Miscarriage and Father’s Day. Miscarriage affects all family members. Would-be-dads, grandfathers, uncles and brothers all experience their own grief. While miscarriage is all too common, as a society we are not good at helping women or men with their loss.
Sunday, June 19th, 2011 is Father’s Day. It is a day that day can be filled with many emotions. As part of a couple we know this can be a stressful, sad day. But there are things we can do to help… we don’t have to “just ignore” it or not recognize it. We know this all too well because we are two women who have experienced miscarriages with our husbands and have gone on to heal. We created Our Hope Place (www.OurHopePlace.com) in order for friends (and family members) to help cope, hope and heal after miscarriage.
We have put together some suggestions to help you and your partner get through the day:
-Be true to your feelings. As the man, you may think it will be easier not to show how you are feeling about the miscarriage as you think your emotions will upset your partner even more. (Men & women can grieve differently.) You decide you want to stay strong to protect her but only end up feeling alone and isolated. As the woman, you were thinking of how nice it would be to buy your partner a “father-to-be” Father’s Day card and now after the miscarriage —Father’s Day is just another reminder of your loss. Take time to communicate before the day arrives. Really express to each other how you are feeling about both the miscarriage and what Father’s Day will mean to you this year.
– Realize that your emotions can sneak up on you… that you might think you will feel one way, but on the day a whole other set of emotions may set in…
-Be patient with each other. Do not criticize each other (or yourself) for how you are feeling. Grieving is a very personal process and should be respected. Do realize that everyone copes with the same loss in different ways. You may not be able to take away your partner’s pain but letting your partner know that you are there for him/her and that you love each other will go a long way.
-Plan ahead to do something meaningful for both of you. Take a walk with each other in a favorite park. Plant some flowers or a tree in your yard to remember your baby. Go to church and say a prayer. Get together and enjoy time with your extended family. Even stay home, order take-out and just enjoy each other’s company. There is no “wrong” way to spend the day.
-Don’t be afraid to say “NO”. Do what you both need to do on Father’s Day even if it means not participating in traditional family events. Explain why you would rather not participate to your family. (“Right now we are feeling too emotional to be with everyone on Father’s Day.”)
-Try to focus on the positive. Being grateful for what we already had in our lives and thinking positively is what helped us with our healing process and led us to create Our Hope Place (www.OurHopePlace.com). We decided to share our friendship, a special bracelet of hope and it’s inspiring story to help others who have also experienced miscarriage. (We have a special section for the partner/spouse to visit – http://www.ourhopeplace.com/partnertodo.html)
Only by being there for each other and celebrating Father’s Day together in your own way will you both be able to remember your loss, continue with your healing process and look to the future.
Here’s to celebrating Father’s Day your way,
Laura & Sharon