This inforgraphic provides five gentle reminders for fathers in grief.
Don’t worry if you don’t feel emotional. Some fathers at some times may feel disconnected from their child, especially if the loss occurs before you have gotten to know the child. This does not reflect on your worth as a father; it is simply a way that grief can manifest.
Don’t be afraid to cry. Grief is normal, and tears can be your body’s way of signaling and processing that grief. This does not reflect on your worth as a man; it is simply a way that grief can manifest.
Be present as much as you can. Events may unfold very quickly or very slowly. Take as much time off work or other commitments as you can to be present for those events, for the mother’s sake and your own.
Connect with others. You are not alone in your grief. You can connect online or in person with support groups, particularly those designed for fathers who have experienced or expect to experience loss. There are also mental health professionals specially trained to support you in your grief.
Use your support system. You may be focused on the emotional and physical health of the child’s mother, but you may be exhausted by the grief you and she share. You can use or create support. If friends and family offer to help, accept. If it will take stress off you to hire a housecleaner or order takeout for a while, do it. Remember that you do not need to handle everything yourself while you are grieving.
Abigail Jorgensen, the Sociologist Doula