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 20th June (Father’s Day) - 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
The confidential helpline provides a safe place for anyone affected by the death of a baby to talk. The charity’s experienced bereavement support team is there to listen and signpost to further help.
Father's Day Instagram Live:
Join us for Father's Day Instagram Live Q&A with Sands United Patron Rob Allen and Peter Byrom from Sands United Bristol on 20th of June at 10am. Together Rob and Peter will talk about how they cope with Father's Day and answer questions that have been submitted by other bereaved dads.
Father's Day cards
Something as simple as sending a thoughtful card can go a long way to helping bereaved dads feel less isolated, and Sands has launched a special range of Father’s Day cards so that anyone can show their support at this difficult time of the year.
Dedicate a message in memory of a baby on this special page
In time for the Father’s Day, we have created a special place where bereaved dads, grandads, family members and anyone affected by baby loss can dedicate a message in memory of a baby.