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The First Father's Day After Losing Our Son

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This is the first Father’s Day after losing our son, Wyatt. This is for all the grieving dads out there today.

Our arms are empty, our hearts are heavy and yet here we are. Whether you are struggling with fertility, stood by your partner while they suffered a miscarriage or lost a child for another reason like I did, deep down, it doesn’t change the fact that you are a dad. But to me, it sometimes doesn’t feel like it anymore.

It’s easy to get caught up in this cycle of grief and guilt, and it’s not easy to get past. Should we have done something different? What if Wyatt had been born a day earlier? Would it have changed anything? Would he still be an angel? You also grieve for what life should have been, and we grieve for what was. Our world wasn’t perfect; life was stressful, between working full-time, a plethora of appointments, dealing with medical supply companies and insurance companies, and trying to maintain a healthy relationship with my wife.

Each day, I see posts on Facebook from friends in the special needs community about another little one gaining their wings. When we first started on this journey, I couldn’t read those posts. I always thought to myself, that could be Wyatt someday, that could be us, and I don’t want to think about that. As time went on, as our community grew, and we met more families like us with children with cerebral palsy, so too did these posts, only they began to hit closer to home.

On December 29, 2015, Wyatt passed away peacefully due to complications from pneumonia.

It’s been six months since Wyatt passed, and not a day goes by that I don’t think about him, what we did, what we should be doing together today. It’s been six months, and still to this day I see those posts, another angel, and another family going home with broken hearts and empty arms.

The author's son

Originally published: June 19, 2016
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