Friday, February 17, 2012

Mike, among other men.

I have been thinking alot about Mike lately.  I read awhile ago on another blog about how a dad feels after losing a child and he compares it to losing a leg.  After awhile, he learns to use a prosthetic pretty well. If he's wearing pants no one can see his leg is missing. He can function and walk around.  Some people who have only ever seen him wear pants don't even know he's missing a leg. But still it hurts and he's always missing a limb.

Some people ask me how Mike is doing but really I don't know.  If someone asks how I'm doing I can honestly say 'not too bad'.  I guess I'm learning how to use my leg too. Sometimes the truth is more 'well, awful, but functioning' know, everyone ate supper tonight, got their jammies on, a story (because heaven forbid anyone can go to sleep in this house without a story-including me really as the bible is a great comfort and I read it almost every night); but I digress.  How is Mike? I don't really know. A better question might be: How is Mike managing? He's managing all right.  He's getting work done, he's playing with the children we have left, he's putting drywall in the basement, he's hugging his wife and even remembering flowers for Valentine's...and that's managing if you're a guy, right? You get your work done, you take care of your family.  I guess Mike is managing...but has anyone asked Mike lately?  I know he tears up when he reads my posts on this blog.  I know he misses his little princess like crazy.  I wish I could do something for him like he's done so much for me...but I think the only thing that will fix either of us is holding our little princess again on that glorious day that is coming...I can see it in the distance...not too far away...there's a wedding and a feast...

Today I came across another blog and the poem below was posted there.

It must be very difficult

To be a man in grief,
Since "men don't cry"
and "men are strong"
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test,
And field the calls and visitors
So she can get some rest.

They always ask if she's all right
And what she's going through.
But seldom take his hand and ask,
"My friend, but how are you?"

He hears her crying in the night
And thinks his heart will break.
He dries her tears and comforts her,
But "stays strong" for her sake.

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew.
And try to be so very brave-
He lost his baby too.

Eileen Knight Hagemeister

If you're a grieving dad, how are you managing? coping? surviving?


  1. Hi Em - I'm a new follower and fellow baby lost mom, we lost our son, James, in Jan 2011. I have to say I have found some new perspective reading about your journey and hearing you try and put words to the unspeakable.

    Your most recent post reminds me of one I wrote last year after I too found the poem on the blog for dads who have lost. My Mike and I have struggled as we carve our own paths through our loss but always find ourselves on the same page in the moments that matter most.

    Sending love, support & warm thoughts of Eva tonight.

  2. Hello,

    I have always felt sad, in some ways, for my husband after our son Caleb died in August of 2008. He has no close friends like I do and I am not sure when the last time was that he spoke with someone outside of our family about the loss of Caleb.

    I think that men have just as much grief, but don't have the same outlets that women have, for the most part. We are very verbal (women) and will find outlets to express ourselves. Men suffer just as much with the loss of a baby/child and don't have as many healthy ways of trying to cope in a way that expresses how they are feeling.

    I have often wished that someone would pull him aside and ask him how he was doing. Even though we are into our third year of grief, it is still so close to the surface. It has gotten softer over time, but at any given time I can still find myself in tears. I still don't wear mascara.

    With love and Hope,

  3. That poem is just beautiful, and I emailed it to my husband shortly after Molly died. He cried and said thank you.

    I think men, for the most part, focus on being strong and taking care of their partners. I think it helps my husband to feel like he's helping me, but I also know he grieves Molly's death intensely. He has been my rock and my strength, and I seriously don't know what I'd do without him. I am beyond grateful for him.

    A loss like this can put a definite strain on a relationship, but thankfully my husband and I continue to cling to and support one another. I'm not saying that it's not incredibly hard work, though.