Sunday 17th June 2018 is Fathers Day in the UK. A day I’ve always celebrated as my own dad isn’t one for emotions like me so I like to make an extra effort to spend time with him on Fathers Day.
The first Father’s Day after losing Jason, Fathers Day was boycotted, it hurt my husband too much to remember he isn’t able to celebrate like he should. He still can’t look at cards/gifts for his own dad due to the overwhelming sadness that he feels when he does. On Mother’s Day women are celebrated whether they have living children or not, my own Great Aunt who has never been able to have children is celebrated on Mother’s Day as she has been like a Mum to so many people. Men don’t have that luxury, it is assumed that they don’t think, they aren’t sensitive creatures who feel and love just like us women do. My own husband is an extremely sensitive man and isn’t afraid to show his emotions to me and he hates Fathers Day. He wouldn’t let me buy him a card, he couldn’t celebrate a day that should be different. And I get that.
This year he feels a bit happier with Father’s Day approaching, however part of me knows this is all for show and actually he still feels the same way as he did then, just now he knows he MUST celebrate it for Ellie. I know he won’t want a big fuss and it will be a normal Sunday however this year he has a card and a little present from both our children.
I understand that it is hard, having to put myself through Mother’s Day every year shows how much I understand, however this is where we are different, I was still a mother, I have two babies, Jason may not be here but he made me a mum.
I badly want to show my husband he is still an amazing Dad regardless of whether Jason is here or not, at the end of the day he did more than most fathers by helping deliver Jason and bringing him in to the world. That made him a father, the day we found out we were expecting him made him a father. It is no secret how much he idolises Ellie and I really cannot fault him as a Dad at all. Yes, he is not perfect, no one is, but everything he does is for her. Even with his own mental health issues he gives 100% of himself to her, to us.
It is easy to forget about the men who are grieving too, they show how strong they are on the outside to outsiders so that people don’t think they are weak. They are expected to “look after” the bereaved mum who is going through so much. But who actually stops and thinks about how the dad is feeling? No one. It’s harsh but it is true. I have never once thought what I am going through is different to my husband because Jason grow inside me. That has nothing to do with it. The fact is he lost his son too, he just doesn’t talk about or feel comfortable talking about it like I do so people stopped asking how he was.
Please try and think about those men who are suffering and not celebrating, there are more than you think and closer than you think. Men, as a majority, don’t talk like Women do, they don’t share their feelings to the outside world so outsiders don’t know. Since I started on the path of the bereaved parent I realised just how many men I KNOW who have known the same loss and have never spoken about it and I admire all of these men.
This Father’s Day be gentle, support your partners, friends anyone you know who is unable to celebrate this day because their children cannot be with them.
Don’t forget, A Dad Hurts Too.