Father's Day; 16 June 2013
It is easy to take Father's Day for granted. It is easy to pretend that by simply accepting a new ĎDadí labelled mug or pair of socks that this is enough to make you a father.
A manís outlook on life changes when he learns of the impending arrival of his child. While this can be a time of worry, the anticipated emotion is inevitably one of happiness; the expectation of doing Ďdad thingsí.
A largely unseen side of Fatherís Day is the men who stand in the graveyards, staring at the resting places of their children. Today, many are marking their first Fatherís Day since their child died; no doubt many are asking the very questions this blog seeks to answer.
This is my second Father's Day since Ethan died; I found today easier than last year. Perhaps because the fear of the unknown was removed; perhaps because time does bring acceptance. Perhaps both.
When Death intercepts an unborn child, the role of a father changes. Personally, Fatherís Day has become a day to celebrate what I still have, not a day to mourn what I do not; there are many other days for sorrow.
Father's Day is now for being thankful for times spent watching my first two sons' entertaining development. It is for being thankful that two of my children are able to demonstrate their naughtiness; then, as a Father, I can teach them right from wrong.
Stillbirth denies memories of your child, but the ghosts of what should have been still echo down the corridors of time; Father's Day presents a time for seeking these faint echoes.
I cannot walk with Ethan as he chases his brothers to the 'Jelly Snake shop'; but I know he walks with us on our road of grief.
I cannot watch him fight with his brothers as they all battle for whichever toy has fleetingly become the most coveted; but there are still occasional entertaining scuffles at the graveside as my second son tries to take Ethanís toys home. I am sure Ethan flaps his wings with delight at the sight of his brother getting a row.
I am unable to conclude Father's Day watching over Ethan as he sleeps in his bed, wishing him a peaceful night where dreams could carry him to faraway lands. Instead, I am able to only watch over the place he was laid to rest. I don't wish him peaceful dreams; he needs them not. He is already in those faraway lands and too busy playing with the angels to worry about sleep.
If you are a father who can never be with your children, Fatherís Grief wishes you acceptance and peace this Fatherís Day. If you are lucky enough to have all your children with you, please donít take them for granted.