Men grieve differently

Birth can possibly even mean death

An event has occurred in your life as a man that you did not expect? An experience or an event shocks you so much that you are angry, sad and/or horrified? 

“In the feeling of mourning, the strongest human feelings are condensed, which are very difficult to deal with and yet are of the utmost importance for our continued life. When a loved one dies, we grieve, we need a time of mourning to come to terms with this loss in such a way that we can turn back to the world and the living. Mourning does not only mean to hang on to a loss, to be sad; by mourning we understand a whole process; a painful process which, if we get through it, should lead to our getting over the loss, as they say, we detach ourselves from the deceased and continue to live as changed people without forgetting the deceased” (translated from: Kast, V. in: “Separation”, edited by Schultz, H. J., 1992. p. 131).

Your wife is anxious and depressed because of grief and loss due to a previous, unprocessed miscarriage? “Even a past difficult birth of an older sibling, in which the mother experienced fears of death or strong feelings of powerlessness, is sometimes enough to cause anxiety during a new pregnancy” (translated from: Alberti, B., Die Seele fühlt von Anfang an, 2005, p. 101).

Are you burdened by an unwelcome or denied pregnancy, in which your wife continues as before and rejects the child, but also her body changes? Due to the emotional distress of your partner, she is releasing stress hormones (adrenaline, cortisol) because of loneliness, despair or helplessness, which have an impact on the baby and pregnancy. . 

For example, are you incredibly sad because your partner experienced a miscarriage or your baby died during or shortly after birth or was/is a star child? 

Your baby was born prematurely, without a sufficiently mature organism, and your baby is in a state between living and dying via medical devices? 

Or your baby was born with a deformity? Grief and disappointment spread because the difference between ideal and reality needs processing . “Because of the violent reactions of the shocked parents, the normal processes of parent-child bonding cannot take place for the time being (translated from:Klaus, M. H. / Kennell, J. H., Der erste Bund fürs Leben, 1997, p. 215). 

Are you wondering how to find the strength to get back into your energy?

Counseling for fathers

In her book “Natural Childbirth”, Sheila Kitzinger writes: “I also want to write about these experiences, although I realize that some readers are thereby confronted – perhaps for the first time – with fears that they do not want to face openly. The big taboo in this case is not sexuality, but death. 

But losing a baby is also part of the experience of childbearing for some women, and it can be dealt with in a way that is not destructive but allows the parents to discover a potential for great self-knowledge and deep understanding in it” (translated: 1983, p. 348). 

For the fathers here in advance regarding grief counseling: The more the woman is urged to forget …, to put the matter behind her …, to finally think about the other child again … etc., the longer it will take until the grief experience has been lived through. 

Besides all the feelings of sadness, anger, desolation and loneliness, let’s look at ways to get to the next day / step ?  and build up courage for something again. At this stage of life, when there should be a glimmer of hope coming into your life through your child, would a ritual be helpful for you, a conversation? Please get in touch. I am ready to listen to you if you wish to have a grief talk. 

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