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Jeff Dorris

Deliberations from Dorris

Jeff Dorris is the Editor of the Delta Dunklin Democrat

Editorial

A Father's grief

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Sorry for your loss.

I canít imagine.

How are you feeling?

These are some of things I remember people saying to me when I lost my son.

Even though it was thirty plus years ago it is still vivid in my mind.

I reflected on that horrible day as I attended the funeral of a family memberís infant baby this week.

Is there anything worse?

After all, babies arenít supposed to die.

I watched as family and friends embraced the parents and tried to offer words of comfort.

What do you say?

There are no words.

So you may ask why would I choose to write on a subject that is beyond description?

I write this for the fathers.

As fathers we tend to stamp down our grief.

Oh, itís awful when we first experience the loss of our child, and there is shock and tears to be sure.

But then, we grow still.

We have to be strong.

We have to be there for our spouse and family.

I watched the father hold his wife and rub her back through the visitation.

I saw him wipe away a stray tear from his eye, but still he sat there, strong in his silence as he stared at the tiny casket.

For him it will be later.

When itís quiet and no oneís around.

Then heíll grieve.

I know that kind of grief.

Itís heavy.

I felt many emotions in the few weeks following my sonís death.

Guilt, hopelessness, profound yearning, and anger.

I was filled with anger, at myself and at God.

I didnít talk with someone about it until years later.

I wish I had done it sooner.

It helped.

I wanted to to talk to him at the funeral, but I knew it wasnít the right time.

He has to be strong now

I will eventually talk to him.

Again though, there really are no words. Only questions.

How is he feeling?

Heís not. Heís numb.

Does it get better?

Time helps, but it will never leave you.

Pray and comfort both parents, if theyíre going through this tragic experience.

But remember the fathers who suffer in silence.

Strong in their support, but hurting all the same.

See you out there.

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