Men and Grief

My husband during this time was doing his best not to feel what was happening. His only concern was his family. Many men will do this. They are, after all, the providers. They consider it their job to take care of the family. When a child dies, they feel failure…like they did not do their job. To compensate for this, or maybe just because they feel they have to, they do not do any of their own processing. They are the shoulder to cry on, the papa bear that is the solid rock for the family. Not all men feel this way, but my husband did. It wasn’t until we were into the second year without J.T. that he started to feel his grief. This came out in varying ways. He would get very grumpy and snippy with the kids. He would snap at the littlest thing…kind of like I did when I was first thrown into this new life. If I could recognize it early enough, I could catch him and send him to the cemetery to express his grief, or the gun range to blow the hell out of his grief. Both were effective.

Even though a man might have an outlet he enjoys, he might feel too guilty about doing it. He might not feel like he should take any time for himself. Please give him permission to go.

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