A poem for fathers

I was asked by a dad to share this poem he came across. If anyone knows the author, please let me know so I can give them credit.

It must be very difficult

To be a man in grief,
Since "men don't cry"
and "men are strong"
No tears can bring relief.

It must be very difficult
To stand up to the test,
And field the calls and visitors
So she can get some rest.

They always ask if she's all right
And what she's going through.
But seldom take his hand and ask,
"My friend, but how are you?"

He hears her crying in the night
And thinks his heart will break.
He dries her tears and comforts her,
But "stays strong" for her sake.

It must be very difficult
To start each day anew.
And try to be so very brave-
He lost his baby too.

Eileen Knight Hagemeister


  1. This poem was written by a compassionate woman, Eileen Knight Hagemeister, who saw the difficult issues regarding men and grief. She wrote this poem to her son‐in‐law after his baby girl was stillborn. In parallel, fathers that are told that their beloved child is diagnosed with a disability, also have to cope with the tremendous loss of expectations and dreams he once held. May we encourage all readers to offer your support to these fathers.

  2. Wow. So very, very true.

    If only more people would understand that, in asking how Mrs. Spit was doing and ignoring me, just how that made me feel marginalized and ignored after my baby boy died in my arms.

    Thanks for sharing this, I'm off to re-post it - it needs to be widespread.

  3. This is a wonderful poem i have tweeted it to our followers

  4. I lost my son 2 1/2yo son on June 1st this year. As with Mr. Spit, he died in my arms as well. This poem expresses what I cannot. Thank you for posting.

  5. DEAR GOD this touched me. It isn't so much that I "can't" grieve, as my wife and friends are a tremendous support; but simply- I lost what was to be our second child and a sister to our 5 yr old son about 2 hours ago. The last line says it for me. I lost a baby too. This is way hard. Thank you for giving us a place and a way to express our grief.

  6. I'm so sorry for your loss and admire your ability to reach out during those early hours. We will be thinking of you as you move forward and hope we can be of help any time you feel the need. Take care.

  7. My friend included this poem in a book she made for us in honor of our son, and I just did a search for this poem on Google so I could share it with someone online. I'm glad I found it on your blog since my husband and I read your book after our son died. I have yet to be able to read through this poem without crying... *sniffle*

  8. This blog is great source of information which is very useful for me. Thank you very much.


  9. As a father and husband we put our feeling second and family and friends dont realized that a part of has passed away as well .

  10. HELP!!!!!

    My son lost his 16 year old daughter in an auto accident Sept 2012
    He also has cancer. Since Sept he grief is so heavy that I can not get him to do anything anymore. He rarely even leaves his house and most of the time he is in his bedroom. I do on occations, get him to go the a store or somewhere for a few hours, he always breaks down and wants to return home. All of his so call friends have abbandon him. I think its because he is always so sad and they do not know how to handle it. He does not havea support system . I am constantly trying to get either his faimly or friends to help him with very little response. Thye just say he should man up and accept life as it is. Before he was diagnosed with cancer(2008) he was very active socialbly and physically . He had lots and lots of friends. After 2008, he was unable to continue his his normal activities. But most of friends stuck arround. However, now he handling the death of his daugheter , he stands alone. I just found a poem he wrote about how alone he feels. He does have a wife and an older daughter, but in their own grief and their own everyday life he is still alone. I wish they had a big brother orginazation for something like this. He needs help from other grieving dads. I know this sounds complicated but Im tryng to keep my son alive. I sometimes feel that I am the only one that is trying.

    1. I hear you. I too have a wife and yet I am alone. She feels I should manage the death of my daughter more like a man. A man is not suppose to cry or candidly express his sadness and sorrow. I hurt everyday. She gets so mad at me because I can not get a hold on this grief. We have grown apart and its like she is blaming me because we lost *our* child. Sorry for your loss and sorry your son is going through this alone. I know distinctively how he feels. I can not envision having to cope with such a loss and cancer. I indentify with your son's longing for his wife and friends to embrass
      him if only for a minute. I pray a lot and I will
      say a prayer for your son and ask that you pray for me.

  11. Your poem has touched me from the bottom of my heart..My sister just lost their baby girl on sept 2012..I would like to share this poem for my brother in law whom is taking it hard,But tries not to show his dying heart...

  12. we lost our baby of almost 4 months to miscarriage... nothing prepares you for the pain you feel for her... and the loss of your child... this poem hit me hard as a now former father to be when I read it but I think will help in the long run..

  13. This poem was written by my grandmother when my mom and dad lost my older sister in 1990. Grandma has been very surprised to see this poem show up all over the place. It's amazing! We are so glad it has been able to touch so many people, Some blogs have left the first line off"It must be very difficult". Thanks for quoting it correctly.

  14. My wife and I lost our child to a tubal pregnancy this past May, its hard watching someone you love and care for soooo much to go through so much pain physically and mentally. I finally broke down cause the weight on my shoulders got so heavy, we as men forget that it's ok to cry sometimes. This poem hit home on exactly how I felt, thanks for posting it.

  15. This is an amazingly beautiful poem and I thank you for sharing it. My husband and I lost our son on August 2, 2013 at 26 days old and he loves this poem. It is so true and I feel so bad for fathers on this horrible journey. I see how often they are ignored. I have posted this poem in the past to his facebook page to remind family and friends he is hurting as well.

  16. I lost my son at 6th month.he was preterm died with in 5 hours after he was born.i never understand how my husband bear that pain.by reading this poem I know his heart

  17. My wife and I lost our third child on June 2nd and he was born at 22 weeks. I am trying to keep strong for her and answering all the questions people have about how is she doing and I am doing my best I can to handle the other two kids and dealing with our loss, but sometimes I feel like I am am ready to break. I loved this poem and it has helped me over the past few days and seeing all of the other helpful info has been great.

  18. HELLO, my name is Charlie, and I am the one who found the poem. After joining the group the group I was looking on google and this just fell out onto my lap. Now I am not taking credit or any credit as to who wrote this and i am sure there have been other ppl who have also posted it somewhere in time
    I am glad that everyone who has read this poem is really enjoying it. Thank you Charlie