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From the Desk of Father Rubey
Thursday, May 11, 2017 by Father Ruby
In June, we set aside a day to honor our fathers. It is a day where we buy a gift or do something special for our fathers. The traditional gifts that fathers are given on this day range from a shirt, a tie or something for the toolbox, or something else manly. Those gifts are contrasted with the gifts we give to our mother – flowers, a box of candy or something more feminine. The cards are different. Very often a Father’s Day card has a scene that is something from the outdoors or something that is masculine as opposed to the cards that we have for our mothers. Even the messages very often lack the warmth and the care that it has in cards that are meant for our mothers. The biggest day of the year for cemetery visitation is Mother’s Day. Why not Father’s Day? We can speculate as to the reasons for the above observations. My own opinion is that the male population in our society has been relegated to something less personal and less demonstrative than the female portion of the population. And yet, in all of us, there is a bit of masculinity and femininity in our makeup. One gender predominates, but no one is all masculine or all feminine. Even in the stronger person. Men are to be more stoic and less demonstrative in the expression of grief. And yes, from my experience in working with men, the hurt is as profound and as piercing. Yet, men don’t always have the avenue whereby they can express the hurt and the pain of a suicide.

In many instances, men who have completed suicide have been less than candid with their feelings and with the problems that have impacted their lives and then led to their suicide. Men are asked to tough it out and be the caretakers of other members of the family who are suffering and grieving a suicide. And in looking after the other members of their families, they are overlooked and their pain and grief never gets fully addressed. Men hurt as much and as deeply as woman. This is a fact.

I remember years ago talking to a man who had lost his daughter to suicide. He and his wife were devastated. As they grieved the loss of their daughter, he would meet other family members and friends who would inquire about how his wife and the other children were doing with the grief journey. He would respond that they were doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances. After the same topic came up several times this man stopped and realized that no one was asking him how he was feeling. Family, friends and acquaintances were inquiring about how members of his family were doing but no one was asking how he was doing. He was feeling neglected because people were presuming that he was doing well but their concern was for the wife and other children and not for him. Overtime he became resentful that people didn’t think that he was hurting as much as the other members of his family. This is an example of people overlooking the fact that men hurt as much as women during the grief journey.

As we commemorate Father’s Day, if there is a father in our life who is grieving, hopefully, we can encourage and be open and allow these men to cry and to openly express their pain and their grief. Outward expression of grief is not the sign of weakness, nor is the absence of emotion a sign of strength. To openly cry and have external expressions of grief is nothing more than an admission that we are human. We are all human, male and female. We all hurt from grief, male and female. We all cry and experience pain, male and female.

In June as we commemorate Father’s Day, let us pray for the fathers of our LOSS family who are grieving the death of a child and let us pray also for those people in our LOSS family who are grieving the death of a father and let us also remember especially those fathers who are grieving the death of an only child. I assure you of my thoughts and prayers for each and every one of you and especially those fathers who are commemorating the first Father’s Day without one of their children and to pray especially for those people who are commemorating the first Father’s Day without their father or grandfather.

Keep on Keepin On!

Charles T. Rubey


Archives:

From the Desk of Father Rubey
Thursday, May 11, 2017 by Father Ruby
In June, we set aside a day to honor our fathers. It is a day where we buy a gift or do something special for our fathers. The traditional gifts that fathers are given on this day range from a shirt, a tie or something for the toolbox, or something else manly. Those gifts are contrasted with the gifts we give to our mother – flowers, a box of candy or something more feminine. The cards are different. Very often a Father’s Day card has a scene that is something from the outdoors or something that is masculine as opposed to the cards that we have for our mothers. Even the messages very often lack the warmth and the care that it has in cards that are meant for our mothers. The biggest day of the year for cemetery visitation is Mother’s Day. Why not Father’s Day? We can speculate as to the reasons for the above observations. My own opinion is that the male population in our society has been relegated to something less personal and less demonstrative than the female portion of the population. And yet, in all of us, there is a bit of masculinity and femininity in our makeup. One gender predominates, but no one is all masculine or all feminine. Even in the stronger person. Men are to be more stoic and less demonstrative in the expression of grief. And yes, from my experience in working with men, the hurt is as profound and as piercing. Yet, men don’t always have the avenue whereby they can express the hurt and the pain of a suicide.

In many instances, men who have completed suicide have been less than candid with their feelings and with the problems that have impacted their lives and then led to their suicide. Men are asked to tough it out and be the caretakers of other members of the family who are suffering and grieving a suicide. And in looking after the other members of their families, they are overlooked and their pain and grief never gets fully addressed. Men hurt as much and as deeply as woman. This is a fact.

I remember years ago talking to a man who had lost his daughter to suicide. He and his wife were devastated. As they grieved the loss of their daughter, he would meet other family members and friends who would inquire about how his wife and the other children were doing with the grief journey. He would respond that they were doing as well as could be expected under the circumstances. After the same topic came up several times this man stopped and realized that no one was asking him how he was feeling. Family, friends and acquaintances were inquiring about how members of his family were doing but no one was asking how he was doing. He was feeling neglected because people were presuming that he was doing well but their concern was for the wife and other children and not for him. Overtime he became resentful that people didn’t think that he was hurting as much as the other members of his family. This is an example of people overlooking the fact that men hurt as much as women during the grief journey.

As we commemorate Father’s Day, if there is a father in our life who is grieving, hopefully, we can encourage and be open and allow these men to cry and to openly express their pain and their grief. Outward expression of grief is not the sign of weakness, nor is the absence of emotion a sign of strength. To openly cry and have external expressions of grief is nothing more than an admission that we are human. We are all human, male and female. We all hurt from grief, male and female. We all cry and experience pain, male and female.

In June as we commemorate Father’s Day, let us pray for the fathers of our LOSS family who are grieving the death of a child and let us pray also for those people in our LOSS family who are grieving the death of a father and let us also remember especially those fathers who are grieving the death of an only child. I assure you of my thoughts and prayers for each and every one of you and especially those fathers who are commemorating the first Father’s Day without one of their children and to pray especially for those people who are commemorating the first Father’s Day without their father or grandfather.

Keep on Keepin On!

Charles T. Rubey