Perinatal Bereavement & Palliative Care NORTHSIDE HOSPITAL
Resources for Fathers
Most men find that they grieve differently from women. Sometimes, men aren’t even given a chance to grieve at all because they are expected to “be strong” and to take care of everyone else. Other men may feel they didn’t have the same connection to the pregnancy and the baby that the moms did and therefore find it difficult to understand what she is feeling. It can be frustrating when there is nothing you can do to “fix” the sadness or to make yourself or anyone else feel better. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to grieve. The important thing is that you acknowledge your feelings, whatever they are, and that you have an opportunity to express and share those feelings.
Couple Communication After A Baby Dies (Ilse and Tim Nelson) The Ilse's and the Nelson's have endured over 20+ years each of the ups, downs, and togetherness since their babies died. They share their intimate journeys and offer support. Thoughts from other couples are included and a section of thought-provoking questions and conversation starters. This book deals with these questions and more: What becomes the biggest challenge for bereaved parents after their baby dies? Do men feel overwhelmed, out of control, and ignored soon after their baby dies? What can they do about it, and how do they work to keep their relationship with their wives strong? After some time has passed, how does couple communication change and grow if they don’t find outside help? Do old habits continue, and are seeds planted for more problems later on?
A Guide for Father's: When a Baby Dies (Nelson) This pocket-sized book is for men who experience the death of their infant child -- whether it be miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death. Meant to be a guide during the early hours and days after finding out the news of their baby's death, the book offers suggestions for communicating with medical caregivers, offering support to their partner, telling the news to other children, making funeral arrangements, and taking care of themselves in a time of crisis. It goes on to talk about effective communications during the weeks and months following the loss, going to a support group, returning to the workplace, and the issues surrounding a subsequent pregnancy.
Swallowed by a Snake: The Gift of the Masculine Side of Healing (Golden) A lot of men don't buy "self-help books" and are skeptical about "psychobabble." This short, simple, and straightforward book is something that men can relate to. It also gives a lot of insights to women, why may not understand that men grieve differently from women.
The Star Legacy Foundation - Provides live, online support groups for families who have experienced a perinatal loss and for individuals experiencing a pregnancy after a loss. Groups are held via HIPAA-compliant videoconferencing and facilitated by trained health professionals. Registration required for first session only.
Tim Nelson's Blog - Tim and his wife Monica experienced the full-term stillbirth of their second child, Kathleen. While that was a number of years ago, Tim has stayed connected to the issue through his writing and speaking on the topic of father's grief. He, like many men, had trouble talking about his feelings after his daughter's death. His blog is a place for dads to share their thoughts about what they are experiencing and to find support from other dads. Tim is also the author of A Guide for Father's: When a Baby Dies.
Healing Together: For Couples Whose Baby Died (Lister & Lovell) Covers ideas from the memorial service to talking together, information on how men and women grieve differently, and how to strengthen your relationship after the loss of your baby
Miscarriage: A Man's Book (Wheat) The author talks to men about their wives' sorrow, their own struggles, and how to support each other
Stillborn: The Invisible Death (Defrain and Martens) Drawing on the moving and eloquent testimony of 350 parents of stillborn babies, it explores such topics as blame, shock, and guilt; seeing, holding, and remembering the baby; the autopsy and funeral; effects on family relationships, including moving and divorce; thoughts of suicide; increased substance abuse; surviving children and subsequent pregnancies; returning to normal; and reaching out to others.
When Bad Things Happen to Good People (Kushner) Written by a Rabbi facing his own child's fatal illness. Guides us through the inadequacies of the traditional answers to the problem of evil and then provides a uniquely practical and compassionate answer that has appealed to millions of readers across all religious creeds.