Why is it that when a couple loses a baby, society is more concerned of how the mother is doing more than the father? Why is it our society perceives a mother’s grief to be more substantial than a father’s? Why is it implied that father’s don’t grieve too? I believe it all boils down to stereotypes and the old thinking of men have to be strong and hold in their emotions. While women are delicate and emotional. Well, I have news for you. Sure these stereotypes do have some truth, but it’s not right to assume all men and women fall into these cookie cutter images. The reality is men can be strong but so can women. Women can be emotional and so can men. Women aren’t the only ones who grieve for the loss of a loved one.
Mother’s certainly grieve for their babies who are gone too soon… but father’s grieve too.
After I experienced my first loss, I didn’t realize how my husband grieves. I didn’t doubt that he too was hurting and grieving over the loss of our baby, but I didn’t understand how he grieved. For the most part, Charles grieved in silence. I liked talking about our baby after both our first and second loss. Charles however, didn’t like to talk about it. Charles was more than willing to listen to my thoughts, but wasn’t too willing to share his own. This often turned into a lot of spats because I didn’t understand his grief and he didn’t understand mine. Eventually, we were able to come to a understanding.
With time, Charles would open up about his grief and sorrow he was feeling. For instance, when we would go to a store and see cute children’s clothing on the racks, he would make comments about how he wishes we could have kids who could wear cute outfits like that. Or when we would see children at a playground or park, he would mention how seeing those kids makes him sad and miss our kids sometimes.
After awhile, I had come to realize why Charles grieves the way he does. Since our losses were so hard on me emotionally and physically, he didn’t feel right falling apart while I was already a mess. He felt he needed to be the strong one, and help me through. Then, once I was feeling more stable, he was more willing to open up about his emotions and grief.
If you too have a boyfriend, partner or husband that doesn’t outwardly show his grief… you are not alone.
It can be challenging as we all grief differently. My advice to you would be communicate with one another and allow each other to grieve in your own time. My mistake, and often the reason for many of our spats was that I would push my husband to grieve… and that wasn’t right. With time, patience and communication…. grief starts to become more manageable… and something to experience together rather than apart.