A fathers love.

A father needs to grieve his child just as the mother can……
the grief is no less powerful because you are the man…

Fathers Day Henry, fathers day, fathers, your Dad. Your Dad is the most amazing man I know, His strength, his ability to keep going, to keep us both going, to work when he is exhausted from his grief, to keep doing things around the house, to hold me as I cry, to still put on a brave face through his heartache, to still cook, clean, care for your fur sisters. He truly is wonderful.

Fathers day, 😦 a day I have always struggled with since I lost my Dad, your grandfather, a day that every year brought with it a little hurt that I didn’t have him here, Once I knew you were on the way I couldn’t wait, I thought about how fathers day would have a positive spin, how you and I would be able to celebrate your Dad, I thought about how nice it would be to not be as sad on that day…. but instead I am now filled with more hurt, dread and pain than I could ever imagine. I feel as though there’s a boiling hot knife blade that has peirced me in the heart and one in the stomach and it is slowly and slowly getting pushed in deeper and deeper until I might completely buckle from the pain.

Dads can quickly be forgotten when it comes to grief Henry, I don’t think anyone truly releases the toll it takes on your Dad. He comes home so exhausted from work yet continues to go and work as he needs to, he often still wakes in the early hours of the morning to his thoughts and cries softly as to try not to wake me, he often doesn’t realise I am awake anyway and can hear him, sometimes I will hug him, other times I let him be as I know he needs to be left alone. There’s a stigma attached to men and grief, they should be strong, men shouldn’t cry.. but why Henry why is this so? why is this out there? as your Dad has lost the most precious thing to him on this earth, he lost his little boy, of course he’s sad he thinks of you 24/7 like I do, I see him turn away when we see a newborn down the street, I see him take the long way to walk to where we are getting to, to avoid the couple with the pram. I see the hurt he carries, its evident in his shoulders, his eyes, in the way he sits on the lounge at night with no energy, its in the way he carries himself now, a usually upbeat positive person and you can see the slight change. His grief is as heavy as mine and there should be no shame in showing it.

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What do I give your Dad on father’s day? there’s nothing that can take the agony away, nothing that makes any of this the slightest bit better… Nothing! I ended up getting your Dad a camera lens he has always wanted, It arrived on Tuesday so I decided I would give it to him early. I gave him his gift, he smiled, he was excited to put it on to his camera and he looked through the lens “look at this” he said “Look at how much of the room it captures”, it’s a special fish eye lens Henry so is shaped to capture a wider view. I looked at your Dad smiling and then thought to myself he gave me the greatest gift ever… You!! tears poured down my face I started to sob your dad hugged me “Whats wrong?” he asked me “You gave me the greatest gift ever in Henry, despite everything you gave me him and nothing, nothing seems ever good enough to thank you for that” I replied to him between sobs “We gave him to one another, he’s always out little boy” he replied holding me a little tighter.

Today Henry, fathers day has brought with it so much hurt and pain, I had another little gift for your Dad this morning, I had got him a stubby holder and bottle opener with Dad’s beer on it, I had hoped upon hope that I might be able to give those to him today with the news we would be expecting a sibling for you, but sadly not, I took a test just in case but no…. one lonely line on its own, one lonely line that is getting harder to see.

This morning your Dad as he woke I wished him ‘happy fathers day’ it felt so incredibly wrong saying it, but I also wanted to acknowledge it as he is your Dad, “I’m sorry” I said as I saw the tears form in his eyes, “no don’t be” he said “Thank you” I gave him his gifts and he could barely look at them I began to cry and hugged him so very tight we lay there together in tears, It hurts so much Henry to see your Dad hurting, it hurts that I can not in any way take his pain away.

I cooked your Dad breakfast, Poached eggs, bacon, spinach, avocado, grilled tomato with herbs and mozzarella, I did it because I would have always done it for him on father’s day… Yet it just felt so wrong without you here, I had pictured the two of you snuggled in bed together, me giving your Dad breakfast in bed, us going on a lunch picnic to the beach sitting in the sand, watching as you felt it on your toes.

We tried to keep ourselves busy working on your corner of the yard, using the power saw, drill, we chopped fence pailings to continue making a screen, your Dad got me using the saw, and drill laughing at me at times, especially at my method of holding the paling with my leg to balance it when I was putting screws in, but as always he was patient, helpful and kind. Once we had done some of it we stopped for a bit, tears again from your Dad he tried to walk away to not show them, I just hugged him as hard as I could. We lay in the sun on the deck outdoors both exhausted, drifting in and out of light sleep until your Dad decided he would mow the lawn, it didn’t really need it but I think he just needed to keep himself busy, keep himself doing something… half way through your Nanny and Poppy came over your Dad could not stop to talk his tears came out down his face as he weeded the garden and did what he could to keep himself busy until they left.

Will it ever get lighter? will it ever Henry, as your Dad and I continue to face more firsts, more reminders you are not here, this week we saw the day 12 months ago I got my positive pregnancy test and we learnt of your existence, we keep climbing this incredibly steep mountain Henry, we climb it carrying these heavy awkward bags and pray daily for it to feel lighter, for the mountain not to be so steep and for some rest. It feels at the moment like we are barely holding on, like any moment we could fall from the mountain and hit the ground. Today seeing the pain your Dad is in, his body is sore from the climb, his heart can’t take any more, his hands are finding it hard to grip, today seeing it I almost wanted to let go, I wanted to let go and hit the ground as I don’t want the pain anymore.

Fathers day last year Henry, we had so much hope, so many dreams had begun to develop, fathers day last year I had spent all afternoon while your dad was at work cooking your dad an amazing dinner meal to come home to so we could celebrate we were expecting you. Fathers day last year taking one bite of my dinner was the first time I was sick, I remember taking the bite and wanting to vomit, it surprised me how quickly it happened how quickly it came on… last year was so different.

The other night I had a dream, I dreamt of you, your Dad was at work, I dreamt I was carrying you in to the water, as I started to walk in to the ocean the waves became rough and I was holding you so tight to my chest worried you would get hurt, I made my way out of the water with you, in my dream you were still passed away, yet once I got out of the water you opened your eyes, you opened your sweet blue eyes and looked at me, I shook my head in disbelief, you opened them again and touched my chest with your hand, as you touched my chest again I felt it physically and I woke saying your name. it was so bittersweet, as my dream had seemed so real, yet here I was again awake in this cruel world where you are not once again, tears streamed down my face and I looked at the time 1:11am on the 1st! I wondered if that meant something all of those number 1’s I look for meaning in so much these days to have some connection to you.

Your Dad Henry is one of the most beautiful, gentle souls I know..  I have said to the psychologist on more than one occasion how I wish, I wish with all I have that he was not going through this, he doesn’t deserve this (I mean no one does), he would have been the most loving father, he told me so often how he wanted to take you for walks, he wanted to make sure he would be there for you be involved, he talked about having you in the garage as he worked on things, he talked about how he would take you in the ocean, how we would always make sure there were adventures outdoors for you. I just wish somehow I could take your place, I wish it could be me where you are and you here with your Dad, I would give anything for him to be able to hold you so close and care for you and watch you grow.

A fathers love, your Dad loves you so much Henry bear, he loved you from the moment he knew you existed, that love grew as you grew in my belly and he played you music and talked to you, that love expanded the moment you were born and he saw you I saw it in his eyes in his face, just so much love for you and that love your Dad has for you his son, that love, a fathers love it will last for his whole life.

Hope Henry, I tried to have hope this week, to hold on to it, I repotted the plant in your room as its growing so well, I even brought another little plant putting that in there for your siblings to let them know they are welcome too, I did it all being hopeful, yet just like the tide changes, just like the swell of the ocean my hope changed too, it changed from having some to feeling there is none at all. Yet Hope really is all we have, I can only hope Henry, as we try to hold on, that I can help your Dad, I can help him carry his heavy load as he helps me carry mine, I can only hope that we can find some happiness, I can only hope that we might be blessed soon with your siblings to show them the love we have, and bring some joy to our lives. I can only hope this gets lighter, I can only hope you know how wanted you were and loved you are. I can only hope that love gets us through.

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Author: Letters to Henry

My husband and I live on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia. We are currently learning to rebuild and navigate through life after the loss of our son Henry to stillbirth due to medical negligence in April of this year.

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