There’s a stigma in many cultures about how men are supposed to grieve. This stigma is no more conspicuous than when it comes to a father’s grief over a child lost to miscarriage or stillbirth.
Common sentiments concerning male grief are age-old and deeply ingrained across many societies: Public tears are not condoned, and if they are permitted, it is only in the quietest moments of solitude, and then, only in the short-term. Grief should not interfere with work, with family, with supporting the spouse in her grief. Public displays of grief are unmanly.
Too often these outdated sentiments are based on the assumption that a father’s grief cannot be compared to the mother’s. The emotional attachment created through pregnancy with a mother and her child cannot be disputed. There is a physical bond which occurs prior to a child entering the world and only a mother can know what that feels like. [Read more…]