Dear Grieving Daddy

Dear grieving daddy,

I know that saying ‘goodbye’ to your child, before really having the chance to say ‘hello’ has caused you unimaginable pain. I know that losing your baby has been hard. I know that, as a daddy, you see it as your duty to protect your baby and to make sure that they’re okay. I know that your baby not being down on Earth with you and mummy hurts you badly. And I know that, sometimes, other people don’t realise you’re hurting.

I know that you have moments where you’re on your knees on the floor, sobbing so hard your chest physically aches. I know that you often sit in your car, alone, with tears streaming down your face, afraid to show the world you’re crying. I know that you sometimes well up, have a lump form in your throat, and force yourself to stop the tears from falling because you feel you have to be ‘strong’.

I know you’re often asked how your partner is; people paying little mind to how you are. I know that can feel like a dagger through your heart and a punch to your gut as you think to yourself ‘what about me? I lost my baby too’ 

I’m sorry.

I’m sorry you’re so overlooked when it comes to your baby dying.

I’m sorry that no one seems to pay attention to how you feel. I’m sorry that the world and the people around you don’t understand that you, too, are dealing with an indescribable sense of loss. I’m sorry that people don’t understand that you, too, would give your very last breath to watch your sweet baby take their first. I’m sorry that you may be viewed by others as being ‘weak’ if you publicly mourn the death of your baby.

It’s okay, daddies. It’s okay; you can cry, you lost your baby too.

I could not imagine your pain. I could not imagine having to watch my partner in agony for hours upon hours, in the knowledge you’re both waiting for your sleeping baby to be born. I could not imagine having to wrap my arms around my partner, who is cradling our baby as their life support machine is about to be switched off, and feeling like I cannot cry because I have to be strong.

I will always have imprinted on my mind the moment my son’s daddy quickly wiped the tear from his eye and forced himself to become ‘composed’ upon first laying eyes on our stillborn son, moments after birth – knowing he did so to protect me, and be strong for me. I will always wish I could turn back time and simply tell him ‘it’s okay, you can cry, you lost your baby too’ 

It’s okay, daddies. It’s okay; you can cry, you lost your baby too.

I’m sorry that ‘the call’ is often left to you. I’m sorry that you’re usually the person to have to pick up the phone and ring everyone you know, to break the news to them that your baby won’t be coming home. I’m sorry that you have to say those words on repeat:

He’s dead.
She’s dead.
We’ve lost the baby.
She’s had a miscarriage.
They’re turning off her life support.
There was nothing they could do for him.

I couldn’t imagine having to say those words out loud, moments after my son died, nor moments before.

I want you to know that, even with tears streaming down your face, you are undeniably strong. I want you to know that you don’t have to be ‘strong’ as the rest of the world perceives strength all the time – if some days all you can do is breathe, then simply breathing is enough. I want you to know that survival, alone, takes unbelievable strength – if some days all you do is survive, don’t feel guilty for that, it’s enough. I want you to know that you matter. You matter. 

You are walking this journey of grief alongside your partner. You, too, wear these awfully uncomfortable shoes that you cannot sell nor get rid of. You, too, stumble your way on this path hoping and praying that you reach the destination of ‘feeling okay’ again. You, too, mourn. You, too, grieve. You, too, hurt.

I want you to know that I see you; I hear you; you aren’t alone.

It’s okay, daddies. It’s okay; you can cry, you lost your baby too.

I hope, one day, the rest of the world follows suit and learns that too. I hope, one day, ‘the call’ can be taken out of your hands if you feel it needs to, and someone else make that on your behalf. I hope, one day, you feel you can cry without judgement. I hope, one day, it becomes the norm for people to ask how you feel, when they ask you how your partner is coping.

I really, really do.

Sending love,

Natalie. x


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    Natalie Oldham

    Natalie Oldham

    Natalie. 23. Mummy to three. Two I carry in my arms; 5 year old twins, Cora and Maisie. One I carry in my heart; Otis, who was stillborn at 35 weeks and 1 day in June of 2016.