On Fathers Day

On Fathers Day

my dad400


Fathers don’t grieve like mothers do

Fathers don’t hurt like mothers do

Fathers don’t yearn for a lost child like their partner will

Fathers are quite good at pretending that everything is Ok … ish

I’ve seen some father’s cry while their friends turn away

but I’ve never seen a father howl in anguish and cling to another

because the pain is too great

My father is now a distant memory. He taught me how

to bear life’s punishments but not to bare my soul

He would disapprove if I shared my son’s death

and talk about him as if he were still alive

What’s past is past he would say

and he would know because he fought a war

and saw many comrades fall

Life is for living was his constant refrain

and in a way he was right

But then I didn’t die before him

Did I?

Thanks for reading


June 2014 


my son


9 Responses

  1. The gap our children leave behind in our lives is so immense isn’t it. Poem made me cry too Vicky and Bill. Why wouldn’t we!

  2. Another thought provoking and heart felt poem Dad.

    Life IS for living, and sharing…..Sharing knowledge of life, as Dad’s do with their sons, sharing magical moments and life’s brutal moments also.
    Sharing feelings and your soul with others should not equal being weak or un-strong.
    This is how we learn about each other and grow with each other more deeply.

    I am fortunate to have an emotionally intelligent man who wants to be in touch with themselves and with others as my own dad. You teach me so much….

  3. Very moving xx

    I think all us broken people just find our ways of coping with the crap that life has thrown at us, and that was your Dad’s way and this is yours. How your Dad would respond to his grandson’s death and his son’s open pain is hard to know. My Dad tells me quite often that he cannot believe my husband is coping so badly with our daughter’s death. It’s not even true – my husband is sad at points and grieving, but like me he is bravely carrying on without her. It is, as you suggest, this rhetoric that somehow men should be stoic, immovable, brave, emotionless that surfaces again and again…

    Much love to you Jimmy for all our todays that we have to pull ourselves through, and especially for Sunday xx

    1. Susan. I have learned that ‘not coping’ can be about the discomfort of others at witnessing ongoing grief. Strange because why would your husband suddenly stop missing his son. Our children remain forever in our hearts. It’s simply that we become more adept at concealing our feelings.

  4. Beautifully written Jimmy, really says how a dad feels when his beloved child is lost to him
    And I know that Phil has all of those emotions thank you for sharing xxx

  5. Such a beautiful boy, my heart aches for fathers like you Jimmy who don’t have their children with them the same that it aches for mums that don’t. So unfair

  6. This is very beautifully written Jimmy – yes, life is for living, but you will always be Josh’s dad – as well as Joe’s and Rosa’s – and a great one too. X

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