well.

For the tenth anniversary of our twins’ death this past September, my husband wrote a beautiful tribute to them. I would like to share it with you here, and dedicate it to all the grieving fathers who have lost a baby. I will be thinking of you this Sunday…

Ten years ago marked one of the most painful events in our lives.

There is nothing like the loss of children… particularly first children.  The grief is unique… and deeply painful.  It steals hope and destroys dreams.  It challenges faith.  It raises the simple question, “why us?” 

But is also renews faith, as a reminder that there are some things only God knows… leaving us with only acceptance… letting go… but remembering.  Trusting God.

I can only surmise God’s plan for taking Joseph and Andrew.  It is not within my power to know it.

Perhaps it was to leave a loving mother behind… to always remember… and to be of service to others in similar pain.  Perhaps remembering renews love and commitment for the two beautiful blessings God has now provided for us… Andrew and Matthew. 

Perhaps God brings us emotional pain as an opportunity for true humility.  To help us to see what is really important.  To see where he wants us to serve others.  It is through seeing the truth of these things… if we allow ourselves to see… that He leads us to true joy in our lives… to gratitude in each moment.

But this is all supposition for now.  Maybe the real answers will be revealed when we meet Joseph and Andrew, again, in God’s eternal kingdom.  Until then, I thank Joseph and Andrew’s Mom for remembering… and taking me here from time to time… for a refresher in pain, humility…  joy and gratitude.


A Grieving Father February 28, 2009

When my twin sons were stillborn over ten years ago, my grief was incredibly intense and lasted for a very long time. I don’t think I was feeling myself again for more than a year after their death. Daily tasks and even laughter were difficult. I have since learned that is very normal for a mother.

My husband had a different experience. I think because he didn’t form the attachment to the twins as I did early in my pregnancy, and because men for the most part grieve differently than women, he was able to “pull it together” within weeks after their death. He resolved his feelings by going back to work and taking care of me. He learned the words to the song “Tears In Heaven” by Eric Clapton and played it on his guitar. But that was for the most part the extent to which he showed his grief.

At first I was very hurt by the fact that he didn’t seem to want to talk about the babies as much as me. Nor did he want to visit their grave as often. We attended a support group together a couple of times, but he didn’t really want to go after that. I felt he wasn’t truly sharing the intense grief experience I was going through. At the time I couldn’t understand why he wasn’t seemingly feeling the same pain.

Through my experiences since, I have learned that what my husband exhibited was very normal for a grieving man. For the most part, men aren’t as emotional and tend to work out their feelings through doing, like going back to work or taking care of a grieving partner. Although this is not true of all men (everyone grieves differently), it was in my experience.

We were among the fortunate that our ordeal with the twins brought us much closer together as a couple. Through our lost children and grief we became stongly bonded forever.  Unfortunately, not every couple ends up that way.

There are many resources for grieving fathers and their partners on the internet. The National Share office has a pamphlet on their website found under “Support Resources” that fathers might find helpful.  The M.I.S.S. Foundation has a Father’s Page found in their “Family Resources” section. Both websites can be accessed on the side of this page.

Until next time both mothers and fathers…take care and hang in there.