One of the biggest and most common misconceptions/ myths that I’ve heard and read in the healing + grieving journey is that men either do not grieve or just want to move on fast, forget, push aside and bury the pain and hurt. This for certain is false and the exact opposite of what I get to witness firsthand as the wife to a very much grieving father, Paul Gavini. I shared today’s theme with him and he decided to share a bit of his heart with us —
“On this month dedicated to the babies and children gone too soon and to the parents who’ve lost, the mothers are frequently asked how they are doing, what is going through their mind, what are their feelings like, etc. But what about the grieving fathers? As a grieving dad, I’ve mostly heard, “I’m sorry for you and your family’s loss,” and “How is your wife doing?” Staying strong, I respond accordingly. But so rarely have I heard, “How are you (Paul) doing? As family and friends have reached out to me, it’s amazing to see how I’ve found myself standing strong responding for my wife and my family after fielding questions for her and us. But seldom have I had to respond to how am I doing. When I have had to answer that question, I pause and think about how I cry night in and night out, how even while drying my wife’s tears and comforting her, in silence I live in my own pain and sorrow. I simply respond saying, “Taking things day by day” or “It’s hard,” just to avoid a deep and emotional state.
Myth: A real man does not cry, does not show affection. If they do, they are perceived as “wimps” or “girly”.
Truth: Real men have the ability to show pain and grief, even with tears.
The definition of crying is shedding tears in response to an emotional state. As a man, it’s difficult to hold this heavy heart after enduring such a traumatic event. I know I have to be strong for my wife and family, but deep down I am just as heartbroken.”
He grieves. He hurts. He cries. And just because he doesn’t “appear” to do so the way I do, doesn’t mean he doesn’t. He’s always been known to carry himself strong, lifted and to keep going through heartache and adversity, as he has tasted loss before when he lost his own mother at the age of 18 to cancer, and now experiencing loss again, this time with his first child. My husband is the strongest + bravest person I know — and daily, I look up to him for the courage, resilience, humility, and grace he unfailingly exemplifies as our Lord continues to give him both the rain and shine in life.
He’s grieved and still is grieving. Majority of the time it’s just done, quietly. I understand that his keeping himself strong and “put together” is to keep our little family strong with the spirit of his daughter always in his heart. Men do grieve, they do hurt, they do feel and have emotions. And that is more than fine and okay. So ask your male family members and friends if they’re doing okay following a loss. Let’s encourage, let’s ask, and let’s keep breaking the silence. | This photo was taken at the second wedding we’ve attended without Haven. It was painful not being able to rub my stomach or to feel Paul’s proud hand on my tummy when taking photos — but now as I sit and stare at this one closely, I do in fact see her. 💕👋🏽