***We all know my feelings about my first Mother’s Day since losing Asher. I wanted a loss father’s perspective on Father’s Day. Hubby graciously agreed to share his thoughts and feelings with you all about this day in his own words. Note the perfect grammar and form, that whole English teacher thing. 😊***
As Father’s Day approaches, I find myself getting nervous and scared at the same time. Up until this past year, Father’s Day has always been a day where I call/see my father and thank him for all that he has done to raise me and get him a gift to show him how much I appreciate him (even though no gift will ever really show him how much he has done for me these past 30 years). As of October 2016 after we past the first 12 weeks of my wife’s pregnancy, Father’s Day took on a whole new meaning for me. This would be the first Father’s Day where I would hold my son and he would thank me (non-verbally of course) for bringing him into this world. However, February 19th came and all of that was taken away from me. Now, as Father’s Day approaches it is no longer a day where I get to hold my son, it is now a day that reminds me that I lost my beautiful boy, Asher. I know that my wife has mentioned this multiple times in her posts, but I want to reiterate her statement that both her and I are a mother and a father. We may not have the ability to physically have our son, but we will always be his mother and father.
What probably pains me the most about this upcoming day is the lack of recognition that will take place for fathers who have lost their children. My wife had the ability to go to a Mother’s Day brunch and do a Mother’s Day photo shoot thanks to fantastic organizations like the Queen B project. These events left her smiling and having a feeling of camaraderie with people who have shared in her experience. But what happens for the fathers on Father’s Day? This is a question that can be answered quite simply, not a whole lot. This lack of recognition is no one’s fault other than society in general. As men, there is a stigma placed on our gender that we should not show emotion or that we need to be strong and not show any weakness, but is that really fair. I can honestly say that I have followed that stereotype to the letter and held strong to the fact that men simply do not show emotion. Then I lost my son, and I now find myself tearing up almost every day sitting in his room or thinking about what life would be like had I not lost my son. I can honestly say that I never cried harder in my life than the moment I saw the nurse and doctor shake their heads because they could not find my son’s heartbeat. It was the most crushing moment that no person should ever have to experience. But, as fathers in loss, we did experience that moment and we did shed our protective armor and weep for the life we lost in those few moments.
Overall, I guess what I am trying to say is that this Father’s Day needs to be recognition not only for the father’s that had their children and raised them, but also for those that did not have the ability to do so. Regardless of how men are supposed to act in times of sorrow, they need to know that people care and that others are thinking about them. So, to all Father’s out there, whether you have experienced the loss of your child or are still blessed with the ability to have that child, Happy Father’s Day! Cheers!