Silent Grief ~ The Father and the loss of his son ~

Posted on February 6, 2009

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I really needed to find a reason as to why he is still, so sad.

The “he” is my husband, not Jonathan’s natural father!
“he ~ my husband found our son”
I cannot imagine what it was like for him to have to tell me my son was dead!

I found this article very enlightening this morning and I wanted to share this with you, as it is not all about the mother ~ we must not forget that the father grieves as well.

It has been said there is no loss greater than that in the loss of a child.
For families who experience the death of a child, whether an infant or an adult, the surviving family members are often left to cope with their own feelings of grief. While the mother of the child is often consoled extensively, the father of a child who has passed away may, at times, feel lost in the grieving process.

Compounded by this process is the vastly different way in which men grieve. For the most part, this vastly different response to grief, by men, is a one that is learned, taught and expected through their own upbringing. In many cases, these same men, even when faced with the death of their own child, will view the mourning and grieving process as a challenge and test they must win.

To “win” this challenge, so to speak, the father who grieves the loss of his own child will often show an overwhelming tendency towards remaining quiet and silent. This silence, in essence, allows a grieving father to control, to some extent, his vulnerabilities and protects them from the ultimate emotional breakdown. What is commonly not seen, however, is this same grieving man who will express his grief in solitude and in silence.

When coping with the death of a child, the grieving father will commonly take on new personality traits. Because men are taught to be the protector of the family, the loss of a child is often perceived as a failure on their part and, as a result, the male figure of the family will feel as if they need to take on a role of protecting the other family members. To this end, the grieving father can become consumed in the details and events following the death of a child and, as a result, may show little to no sadness initially.

Because men cope with grief on a level that is far different from woman, it is important that they be permitted to express their grief differently. For many women, the expression of grief comes quite naturally, leaving a mother to wonder why her husband does not feel the overwhelming sense of sadness she may feel. While it may seem he does not feel these same depths of sadness, rest assured, he does. Because men are taught to behave in a manner that is not expressive during times of intense stress, and must be the protectors of the family, it is normal for a father, who has lost a child, to grieve in silence and for very prolonged periods of time.

This link was the first I clicked on ~ it has some excellent information, as well as really interesting comments ~
Direct link to the article and the person to be acknowledged ~

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Posted in: JdMacHope