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What bereaved dads want you to know this Father’s Day

What bereaved dads want you to know about their loss

'It still hurts like hell that they are not here' Picture: Ben White on Unsplash

Father’s Day can be a highly emotional day for dads who are living with the loss of a child.

Peer-to-peer grief support network Daddys With Angels has created a safe space where grieving dads don’t have to feel ‘strong’ – and can feel supported by other people – at any time of year.

Its members are there for other parents when they need to talk about pregnancy loss, baby loss or the death of a child.

Here, members of the forum share what they would like others to know on Father’s Day.

"No matter how short a time a child was in your life, it still hurts like hell that they are not here.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day -dandelionPicture: David Zawila on Unsplash

“Remember that there are men who may no longer – or have never – held their angel in their arms, but will always hold them in their heart.

“These men are, and will always be a dad.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day - lightPicture: Riccardo Annandale on Unsplash

“We should appreciate every moment we have with our children.

“Even though they are no longer with us, we will always be fathers to our angels.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day- featherPicture: Andraz Lazic on Unsplash

“Life for us has been a challenge every day, since we have become angel dads.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day-cloudsPicture: Eberhard Grossgasteiger on Unsplash

“You’re a dad for life!”

Bereaved dads Father's Day- heartand lightPicture: Bruce Hong on Unsplash

“I’m proud to call myself Joshua’s dad, and I love it when people acknowledge him at any time, not just on Father’s Day.

“So many people find it hard to talk about him, or even mention him, but I wish they would do so more often.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day baby shoes

“The one that buy me gifts aren’t the only ones I think of. Every day. Not just on Father’s Day.”

 rainbowsPicture: Abigail Keenan on Unsplash '

“Even though our kids aren’t here, we are still fathers regardless.

“I just want the other angel dads to know you are cared for. If you need me, I’m here for you all.”

 Bereaved dads Father's Day-butterfly Picture: Dan Gold on Unsplash

“I will always be a dad, in my heart. I think of my angel in Heaven every day.

“It’s harder because Father's Day and her birthday are only a week apart.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day- pebbles

“Last year was the first time I actually did something for Father’s Day...the missus convinced me. I had a good day, but I still hate the day.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day- broken heart

Father’s Day is a reminder of what should be – and what has been taken from me.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day- toy truckPicture: Markus Spiske on Unsplash

“I’m dreading it. Should've been my first as a father.

“Missus is planning a picnic at the grave. Nice idea, but dunno how I’ll be. Good luck to everyone.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day- hands of comfort

“Father’s Day is hard, but remember lads, you’re not alone.

“I seem to have avoided the build up this year but sure I’ll notice on the day. I used to do things on Father’s Day, go see him, or decorate his bed – and it helped.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day-cribPicture: Bastien Jaillot on Unsplash

“Try not to get bound up with the commercialism of the day. Use it as an opportunity for contemplation of the value of life and how fragile it is.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day- dandelion clockPicture: Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash

“Don’t take your kids for granted.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day- father child

“I have always hated this day. Especially after having my angel. I like what my Dad said, that it is just a made up ‘Hallmark Holiday’.”

Bereaved dads Father's Day- heart on grass Picture: Isaac Benhesed on Unsplash

“I celebrate the fact I am a dad to the son I lost, as well as the children I still have on this earth.

“It's welcome to hear ALL of my kid’s names.

“You cannot hurt me by mentioning Declan because my hurt is always there. It actually comforts me to hear others acknowledge him.”

Daddys with Angels is behind a campaign for the last Sunday of every June to be marked as Bereaved Father’s Day – a calendar date for acknowledging grieving dads and the child they have lost.

  • If you’re a dad – or other family member – seeking a connection with other people who identify and empathise, visit www.daddyswithangels.org.
  • A day to acknowledge the loss of grieving dads: Discover more about a new calendar date, Bereaved Fathers Day.
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