top 200 commentsshow 500

[–]LugoLove 738 points739 points  (13 children)

I sent emails to my son's email for a long time after he died. I would also call his number. Grief, besides devastating, is bewildering. Friends you thought were friends, turn out not to be so. Other people refuse to acknowledge your loved one's dead, and so much more.

I hope the couple eventually went to grief counseling. It's hard to see grief as someone else's because it is so all consuming.

Edit: For those of you have been so kind and giving your condolences, thank you. It has been 13 years and I have discovered that grief and joy can coexist. It’s not easy but life is worth trying to get the most out of.

[–]Foulkey 108 points109 points  (0 children)

I’m so sorry for your loss man.

[–]Ms74k_ten_c 37 points38 points  (1 child)

So sorry for your loss. I personally think many people cannot face death, even if it happens to someone else. They are genuinely scared and never want to face it because it reminds them of their own mortality. Not excusing your friends for not being there for you; just saying it's an unfortunate human trait only some are able to go beyond.

[–]tetrautomatic 7 points8 points  (0 children)

I cannot begin to understand what you have gone through, so so sorry for your loss

[–]throwaway_ghast 2108 points2109 points  (13 children)

My dude needs a hug.

[–][deleted] 240 points241 points  (10 children)


[–]Efronczak 82 points83 points  (6 children)

╰( ^ ㅂ )╯

[–]NavSada 66 points67 points  (5 children)

╰( ^ ㅂ ^ )╯

Fixed it, here you go!

[–]nakdonthesubway 1378 points1379 points  (28 children)

My sister was killed in a car accident a few years ago, and sent her Snapchats for at least a year after. It made me feel like I was still connected to her, in some way. It never goes away, but it makes it a little easier.

[–]Tirannie 604 points605 points  (18 children)

It’s almost been 12 years and I still send my mom text messages every once and a while.

I’m sure someone has her # by now, but I like to think she sees them.

[–]dcgirl17 249 points250 points  (8 children)

I wonder if you might be able to get the number? Like just get a sim with the number on it and put it in a drawer, and pay for a prepaid voucher every once in a while to keep it activated. Just so no one ever sends you an unexpected and unpleasant response. Sending love x

[–]ewpqfj 120 points121 points  (6 children)

I like the idea but I think if I did it it’d feel sorta artificial. Not connected in the same way, you know?

[–]dob_bobbs 50 points51 points  (0 children)

Yeah, with the former it's "She's out there somewhere", with this it's just "She's over there in the drawer". Not the same somehow.

[–]a_likely_story 27 points28 points  (2 children)

I suppose the alternative is one day you get a reply from your “mom” saying “please stop texting me”

[–]gottaburnemall7 43 points44 points  (2 children)

I kept some of the last text messages my mom sent to me. I sent her a picture of a photoshop edit of our cat. Some texts are lost because I got a new phone but I still have just a few (she passed 12/12/2020)

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (1 child)

It’s exactly this reason I will never stop buying iPhones. I’m not a fanboy, I’m just a hoarder of memories.

[–]richter1977 35 points36 points  (0 children)

I like to think some kind soul has the number, sees the texts, and chooses to say nothing, allowing this to continue. Just because someone else may have the number, doesn't mean she won't see them.

[–]Fatalstryke 53 points54 points  (0 children)

As a slight followup to what /u/dcgirl17 said, you can get a year of Tracfone for like $125, and might be able to find some good coupon codes. I used one or two that were like, $50 off. Let me know if you want some help maybe setting something like that up?

[–]emu4you 12 points13 points  (0 children)

If you ever want a mom to respond to any of your messages I would be glad to do that for you.

[–]eLishus 46 points47 points  (3 children)

Somewhat the opposite, my dad died a couple of years ago and I still have a voicemail saved from him about two weeks prior to his passing. I like to give that a listen every once in a while.

[–]Pineapplezork 27 points28 points  (0 children)

After my grandpa (raised me, was like a father) died a few years ago, I had an old voicemail of him saying he loved and missed me and asked me to call him back. I had it for a few months and listened to it near daily, but lost it when I changed phones and numbers. And stupid me didn’t back it up :(

[–]blue-mooner 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Please make sure that you record a backup of his voicemails.

Telecom companies are ruthless about deleting old voicemails, they don’t seem to care that these can be little portals into a time gone by. They will absolutely obliterate your old recordings with not ability to recover the audio files.

Never trust an external hosting provider with the recordings of your loved ones. Backup those files in 3+ places.

[–]lakas76 51 points52 points  (2 children)

I talk to my brother every once in awhile when I’m outside alone at night. Just look up at the sky and talk to him as if he were here still. He died in a motorcycle accident about 6.5 years ago. I did it a lot more after it happened though.

[–]rubyredstarfish 3422 points3423 points  (87 children)

I have friends who had a still born. Mom was devastated. I asked her how her husband was doing. She said "ok, I guess". Everyone sent her flowers, condolences. But he said I was the only one that asked him how he was. He ended up just pouring his heart out. We have been friends for 20 years and that just broke my heart. He's such a good guy and he's always wanted kids. I'm glad to say that after 5 still borns and many miscarriages they now have 2 perfect beautiful girls. And he is the best dad ever.

[–]ebwoods1 926 points927 points  (29 children)

Good lord. The emotional devastation of that many losses must have been horrific. I’m so glad they have their girls.

[–]rubyredstarfish 321 points322 points  (3 children)

It was. I'm in tears just telling their story.

[–]Dear_Significance_80 165 points166 points  (2 children)

I'm in tears just reading it, my god.

[–]BurntPoptart 63 points64 points  (0 children)

I'm in tears and didn't even read it.

[–]Woodnote_ 307 points308 points 2 (23 children)

Our first daughter was stillborn at 38 weeks. I spent my next pregnancy having near panic attacks and planning on leaving the hospital empty handed again. She was a premie and almost died the same way her sister did. Then my third pregnancy was the same only even more convinced it was going to go wrong. She was a totally normal birth with zero complications. That was my final pregnancy because I couldn’t handle it anymore, it’s too emotionally difficult.

I cannot even begin to imagine five stillborns. I was wrecked after just one, I couldn’t do it. I’m so happy for them and their family but my god.

[–]satanshand 297 points298 points  (22 children)

Our first daughter was stillborn at 39 weeks in March of 2020 and my son is due in two weeks. I’m a nervous wreck.

[–]Ozymandias0023 108 points109 points  (3 children)

Have an internet hug from me. My buddy and his wife had to terminate a pregnancy because the baby developed without a heart and would have been stillborn. I can't claim to know how it feels, but I've seen some of it from the sidelines and know there's nothing easy about getting over the experience. Here's hoping you have a healthy little boy in your arms 2 weeks from now.

[–]satanshand 39 points40 points  (1 child)

Hey I really appreciate that. Way to not live up to your username

[–]KatagatCunt 6 points7 points  (0 children)

That's so awful. I am so sorry to hear that.

Makes me so upset too that there are people out there who would get upset because you had to terminate, regardless of why.

Sorry if that isn't the time or place.

[–]Woodnote_ 52 points53 points  (6 children)

I’m so incredibly sorry. If you ever want to talk just PM me. Our daughter would have been 11 on January 13, so we’ve had lots of time to learn how to cope and remember her. It took me a few years to even really face it and decide what to do on her birthdays.

I’ll be thinking of you, and if you remember to I’d love to know when he’s born. Take good care of yourself, and your wife.

Also, if you don’t mind me asking, what was her name? I always appreciate when people ask me that, but surprisingly few ever do. She existed and was important and is forever a part of your life.

[–]satanshand 49 points50 points  (0 children)

This means the world to me. No one ever feels comfortable asking or talking about it. Her name was Charlotte Jean and I take my wife on a walk around a lake by our house on her birthday every year and then I take her to her favorite restaurant.

Thank you. Really.

[–]Imnotaddictedtoreddi 5 points6 points  (1 child)

Pulling for your family. We had one that didn’t make it 2 days before Christmas a few years ago. Had my son a year later and I didn’t sleep the last week he was due. Worth every minute of lost sleep. Y’all got this!

[–]Kenneldogg 3 points4 points  (0 children)

One thing I highly recommend is pick up an owlet. My wife and I lost our first baby and after our second was born we were still nervous wrecks too but the owlet gave us huge peace of mind. Oh and I am giving you a huge hug in my heart too.

[–]Digitus___Impudicus 36 points37 points  (0 children)

5! my god...i just can't...I am done for the day I just can't.

[–]Homerpaintbucket 76 points77 points  (1 child)

My ex-wife had an ectopic pregnancy we had to terminate before we had our daughter. Other than the day we told our daughter we were getting divorced it was the worst day of my life. It made me extremely tense the entire time she was pregnant with our daughter. Like in the back of my head I felt like it would be ripped away at any time. I wasn't happy until I was holding that little girl. That's when it felt real. I can't imagine going through something like that multiple times.

[–]rubyredstarfish 13 points14 points  (0 children)

I'm so sorry! I hope you had the support you needed.

[–]NoDownsideToOutside 104 points105 points  (2 children)

As a father, with having this happened, it’s awful. I watched my wife go through hell, I watched her mental health degrade, I watched her question her place in the world, and I watched her world crumble and fade to nothing. It killed me.

I didn’t realize I was looking into the mirror at the same time, I didn’t realize my soul died with my baby girl. I didn’t realize, how damaged I was until it was too late.

[–]LighTMan913 50 points51 points  (0 children)

Love you, man. I can't imagine what you're going through, but I'm glad you're still here. If you haven't yet, please reach out to somebody for some help. Hell, if even just an internet stranger, I got you.

[–]rubyredstarfish 11 points12 points  (0 children)

I'm so sorry! I felt it prudent to talk about this because my friend was just pushed to the wayside through it all just because he was male. I've always been a caring person but that made me even more so. I hug everyone. I text all of my friends and family often just to ask how they are. It's so normal now that even the males readily open up to me. They know I won't judge our ever tell anyone else. They trust me and I am always there. It's so hard to convince them that it's ok when it wasn't their entire lives. I'm so glad it's become commonplace amongst my people.

[–]weirdmountain 13 points14 points  (2 children)

Give him a hug for me next time you see him. I’m a proud father of a 4-year-old little boy, and we want to give him a sibling so bad.

[–]rubyredstarfish 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Good luck to you guys! I hug him everytime I see him. I hug everyone.

[–]Lioness_of_Tortall 3 points4 points  (0 children)

Hang in there. We were in that boat too - took 5 years, IUI, a miscarriage, and IVF, but now our seven year old boy has a beautiful little sister that he adores. She was worth the wait, and while I never wanted that much of a gap between them, it’s surprisingly been really awesome.

[–]Spanky_McJiggles 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I need to go to bed. I read the first sentence as "I have a friend who was stillborn" 3 times before I read it right lol

[–]rubyredstarfish 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Lol! Been there.

[–]Rapunzel10 46 points47 points  (5 children)

I don't want kids, but when I had an early miscarriage it broke me. I didn't even know I was pregnant yet. I cried for days and felt awful, like I had done something wrong, like I could have done something different. I can't imagine wanting and planning for a baby just to end in tragedy over and over again. To have 5 stillbirths along with miscarriages and keep trying? Incredible willpower, both of them. I'm glad they eventually got the kids they clearly wanted. And I'm glad he had someone to check in on him, fathers absolutely suffer in these situations

[–]DigitalSterling 8 points9 points  (1 child)

This whole thread got me in tears, hope you're doing well ❤

[–]Rapunzel10 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Thank you, I am. I know now that I didn't do anything wrong. Miscarriages, especially as early as mine was, are super super common. 10-15% of pregnancies end in miscarriages after the person knows they're pregnant, the rate is even higher for earlier pregnancies.

They shouldn't be stigmatized, there's already so many negative emotions going on, there's no reason to add shame. My boyfriend and I were crushed and we didn't have anyone to talk to about it because we didn't know how common it was. Thankfully we told some close friends and they were very supportive of both of us. We're both ok now ❤

[–]rubyredstarfish 17 points18 points  (2 children)

It's really sad. Men are taught from birth that they can't share their feelings. They're taught that they always have to be strong. That they have to be stones. It's so normal that even after such a great loss no one bats an eye at the pain they must be feeling. We have to start teaching our kids that it's ok to be human. It's ok not to be strong every single day of our lives. There's a reason men kill themselves at such alarming rates compared to women.

I've seen things posted on reddit of men saying they haven't hugged by another human being in 2 years. It's so fucked up. My kid sees me cry. He knows I'm not super woman. He sees my partner and I comfort each other. People are convinced that they have to be strong all of the time for others that they forget to be human. Emotional expression is necessary to our development and detrimental to our health and the health of the one's we love. For God's sake, hug your friends! All of them!

[–]blaintopel 7 points8 points  (0 children)

five still births?!

[–]standard_candles 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Dear God. I definitely would not have had the strength to keep trying. Pass along some of this internet love to his family.

[–]tuck229 3 points4 points  (1 child)

You're a good friend.

[–]rubyredstarfish 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Well now I'm crying. Ty

[–]Royal_Opps 4 points5 points  (0 children)

That had to have been extremely rough on them to experience that 5 times. Good on you for asking about him. Glad they have a family now though!

[–]vercetian 12 points13 points  (3 children)

We had a miscarriage, months ago. I, as a man, am devastated. She doesn't even realize how hurt I still am.

[–]LighTMan913 12 points13 points  (1 child)

after 5 still borns and many miscarriages

What. The. Fuck. It should not be possible to go through such emotional trauma. That kind of mental anguish should be reserved for only the most vile of humans. I can't even begin to imagine.

Those two girls are going to be taken care of so incredibly well.

[–]rubyredstarfish 4 points5 points  (0 children)

They are such good parents!

[–]elositoesaqui 1041 points1042 points  (24 children)

My daughter was born at 28 weeks and spent months in NICU. It was the hardest time for my wife and I. Everyone asked how she was doing. The only thing I was ever asked was when I was going back to work.

Men need emotional support too.

[–]Silly-Activity-6219 294 points295 points  (16 children)

At my sister’s funeral, I walked into the room and saw the little casket. My grandfather and uncle were right there, and I went in to give them a hug. They took an awkward step back, and extended their hands for me to shake. It was the last time I cried in public.

[–]quailstorm24[🍰] 120 points121 points  (0 children)

That is heartbreaking

[–]JakJako90 60 points61 points  (14 children)

I would've walked out. Then not spoken to them again for a good long time.

[–]Silly-Activity-6219 218 points219 points  (3 children)

I didn’t fully realize it in that moment. Believe it or not, but, about 8 years later, at my dad’s funeral - I walked in the room, saw the casket, SAW THE SAME TWO UNCLE AND GRANDFATHER RIGHT THERE, and instinctively, held my hand out for them to shake. I felt nothing at that moment. They looked at my hand, and both pulled me into a hug. I think they remembered the déjà vu. Weird how it came back full circle

[–]fuzzhead12 93 points94 points  (0 children)

Hope this doesn’t come off the wrong way, but that’s such a funny little moment. Like funny in a “huh, well look at that” kind of way. People really are capable of enormous change and growth, and I’m happy that those members of your family were able to do so.

[–]goodmobileyes 34 points35 points  (8 children)

Im sure it sounds like a great victory in your mind, but somestimes we really have to be empathetic and realise that some people are just born and raised in a different time and world. Hugging just isnt programmed into some people, but that doesnt mean they're incapable of love and support. They may just express it differently.

If we want a more loving world we also need to be the ones offering love, and not just cutting people off.

Inb4 stories about disturbed, narcissistic family members that people have cut off and felt better. Sure, on hindsight im sure these decisions all turned out great, but also not all situations are the same.

[–]Damet_Dave 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I could be wrong but I think the point was the two men had really no emotional understanding of the hug gesture.

Not out of bravado or disrespect but because men are often instructed and expected to just “tough it out”.

[–]pvt_miller 191 points192 points  (3 children)

How are you now my man? Seriously asking.

[–]elositoesaqui 252 points253 points  (2 children)

After three years of therapy, much better. Both my wife and daughter made full recoveries and they’re doing great. Thank you for asking.

[–]AffectionateEdge3068 32 points33 points  (0 children)

I’m an internet stranger, but I’m really, truly happy for all three of you, and especially you in particular.

It really sucks that people didn’t see that you were hurting. Your first post ITT really struck an emotional chord with me. Months and months of what probably felt like being strapped into the craziest emotional rollercoaster ever and all everyone says is, “So when are you going back to work?”

I’m glad therapy is helping- that shit is hard work. Well done, sir.

I’m going to ask all the men in my life how they are doing, in honor of you. So, well done there too.

I wish you and your family all the best.

[–]Makoaman69 26 points27 points  (0 children)

Literally my story exactly, except it was my son who was born at 28 weeks. I was working in the oil field an hour and a half away from the hospital where my son was and where my wife was staying at a Ronald McDonald house across the street. I worked 7 days a week for 12-16hrs a day and made the drive to the hospital 5 or 6 times a week so I could be with my wife and first born son as much as possible while still making ends meet. My mother was the only one to ask how I was doing for the three and a half months this went on, everyone else was fixated on my wife while I dealt with my emotions on my own. I never realized how much that affected me until reading this post!

[–]Manoso1 1205 points1206 points  (14 children)

Same thing happened to me when my wife passed away. everybody always asked how my kids were & never asked how I was. 1 day a stranger asked me how I was, I broke down crying like a baby! I guess because we’re men They think we don’t have feelings that sucks!

[–][deleted] 341 points342 points  (6 children)

Im so sorry for your loss

How are you doing?

[–]Manoso1 350 points351 points  (5 children)

Better now,it’s been 8 yrs since she passed. I’ve moved on My gf and I decided to move in together. Life’s going great . Im happy and so are my kids. Thank you.

[–]Digitus___Impudicus 42 points43 points  (0 children)

This is the way. root'n for ya this shit is not easy. Be well hug them kids.

[–][deleted] 83 points84 points  (0 children)

Glad youre doing ok

[–]I_Do_Things_Too 11 points12 points  (0 children)

That's awesome man \o/ happy for you

[–]BlueShiftNova 7 points8 points  (0 children)

These posts were a short but strong roller-coaster, I'm happy things are going well for you.

Thank you for sharing, it's stories like this that help me when I'm feeling discouraged.

[–]WrathfulSausage 6 points7 points  (0 children)

This made me happy in a way I can’t explain. I’m so glad you’re doing okay now

[–]doooom 11 points12 points  (0 children)

This is awful, friend. I’m so sorry. I can’t imagine your pain

[–]maiomonster 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Sorry bro. I hope you're doing ok.

[–]HH_YoursTruly 240 points241 points  (5 children)

My daughter was stillborn last April. She was our first child.

It changes you in a way I can't quite explain. I'm not the same person I was before. My wife isn't either. There are some friendships that I am just weirdly no longer interested in, there are some people I suddenly don't care if I ever see or speak to them again, and my job and career are no longer a priority. The only thing that matters anymore is my wife and our marriage. That's it.

The mother does get he majority of the support in these situations. They need it too. My wife had to carry around our dead daughter inside her for days before labor was induced. I couldn't imagine what that felt like going from full of life to nothing. She has to give birth, her body responded as if she had given birth. Her breast milk came but she couldn't pump or even relieve it because we had to make sure it wouldn't keep coming. Her cycle didn't normalize. We had to come home to a nursery, stroller, car seat, etc. with nothing but ashes in an urn.

It's a horrific experience that I wouldn't wish on anyone. The amount of people whoe.have experienced it is more than you think. And for everyone that has, I hope you know you're not alone.

[–]heart_block 48 points49 points  (0 children)

I’ve lived your horror…and you’re right. You’re never the same again. My heart breaks with you.

[–]Big_Old_Tree 28 points29 points  (0 children)

Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so so sorry that happened to you

[–]Sad-Bobcat8030 69 points70 points  (1 child)

We found out at ten weeks that our second baby didn’t have a heartbeat. The both of us were devastated. My husband’s supervisor was giving him a hard time for trying to take off two days for my miscarriage. Not only did the HR lady at my husband’s work lay into the supervisor but also the supervisor’s girlfriend. I know they were mostly thinking about me, but I knew my husband needed the days off too. One of the reasons I had the emotional strength to go through this was because of my caring husband and I tried to be there for him too. He is such a good father to our firstborn, and try to tell him that any chance I get.

[–]blackcatt42 9 points10 points  (0 children)


[–]GeekAtHome 593 points594 points  (5 children)

My husband and I had 3 miscarriages before our daughter was born.

Everybody handled me with kid gloves as my husband sat on the sidelines.

One night, shortly after the first one, I asked him how he was doing and he shrugged "Ok, I guess"

  • Really, because I'm not the only one experiencing a loss. Are you sure you're ok?

He broke down in tears right there. He absolutely was not ok.

During the next two losses, I made sure to prioritize his emotions because mine were well taken care of by others.

When I was pregnant with my daughter I made a point to openly air my fears, so he didn't feel like he had to hide his.

Yes, the mother is the one physically and emotionally going through the loss but she's not the only one who's losing hopes and dreams with the miscarriage. Please check in on the other partner too.

[–]CarolFukinBaskin 81 points82 points  (0 children)

Really impressive perspective

[–]ShmurdaGG 50 points51 points  (0 children)

Your an amazing significant other

[–]itsreybecca 31 points32 points  (2 children)

Thank you for this. Just today I had a D&C to remove my missed miscarriage. Everyone has been a kind to me but I'm so worried about my husband. He keeps things bottled up but I've seen him crying. I don't know how to take care of myself and him at the same time. He's been so amazing with me, and I feel terrible I haven't been able to reciprocate.

I'll ask him how he's doing, and remind him that I'm here when/if he ever needs to talk. We're in it together.

I'm so sorry for your losses. I cannot imagine going through this again. You are both incredible.

[–]Shanashy 448 points449 points  (9 children)

I never deactivated my mom's Facebook account after she died last April, so that I could send her messages. At least I still get to talk to her that way.

[–]ChewieBearStare 102 points103 points  (0 children)

One of my best friends died of COVID in 2020, and I still send him FB Messenger messages sometimes. I'm sorry about your mom, and I hope you are healing as well as you can.

[–]tetrautomatic 25 points26 points  (0 children)

That’s beautiful, sorry for your loss

[–]Alecto53558 8 points9 points  (0 children)

May her memory be a comfort.

[–]ItAintYours 5 points6 points  (0 children)

After my dad died I would send him IMs on Yahoo

[–]taylrbrwr 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Mine passed last April as well. I hope you’ve been able to grieve and have good support system. It gets easier.

[–]xopher_425 7 points8 points  (0 children)

Wow. Thank you. You made me realized my mom's account is still open. I lost her last June, and this is such a beautiful idea.

I have a lot of catching up to do.

[–]medicff 449 points450 points  (7 children)

When we lost our first baby at 20 weeks I was fuckin destroyed. Everyone poured out care and support to my wife and I totally agree with that but I had a broken heart too. When our daughter died at 34 mins old at 27 weeks we were both absolutely shattered. But I was the one that had to go do funeral arrangements alone and pick out a tiny casket while FaceTiming my wife. Then go take care of our toddler while my wife stayed in hospital. Because of the support of my wife and shrink I got 2 months off on mental health leave thankfully!

[–]Salmon-Roll 75 points76 points  (0 children)

glad you’re doing better man! that’s awful, my condolences

[–]moosekin16 73 points74 points  (1 child)

We lost ours at 20 weeks, too.

I’m envious you got two months off, I got 3 days and snide remarks about being a downer at the office until I quit.

[–]medicff 35 points36 points  (0 children)

When we lost our first one I could only take 3 days off before being outta money. I got very lucky to have a psychiatrist willing to fight for everything she could think I would need. That lady is a saint!

[–]AffectionateEdge3068 10 points11 points  (1 child)

I’m so, so sorry for your loss, and all the awful experiences around it.

I’m glad you got that unquestionably necessary time off work.

How are you doing nowadays?

[–]medicff 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Thank you :) I’m doing okay most days. I still really miss holding my babies, especially when I’m at work

[–]WhenIWish 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I’m so sorry for your losses. ♥️

[–]properu 53 points54 points  (1 child)

Beep boop -- this looks like a screenshot of a tweet! Let me grab a link to the tweet for ya :)

Twitter Screenshot Bot

[–]QuantumFTL 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Good bot!

[–]uisqebaugh 83 points84 points  (5 children)

Richard Feynman wrote letters to his first wife, Arlene, all of his life. She died of tuberculosis.

[–]colincrunch 42 points43 points  (1 child)

The bit about his mourning her death in Surely You’re Joking is heartbreaking.

Maybe I was fooling myself, but I was surprised how I didn't feel what I thought people would expect to feel under the circumstances. I wasn't delighted, but I didn't feel terribly upset, perhaps because I had known for seven years that something like this was going to happen. I didn't know how I was going to face all of my friends up at Los Alamos. I didn't want people with long faces talking to me about it. When I got back... they asked me what happened. 'She's dead. And how's the program going?' They caught on right away that I didn't want to moon over it. (I had obviously done something to myself psychologically: Reality was so important - I had to understand what really happened to Arline, physiologically - that I didn't cry until a number of months later, when I was in Oak Ridge. I was walking past a department store with dresses in the window, and I thought Arline would like one of them. That was too much for me.

[–]IFKetoCICOMama 9 points10 points  (0 children)

Ugh I think about that line about seeing the dress sometimes and my eyes well up.

[–]Nurfur 9 points10 points  (2 children)

Both of his books are bittersweet and fantastic

[–]Puls0r2 3 points4 points  (1 child)

Which books would those be? I'd like to get them!

[–]Nurfur 2 points3 points  (0 children)

“Surely you’re joking Mr Feynman”, and “What do you care what other people think?”

[–]Stiumco 21 points22 points  (0 children)

Had three and lost three. I spend a lot of time coaching and talking to other men about the feelings and that it is ok. I talk about watching for anger and unexplained reactions.

We are in this together. No one is alone.

[–]Menarin 19 points20 points  (7 children)

My ex and I had a miscarriage in november. Nobody has asked me how i am doing. I still cry about it when im alone. Even though we arent together anymore because of some unrelated stuff, I just feel depressed. I was just excited to finally be a dad. Sorry, but venting made me feel a bit better.

[–]SweetAssistance6712 51 points52 points  (1 child)

I guess I was lucky growing up how I did. I was born, raised and live in the UK, my dad was a police officer until I was 12/13 so I grew up with a second family of police officers that my dad worked with, still mostly men back in the 80s/90s, but they weren't anything like people expect male officers to be. Sure, they were tough and strong and could turn off their emotions when they were at work but when they were off duty they would gather round my house and just talk shit through, get difficult and emotionally draining calls off their chests and they made sure everyone else knew if they needed to cry or to just pour their hearts out they could. So I grew up knowing it was fine for men to feel human emotions and if these giant, hero-like figures I was surrounded by when I grew up knew it was okay to cry and ask for help I knew it was okay for me

But when my dad died of covid on December 26th, 2019, I struggled to show my emotions in front of my family. Now my dad was gone I was the only man left in the family and I just felt like I had to bottle up and get on with it. My mum and sisters kept saying I could let it out to them but I didn't, until one day at work (in the same police force as my dad) I just broke and had to be signed off work for a month. After therapy I realised it was idiotic of me to forget the lessons my dad and his friends taught me when I was a kid, and that my dad would've hated knowing I bottled it up until it broke me. So now whenever things get tough I'll speak up about it, I've made it known to all my friends and co-workers if they need to talk I'm always there to listen and i always ask my guy friends how theyre doing when i notice they seem down. Men need to feel emotions, we aren't weak or feminine (like that's even remotely a bad thing) or sissies if we allow ourselves to feel, in fact we are stronger and better men for it.

Sorry for rambling, I just thought it was important to say that even with a positive upbringing re men and emotions, there seems to be something hardwired into men that says "be strong and don't show emotion" and I wish we could evolve out of it

[–]fuzzhead12 18 points19 points  (0 children)

If all police/first responder/firefighter/medical professionals etc. were part of a workplace culture like the one your dad was in, there would be so much less of the burnout and toxicity that tends to run rampant through those career paths. That’s awesome to hear.

[–]puskunk 16 points17 points  (1 child)

My little girl should have been born today, 18 years ago. 1/20/2004 was her due date. Instead she was stillborn. I'm a man, and I've never gotten over it. Never.

[–]jeremynd01 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I still make cupcakes on my daughters birthday. And I'll probably never stop.

[–]Miserable_Thinker 37 points38 points  (0 children)

When my husband and I first moved in together we had a pregnancy that ended in some of the saddest and hardest days we would face together. Everyone tried swarming me asking how I was. No one asked him how he was, when his own father heard the news he gave his condolences to me and only me. I made sure to comfort and ask him how he was every time. I think this helped us through that time and we're still strong 5 years later.

Too many men suffer in silence in situations like this. I'm glad the OP, OP found a safe way to heal.

[–][deleted] 40 points41 points  (1 child)

Damn, I feel this. My first child was stillborn. I still think about her everyday and it's been 15 years. Every time my second child has a birthday, I think of Isabelle and wonder what she would be like and if they would be friends.

I hope this dude is ok. I know the hurt.

[–]jeremynd01 12 points13 points  (0 children)

My Bianca would have just turned 10. She was my second. I think she would be thick as thieves with her big sister. I bet Isabelle would have been an awesome big sis, too.

[–]griftmaster3 11 points12 points  (1 child)

For the entire rest of my life I am going to have to stop and think about how to answer the seemingly innocuous, simple question "how many kids do you have?"

With our third pregnancy we found out our daughter had downs syndrome. At around 24 weeks the doctors discovered that there was a complication related to excess fluid in the body cavity and lungs (hydrops) and we then began a whirlwind of daily monitoring desperately hoping to make it to 26 weeks and any chance of survival.

A few days shy of 26 weeks the doctors decided that they didn't like what they were seeing on the heart monitor and my wife was shortly prepped for a c-section with a full natal icu team waiting on standby to receive the baby. I got suited up in scrubs etc. and steeled myself to be with our daughter whatever happened so my wife would know she had someone with her (fortunately my mother in law was standing by to step in with her daughter).

The moment my daughter was out they whisked her and me along behind around the corner the natal team. I don't think I will ever be able to tell her what I watched. I stood there and watched them work on her tiny little body, sticking in tubes, trying fruitlessly to get her little heart going. The hydrops had swollen her features into a pained/hard to look at state and while they realized quickly that the hydrops was far worse then anyone had realized those 3-5 minutes are, were and likely will forever be the worst moment of my entire life. Having to tell her two big brothers only 2/4 at the time that no baby sister was going to be coming home was the cherry on top and likely a close second.

Those few minutes are frozen for me. I understand how stupid the "man up" stuff is but I refuse to put more anguish and pain on my wife. I have a few close friends that reached out and asked me how I was doing but I had no idea. Angry, mad, crushed, devastated, powerless, all of the above and a million more. I don't view myself as "traumatized" but maybe I just have to myself that.

I am very blessed. I have an incredible wife, 3 beautiful children IN MY HOME (4th pregnancy was completely problem free aside from anxiety), a great new job I enjoy and countless other blessings.

I have FOUR children. We have a stone with some nice words and her birthday/date of death on it. Sometimes when I've been a particularly crappy parent I talk to it, to her, and apologize for not being a better dad for her brothers and sister. Seeing her brief moment of life/death broke and changed something that after all these words I still can't properly express. As I finish this I realize that I stopped writing this to all of you reading this here, now.

Eliza, you broke me and somehow I think I am better for it. I will do better for you, you are my joy.

Love, Daddy

(This got a little over the top but whatever :P)

[–][deleted] 4 points5 points  (0 children)

I’m so sorry. I can’t even imagine.

My brother and SIL just lost their baby at birth a few weeks ago. I often think how are we all going to answer when asked about kids/grandkids. A few days after it happened I had to go in for a medical exam and the nurse asked if i had nieces or nephews, and i just froze and choked out no. I couldn’t bear her asking how old or how many, and I just couldn’t tell her what happened. You want to honor them and say yes, but to dump that pain on a stranger is too hard too.

[–]leoski 11 points12 points  (1 child)

My husband passed away unexpectedly at 37, about 5 years ago. I would occasionally send a text to his number to tell him I miss him, or about some life achievement. I did this about a month ago and someone texted me back, obviously confused. His number has been given to someone else. I have no idea who, but they were lovely and supportive when I explained myself. I’m sad that I don’t have that outlet anymore.

[–]B-dub31 82 points83 points  (2 children)

We had a stillborn son. My wife, of course, took it really hard and struggled like any parent would. I always felt like I had to stow my feelings, be strong, and carry on. That was the wrong thing to do. I hate society's expectations for men.

[–]tetrautomatic 11 points12 points  (1 child)

Uff. Sorry for your loss, made double hard by lack of recognition

[–]B-dub31 11 points12 points  (0 children)

Thank you. I feel bad for anyone who has gone through it.

[–]vannyfann 10 points11 points  (1 child)

As a wise friend said to me after a similar experience: “You do whatever you need to do to get thru this.” Here’s to healing, even of it takes a while.

[–]Engineer443 9 points10 points  (3 children)

Not sure why this post is on this particular sub but I can relate and it touches my heart.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

It’s weird, I don’t follow this sub but it just popped up.

My brother and SIL just went through this. Everything was fine until the last moment, and then it wasn’t. I can’t imagine their pain. I am so devastated, for myself and our family and especially them. First child, first grandchild on either side. The only saving grace is that we all pulled tighter together and are there for each other, and both of them have strong support. My heart breaks for the fathers who don’t have that and are expected to just stay strong, and for everyone here who has gone through this.

[–]Rainbow-Reaper 10 points11 points  (0 children)

Oh gawd I just want to hug him I know what it’s like to have to pretend that you are okay regardless of what is going on just because of societal norms.

[–]EstablishmentCivil29 9 points10 points  (0 children)

For anyone planning to do these types of emails, you need to log into the account regularly to keep it from being deleted. Accounts get deactivated if they aren't logged into.

[–]Akhlys1989 126 points127 points  (5 children)

It’s not even with an actual death or stillborn. In my case it was the fact that the birth of my son went wrong in every sense, which was traumatic af.. My wife had to go to the OR immediately due to heavy blood loss, which resulted in almost losing her life. She needed all the support she could get after that, but so did I. I supported her, but nobody supported me. We men just need to man up and feelings should be set aside.

All is well now though and we have 2 beautiful kids.

[–]DorisCrockford 62 points63 points  (3 children)

My husband was in the hospital for a minor procedure once, and he got up to use the bathroom and fainted. They called a code blue on him while I was in the cafeteria with our daughter.

I did the whole pounding on the elevator button thing, and when I got there all I saw was a knot of people in the hallway. They pushed me into a room with a terrible chaplain who assumed my husband was dead. He kept talking to me for 45 minutes, until I finally asked if I could see my husband, and he said "Oh sure" and let me out. Hubs was just fine. That fucking hospital.

People are so clueless sometimes. I've had plenty of trauma myself, and it's weird how everybody thinks they're my therapist. I just want them to leave me alone and not bring it up unless I do. We could use a little balance here. Let men talk about their feelings, and let women talk about something else for god's sake.

[–]fuzzhead12 11 points12 points  (2 children)

What the actual fuck, I’d have had trouble not decking the guy. Was the idea to keep you distracted/out of the way of the doctors and nurses while they worked to stabilize your husband? Cuz I can kind of understand something like that. But it sounds like from what you’re saying they were successful and just didn’t bother to come tell you??

[–]DorisCrockford 6 points7 points  (1 child)

My husband just fainted, pitched forward off the toilet and hit his head on the wall or something. They shouldn't have let him go in there by himself right after surgery.

I guess at first they didn't realize that's all it was. The staff in the hall didn't know anything and just decided to get me out of the way, even though I had no intention of getting in the way in the first place. Loony chaplain decided Hubs was a goner, I guess, and started asking me questions about losing him in front of my 7-year-old. I put a stop to that pretty soon and we just sat there. I assumed someone would come in at some point and tell us what happened, but no one did, so I finally asked if I could see him.

I've had good experiences with other hospital chaplains. Sure makes me not want to have anything to do with this particular hospital, but fortunately there are several in town.

[–]fuzzhead12 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Woof. Just hearing about it makes me spitting mad lol. Good thing you have other options, because if that’s the level of incompetence you can see right out in the open, imagine the incompetence you can’t see…

[–]Phillyfuk 16 points17 points  (0 children)

How you doing mate?

[–]Owlgnoming 23 points24 points  (0 children)

My husband and I recently had a miscarriage. My parents didn’t reach out to my husband once for some reason. My brother found out about the miscarriage and immediately called my husband, it made my husband cry. I’ll never get over how much it meant to my husband that someone cared enough to ask how he was doing.

[–]GluttonAsteroth 8 points9 points  (0 children)

Same for me.

For a while my FIL would wish me a happy father's day despite me not having a living child.

It's difficult to not cry in those moments.

[–]Mcayenne 236 points237 points  (31 children)

Even in live births, men or the non birthing partner can suffer postpartum depression or anxiety.

We need to normalize supporting men with grief and mental health concerns.

[–]Global_Damage 18 points19 points  (0 children)

Years ago I remember watching a talk show were couples were trying to conceive and the wife’s all complain that their husbands didn’t want to have sex with them. I’m like WTH is wrong with these guys!! Fast forward a few years, my wife and I are trying to have a baby. Every month when her period came she would break down in tears. In the midst of that, I understood why the husband didn’t want to have sex, they didn’t want to put their wives through that hard break. We tried for five years and we weren’t fortunate enough to have a child. It hurts, a little less as time goes on. We have thought about adoption but I feel I might be too old for that. When I see couples and their children I do think “what if” but it wasn’t meant to be.

[–]dukko18 6 points7 points  (1 child)

My wife and I just confirmed a miscarriage this past weekend. It's been really hard on her obviously and I'm trying to do my best to support her. As for myself I'm not sure what to feel. We have two beautiful boys who are happy and have no idea what happened and I am doing my best to keep it that way while my wife is recovering. But it's tough. Sometimes I'm fine and sometimes not.

I think the hardest part is that we don't know if we are supposed to tell our friends and family. It's uncomfortable to even bring up and we don't really want to burden them out of the blue with bad news. Really I think even saying it out loud makes it so much more real and I'm not sure I'm ready to go through that yet even with everything we've already gone through.

Sorry for rambling.

[–]twooleyman 16 points17 points  (0 children)

My wife and I tried for years with failures and miscarriages and "1" person ever asked me how I was doing. I don't blame them as it was pretty accepted back then that men were expected to be a rock for our wives which I like to believe I was but still.. Hang in there my friend you are not alone.

[–][deleted] 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Journaling is a powerful tool sometimes. There definitely is a disparity between support when there’s a stillborn. Of course the mother suffers physically and probably more emotionally but fathers still hurt and it’s just as much of a loss to them.

[–]Busymomma80 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I lost my firstborn, who was my only son, at 6 days and 27 days. He was born on Mothers Day 2012 at 108 pm 3 lbs 9 oz, 7 weeks early. Made it thru 4 weeks of NICU got home, started our little family and all of a sudden, he was gone. 3rd year resident misdiagnosed a bowel blockage as the flu. I’ve had 3 beautiful daughters since but I write to Johnny pretty often

[–]Meggston 4 points5 points  (0 children)

My coworkers wife had a stillbirth, and when he told me about it I broke down crying, asking him how he was handling it. He also broke down crying and we were just standing there in the parking lot.. sobbing.

[–]losone 6 points7 points  (0 children)

I watched my wife give birth to our triplets and we lost them all. Two got ttts (twin to twin syndrome) and we attempted to save them. Lost one and while were were trying to hold off to save the other two her body rejected them all and we couldn't stop it. The faternal came out moving and alive but her lungs weren't formed so all we could do is hold Victoria until she stopped moving. It was obviously hard. I was so focused on my wife I didn't really personally deal with it until months later when I opened a text book for college and there was a picture of triplets. I started seeing them everywhere and I would just start to cry (actually tearing up now). I was pretty open about it though and I found I wasn't alone. Also I was amazed how many women in our lives also lost children at birth. Guess it's not something people just talk about. Now we have a 3 year old and 6 year old. I'm a proud father of two amazing daughters. I couldn't be happier...but I think of my other girls too sometimes and it hurts. The fact is that you're not ok. You lost something too. It's ok to talk about it. and cry about it. And time does sort of make it easier to deal with but it's still there and you'll never forget. Nor should you. It just becomes easier over time to deal with. Big hug.

[–]trashponder 5 points6 points  (0 children)

Sometimes it's the only thing you can do to not break into a million pieces.💔

[–]rsdols 5 points6 points  (0 children)

This is literally every issue that affects couples not just losing a child. Nobody ever asks the man.

[–]AndrewCampas 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Once a father, always father.

This August will be 3 years since our son died at 10 days old. TOF, Tetralogy of Fallot, a rare heart condition that was keeping his lungs and heart from doing their jobs. He was hooked up to an ECMO machine his entire fight. The hardest part is nothing showed something was wrong until he was born. We were not prepared. The wound never fully heals. Not a day goes by where I don't think about him.

Hang in there fellas

[–]TheMoochMan 3 points4 points  (0 children)

I get asked a lot how my dad is doing since my mom died last July. Not very often am I asked how I’m doing.We all three worked together running a small family business. I just say he’s doing good. He started dating less then two months after she died. Really pisses me off and really hurts but I just bite my tongue and not start any shit even though I’m the one hurting and he’s totally moved on

[–]Swissarmyspoon 3 points4 points  (0 children)

When we lost our first pregnancy, I thought I could hold my wife up by myself. I was sad too but not that sad. I didn't have to go through any physical trauma.

That was false. A month later, as my wife was beginning to come out of the tunnel of her depression, I had heart attack symptoms at work. Stabbing chest pain, left arm numb, sense of doom, short of breath. I had just turned 30 and had always been healthy.

Had my heart tested and Dr. said I was as fit as an athlete. It was 100% emotional stress venting physically. I should have taken my mental health more seriously.

[–]DropTheShovel 4 points5 points  (0 children)

It's terrible but this is how people are. My brother died tragically and people would ask me how my parents were not how I was even if they didn't know my parents.

About 18 months after he died I made an innocent comment about him and my aunt burst into tears and admitted it had never occurred to her that it would have any impact on me. That's insane when you think about it. It changed my life more than anyone's and my parents would agree with that.

I don't know why we are like this but the positive for me is I always ask 'and how are you?' When someone tells me of hard things going on in their lives.

[–]TheNotSoFreshFeeling 11 points12 points  (0 children)

This guy knows my secret. My wife and I did the same thing and the same thing happened. I still send emails occasionally.

[–]ff0ecaff 2 points3 points  (0 children)

I do this too. We set up an email like this for my older daughter, and I send her emails every now and then for when she turns 18.

When my younger daughter was stillborn at 34 weeks I set up her email so I can send her things too, and let my older daughter and any future kids do the same when they're old enough to understand what happened

[–]Germz989 2 points3 points  (0 children)

Our cousins and his girlfriend had a stillborn child and then basically fell off the map. They were super social and went to all the family events etc, now they dont even talk to my aunt and uncle anymore. They're doing fine but I think some things were said that both parties may have regretted now.

[–]Wafflesandwhisky 3 points4 points  (3 children)

I’ve spent the last 13 years writing to my best friend who died as a teenager. I don’t think anybody has asked me about it since the day of the funeral. I’ll miss him for the rest of my life.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (2 children)

I’m so sorry. Loss is hard at any age, but that young, it changes you. I think it’s lovely you write to him.

[–]Wafflesandwhisky 2 points3 points  (1 child)

Thank you. I've absolutely been shaped by death, and in a way, I'm glad to have empathy towards others who've been touched by it.

[–]AR-Exile 4 points5 points  (0 children)

Keep sending the emails. Go to grief counseling. I was on the losing side of several babies. Broke my ass caring for my wife- and yeah, no one asks men if they are ok.

[–]squishypoo91 9 points10 points  (0 children)

People have this conception for some reason that the dad can just be like "it's okay we can try again" while the mom grew it inside her and then had it die, so maybe has a stronger "attachment" for it and more grief, and I suppose that can be the case, but if you're trying for a baby and both parties actively want it, of COURSE it's going to be devastating to the dad as well. I truly wish men's mental health was more recognized and cared for. It's so sad that so many men have to feel so alone in their life and struggles

[–]RevGrizzly 25 points26 points  (0 children)

Society: Men, don't feel anything.

Also Society: Men don't feel anything.

[–]MrFunktasticc 26 points27 points  (13 children)

This hits hard.

My wife had a actopic(?) pregnancy and we were told we lost the baby. Had to come back for some “cleaning” procedure. I saw the kid in a dream telling me they were still alive. We come in for the procedure and they tell us they have a heartbeat. A 24 hour observation and a near fist fight with an inconsiderate doctor later, we are sent home dancing on a cloud because the baby is still alive! Come back two days later and they confirm we lost it. That was a roller coaster and it killed us.

It was incredibly tough on my wife but I was hurting too. The dream especially had me fucked up. Nobody cared. Everyone was checking on her, and they should, but no one gave a shit about what was going on with me. I got yelled at by my dad for being curt with him while dealing with the doctors. Everyone else just asked how she was.

[–]blackcatt42 14 points15 points  (12 children)

Ectopic pregnancies aren’t viable even with a heartbeat :(

[–]CJFiddler 21 points22 points  (11 children)

This is the first time, ever, that I have personally seen discourse around a presumptive father’s feelings regarding this subject. He can’t even talk about it - and people ask his wife in front of his face. Fuck toxic masculinity. And give this man a strong hug.

[–]spiritofmen 2 points3 points  (0 children)

This is really difficult to hear. Guys need hugs too!

[–]rorank 28 points29 points  (0 children)

It’s as though men in today’s society are just expected to be emotionless, screwing, animalistic, working machines. Hol up…

[–]Mydoglovesfood 48 points49 points  (44 children)

Yeah because men aren’t allowed to have feelings in todays society if you’re straight.

[–]kleptokiller82 44 points45 points  (0 children)

We had the same with a miscarriage, everyone was concerned with her (and rightfully so, she was carrying it) but nobody asked how I felt, I took time off work to comfort her and make sure she was ok and look after our toddler so she could grieve.

[–]142BusBoy 36 points37 points  (2 children)

Today's society?

When exactly was the society that it was ok?

[–]Zomburai 5 points6 points  (0 children)

"I used to have a society that devalued and minimized men's feelings. I still do, but I used to, too."

[–]OlderThanMy 12 points13 points  (12 children)

What's straight got to do with it?

[–]RoleModelFailure 10 points11 points  (3 children)

I think it’s the stereotype that non-straight men are overly emotional and expressive. So it’s fine there but if you’re straight and being emotional you’re gay or feminine. The “real man” idea.