Father’s Day can be a particularly difficult and lonely day for fathers whose baby has died, however long ago. It can feel unfair to see other families celebrate the relationship between fathers and their children, or you may feel unsure about talking about baby loss on a day of celebration.
Dads with other children may worry they can’t enjoy the day with them in the way they want to if they have mixed feelings about the children who are not there.
If you are wondering how other Dads cope, you can hear Sean's story in the clips below. Sean is a bereaved father who shares his experience of losing his baby daughter to a genetic condition. He reflects on holding back grief in the early days and how fundraising helped him to find his own way to commemorate his baby's life.
Top Tips for Dads:
- Remember the build up may feel much worse than the day itself. Think about who you can turn to for support. If you’re working, consider letting your employer know you are finding this week hard and whether you need to take some time off.
- Think about what you could do – on your own or with others – to make Father’s Day special for you. Visiting a special place, looking at photos if you have them, and simply having quiet time in nature can be good ways to make space for yourself.
- Many men are finding other practical ways to cope with their grief by playing football with other bereaved fathers. For further information on setting up a new Sands United football club or joining an existing local club, click here.
Top tips for Friends and Family:
- Talk about their baby and if you know it, say their baby’s name. Let them know that you’re available to talk or share stories about their child.
- If you want to, you could give a thoughtful gift, or write a card that they can read when they’re ready.
- Just being aware and making it ok to talk about their baby will be valued. Don’t be afraid to laugh or use humour – you’ll know if it isn’t appropriate, but it can break tension and allow someone to open up.
Helpline on Father's Day:
We're extending the opening hours of the Sands Freephone Helpline for Father’s Day so that anyone, but especially men affected by pregnancy or baby loss can reach out:
- Sunday 18th June (Father’s Day) - 10:00 am to 12:00 pm.
The confidential helpline provides a safe place for anyone affected by the death of a baby to talk. Our experienced Bereavement Support team is there to listen and signpost to further help.