A wife’s letter to her childless husband on Father’s Day


I lay in bed the other night, hands crossed over my heart and legs pin-straight, and thought of those words:

This is not about me at all, is it? This is all about you.

That’s what you said to me when I told you I wanted to have the procedure done. A procedure that would be risky, as any procedure is, but that might point us to what’s wrong. The answer to why our children are in the clouds and not here with us.

I was angry at you for saying such a cruel thing. So I went to bed in silence and didn’t tell you to sleep with God and dream with me like I always do. I didn’t kiss you or reach for your hand in reconciliation. I simply lay there, emotionally entombed, trying not to breathe too hard or feel too much as I waited for sleep to find you and take you deep into the hush of night.

But here’s what sleep whispered to me: you were right.

Much of the past six years has been about me. When I was pregnant it was all about keeping me healthy, happy and calm. And when I wasn’t, it was about the same. You took the brunt of my suffering and sadness. You held me when I cried and told me we’d be okay when I ran out of tears. You told me that I was more than enough, that the two of us were more than enough. And on Mother’s Day, when nearly everyone forgot to remember, you were there just as you always are.

Our first child would have turned five this year. My instincts told me she was a girl and this is how I’ve seen her in my dreams: a green-eyed chatterbox with my curly hair and your long lashes, running through a field of asters, buttercups and thimbleweeds. She’s always wearing a white eyelet dress with blue ribbon threading its hem. It’s soiled with what looks like chocolate ice cream and her knees are skinned. I hear her calling to you:

Daddy, Daddy, come find me.

Then she ducks behind a Black Maple, certain you can’t see her. You can, of course, and you find her, pick her up and swing her around as you tell her you love her. Then I wake up, still hearing your laughter, yours and our daughter’s.

I thought of this dream last Sunday as I watched you in the quiet moments before releasing your butterfly in the RTS (Renew Through Sharing) Garden.

Butterfly Release 2014_Ren_butterfly

And I wondered if you whispered I love you before you opened the purple envelope and let her fly away. A symbolic gesture of the sorrow we have felt and an acknowledgement of the tremendous weight of empty arms.

Butterfly Release 2014_butterflies

When I opened my own I sent some sadness with it: sadness for thinking my heartache went deeper because it could be seen and sadness for not honoring the differences in our grieving.  Because there are differences.

Perhaps you have always been strong because you felt you had to or because that’s just who you are. But I want you to know…

it’s okay to cry,

it’s okay to scream,

and it’s okay to shake your fist at the moon.

And it’s also okay to be silent. I know that now.

If we earned parenthood, if it was somehow based on merit, you would be a father because you deserve a child you can hold and touch and by whom you can be completely enamored. And you deserve to be called daddy in more than just my dreams. So, this Father’s Day, I hope you know how much you’re loved, both here on Earth and beyond where our angels reside.  And that it is about us.

Always us.

Always the five of us.



  One thought on “A wife’s letter to her childless husband on Father’s Day

  1. June 22, 2014 at 12:35 am

    Superbly written…

    • June 22, 2014 at 1:33 am

      Thank you so much. Your sentiment is truly appreciated.

  2. June 22, 2014 at 2:55 am

    What a sad but wonderful message. I’m sure it will help others who suffer.

    • June 22, 2014 at 10:06 pm

      I truly hope it does.
      Many thanks 🙂

  3. June 22, 2014 at 3:20 am

    This is so beautiful and well-written, I admire your love for your husband as a wife

    • June 22, 2014 at 10:12 pm

      It’s easy to love when you are so well-loved yourself.

      And thank you for taking the time to read and comment.

      With gratitude,

  4. June 22, 2014 at 8:19 am

    This is something that only God can show you . This right here dose not happen all the time you have to know that God is in your presence and that you will see your baby’s every night because he knows how much you both love them ! God Bless 👏

    • June 22, 2014 at 10:18 pm

      I have faith that we will see them one day. And belief in THAT makes all of this worth it.


  5. June 22, 2014 at 11:30 am

    Bless u both. Your words have really touched me and I’m not even a parent yet! I cannot imagine what you have both been through x

    • June 22, 2014 at 10:24 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Bianca. They are certainly appreciated.


  6. June 22, 2014 at 11:55 am

    Dani, I thought I wrote a comment yesterday, but I could not find it, so I must have either forgotten to post it or it got lost. If you did see my earlier note, this one is superfluous.
    Whenever I might think I have written something well, I will reread this essay of yours and either give up in despair or be inspired to try harder. I pray that your fondest dreams come true. I feel very free to question God about things I don’t understand. (All of the time I accept that I am not supposed to understand everything, and that is one of the reasons I worship God and do not expect God to worship me.) That said on my list is, Eternal One, when will you grant this worthy woman the gift of a child?

    • June 22, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      This brought tears, Rabbi Stephen:

      “That said on my list is, Eternal One, when will you grant this worthy woman the gift of a child?”

      While I don’t pretend to understand all that has happened and hasn’t, I must believe in pains higher purpose and for the refinement that has taken place in the depths of my heart.

      If I am not to be a mother in this life, I will accept it knowing this:

      that one day I will be reunited with the three sweet souls that began life within me. And brought a sacred purpose to my own.

  7. Anand Dudheliya
    June 22, 2014 at 12:39 pm

    Reblogged this on Always for BEGINNERS.

    • June 22, 2014 at 10:32 pm

      Thank you, Anand.

  8. June 22, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    Thank you. I, too, am a childless father. We know the reasons for our situation. Beautifully written piece.

    • June 22, 2014 at 10:46 pm

      Thank you for this. And many blessings to you and those you love.

      With grace,

  9. June 22, 2014 at 2:01 pm

    Simply amazing, powerfully written!

    • June 22, 2014 at 11:16 pm

      Thank you so very much.

      With grace,

  10. June 22, 2014 at 5:39 pm

    …your letter broke my heart. It’s so beautiful.

    • June 22, 2014 at 11:18 pm

      Thank you, sweetie. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment.


  11. June 22, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    I love how many amazing responses this piece has brought out. Great stuff.

    • June 22, 2014 at 11:26 pm

      Thank you, Lucas. I truly appreciate it 🙂

  12. Jeff Harbeson
    June 22, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    Beautiful…well written from your heart.

    • June 22, 2014 at 11:38 pm

      Thank you for reading, Jeff.

      Thank you.

  13. June 22, 2014 at 11:01 pm

    Thank you for this. While I have two grown sons from a previous marriage, my husband has no children of his own aside of the daughter we lost to a miscarriage nearly four years ago. What you wrote about “earning” parenthood moved me to tears, as I know my husband would have earned a million “World’s Best Dad” coffee mugs by now. I recently wrote of my own loss, so if you’re interested, you can read it at http://amycoryblog.wordpress.com/2014/03/13/katie-hope/

    • June 22, 2014 at 11:47 pm

      I read it, Amy, and it broke my heart. I’m so sorry you understand this pain. But I hope…having had them, for even the briefest of moments, made us both better. Better for having loved.


      • June 23, 2014 at 12:52 pm

        I am in tears.. This touched me so much.. Sending so much love and positivity your way, what an inspiration x

  14. June 22, 2014 at 11:50 pm

    Reblogged this on glowgirlsblogs's Blog.

  15. June 23, 2014 at 2:20 am

    Reblogged this on Where Dreams Come True….

    • June 23, 2014 at 4:15 pm

      Thank you for the reblog, Yuli. It was quite sweet of you.


  16. June 23, 2014 at 4:08 am

    Wow Dani! Your words are as powerful as always. What a great tribute to a man who obviously has supported you through more than any person or couple should endure. I have faith you will get there!

    • June 23, 2014 at 4:16 pm

      Oh, Alexis, it’s so sweet of you to say so. How are you, dolly??


  17. Sam
    June 23, 2014 at 7:16 am

    Gosh! This is just so incredibly beautiful and heart wrenching. I’m laying here in bed with tears streaming down my face as I write this. I’m young and children aren’t even a glimmer of a thought yet, but your words were so perfectly crafted that I feel like I understand a little something about parenthood that I didn’t before. Thank you. Your family is in my prayers.

    • June 23, 2014 at 4:21 pm

      I thank you for your prayers, Sam. And I’m grateful that the door to parenthood is ajar and that you might understand things, at the heart level, once you’re ready to peer in.

      Many blessings to you,

  18. June 23, 2014 at 10:39 am

    Reblogged this on Jeff Jones, A Business Problem Solver and commented:
    What a powerful but sensitive letter to write to her husband.

    • June 23, 2014 at 4:22 pm

      Thank you very much for your kind words, Jeffrey, and for the reblog.

      With grace,

  19. YOGiNi
    June 23, 2014 at 11:42 am

    It was beautiful! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • June 23, 2014 at 4:23 pm

      No, thank you for reading.

      Many blessings to you,

  20. June 23, 2014 at 1:25 pm

    Dani. Thank you for that. We have three kids but just (I can’t say miscarried or lost it sounds like we weren’t being careful or we were negligent) we were pregnant with our fourth and now our little one, Innocent, after (st. Innocent of Alaska) has gone ahead of us. We buried him at a monastery about an hour away from us. I’m crying again. Although I do get to experience the joy (and frustration) of earthly fatherhood the feeling of bright sadness that I felt has been marking all my days. I ask for his help and his prayers. I take more seriously the working out of my salvation and I stand in hope and faith that he knows me and that our hearts are reaching out to one another across the thin veil of death. Thank you for words that help me swallow the bitter pill of loss-because you speak of love and understanding and forgiveness and all those things help us get through. Thanks. Blessings to you and your dear husband. May your three dance with the blessed saints and lift you up by their prayers.

    • June 23, 2014 at 4:28 pm

      Thank you for such a heartfelt comment. I am sorry that you have been touched by this pain and pray that time, faith and love will heal the jagged edges of your heart.

      With thanksgiving,

  21. June 23, 2014 at 6:06 pm

    Thank you for sharing this–I said prayers for your family through my tears.

    • June 24, 2014 at 12:42 am

      They and you are appreciated, Brittany.


  22. June 23, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    so beautiful written.it is amazing words

    • June 24, 2014 at 12:42 am

      Thank you for stopping by, reading and commenting 🙂

  23. June 23, 2014 at 6:49 pm

    This is so beautiful and hits very close to home. My fiance and I have lost two children and we are no closer to an answer on why than before. I have had multiple miscarriages, by multiple our last miscarriage made it 13. We have two wonderful children, none of them are biologically his children and all he wants is a child the holds his bloodline. Things are beginning to look grim on our end but we haven’t lost hope. I feel your pain… This was so beautifully written. Thank you.

    • June 24, 2014 at 12:50 am

      You are a better women than I. I could barely scrape myself through 3 and have sweet sisters in pain that lost their hearts after 1. So, 13?? It warrants sainthood in my book.

      I will pray for you, Raphsodi, and your collective dream of parenthood. I know how much it hurts. I know.

      All my many blessings to you,

  24. June 23, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    This is beautifully written, I’m touch

    • June 24, 2014 at 12:52 am

      Thank you for saying so.

      ❤ Dani

  25. June 23, 2014 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you for sharing your journey…

    • June 24, 2014 at 12:53 am

      I’m happy to, Heather. Thank you for reading ❤

      Many blessings,

  26. thewritegirl305
    June 23, 2014 at 10:32 pm

    amazingly written!

    • June 24, 2014 at 1:45 am

      It’s kind of you to say so.
      Thank you.


  27. New Things!
    June 23, 2014 at 11:04 pm

    This is such an amazing piece of writting xxx

    • June 24, 2014 at 1:48 am

      Thank you so much, Rebecca.

      Blessings to you ❤

  28. giselle de luca zanatta
    June 24, 2014 at 12:00 am

    Dani, teus sentimentos e tuas palavras são tao profundas e emocionantes, e tao bem descritos, que quando li parecia que te via falar, com teu coração, fico muito feliz e agradecida a Deus , por fazeres parte da vida de meu amado irmão, que Deus sempre os abençoe com tudo o que ele julgar que seja o melhor para vocês,
    amo muito vocês dois!!!

    • June 24, 2014 at 1:53 am

      Lele,obrigada por ter lido e deixado um comentario tao lindo como este. Fico feliz em ter-la como irma.

      Que Deus te abencoe hoje e sempre…

      ❤ Te amo

  29. dorothy
    June 24, 2014 at 3:11 am

    Beautiful :’)

    • June 24, 2014 at 11:38 am

      Thank you so much, Dorothy ❤

  30. June 24, 2014 at 4:18 am

    beautiful.. The way you have written..is just awesome 🙂

    • June 24, 2014 at 11:43 am

      That is so sweet of you to say, Bhavya.
      So sweet.

      Thank you for visiting,

  31. June 24, 2014 at 4:54 am

    Reblogged this on kristineromfilms.

    • June 24, 2014 at 11:44 am

      Thank you for the reblog 🙂

  32. June 24, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Reblogged this on novelnic and commented:
    This is just beautiful…and way too close to my heart 😦 x

    • June 24, 2014 at 12:00 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Nicola. And blessings to the sacred corners of your heart.

      With thanksgiving,

  33. June 24, 2014 at 10:50 am

    Your words made me cry and made me remember. Thank you.

    • June 24, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      Oh, Stacie. I pray you don’t know the depths of this pain. But if you do, I pray for blessings upon your heart for your lost one/s. And I thank you.

      I truly thank you.


  34. June 24, 2014 at 6:18 pm

    amazing story!!

    • June 25, 2014 at 12:12 am

      Thank you for saying so. Hope the summer passes quickly for you, so you can have your love back.


  35. gp6961
    June 24, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Reblogged this on gp6961's Blog.

    • June 25, 2014 at 12:06 am

      Thank you for this.


  36. June 25, 2014 at 2:45 am

    Beautiful and sincere.

    • June 25, 2014 at 2:05 pm

      Thank you so much for reading. I truly appreciate it 🙂

  37. June 25, 2014 at 2:46 am

    Reblogged this on nusaybahhh and commented:
    Beautiful piece

    • June 25, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      And thank you for the reblog, as well.

  38. amjvijay
    June 25, 2014 at 4:43 am

    Beautifully written. I could listen to you all day .It touched my heart . 🙂

    • June 25, 2014 at 2:09 pm

      Thank you for your lovely comment. I’m glad you were touched. THAT I could listen to all day.


  39. James Ward
    June 25, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    I just stumbled on this and it is amazing! I have been in his shoes. I remember holding back my emotions to keep my wife as comfortable as possible. He is not alone, and there are real men out there that are a woman’s rock to lean on. I remember walking by myself and having my personal meltdown and no one to turn to, I would wake up in the middle of the night in tears, I would hold my wife and cry with her.

    • December 13, 2020 at 12:31 am

      James, I an so sorry I never responded to your beautifully transparent comment. Thank you for your love of and sacrifice for your wife. I pray your hearts have walked the path of healing. Together.

  40. June 25, 2014 at 12:59 pm

    Great to see true love and compatibility between you both:) stay blessed!

    • June 25, 2014 at 2:48 pm

      That was the sweetest comment, Meeinal. And I do feel quite blessed.


  41. June 25, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Its beautiful! There’s always a lesson in every challenge like this for parents. thank you for sharing!

    • June 26, 2014 at 1:56 am

      Yes, there sure is. Thank you for reading.


  42. June 25, 2014 at 1:57 pm

    Nice words….it touches my heart. I lost a beautiful baby…it strain my relationship with my fiance and we broke up…..it hurts me…

    • June 26, 2014 at 2:00 am

      I’m so sorry you lost your baby…and your fiance.

      My thoughts are with you.


  43. June 25, 2014 at 6:56 pm

    Beautiful god bless you and family xxxx

    • June 26, 2014 at 2:04 am

      Thank you so much ❤

      May He bless yours, as well.

  44. June 25, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    That was really touching!! I am always amazed how simple words, just like yours can touch someone so deeply and change lives! I just found this blog, but I will definitely come back for more! 🙂

    • June 26, 2014 at 2:10 am

      Thank you for such a sweet comment, Lexi. I do hope you’ll stay tuned for more.


  45. Emilio Pasquale
    June 26, 2014 at 5:48 am

    Wow. I can see one more comment can not make much of a difference but I wanted to share with you. My parents went through the same thing some 32 years ago and it split them apart. They both still cry over the loss even though soon afterward I came along. My father has a memorial garden in his back yard. I make sure to wish him a happy father’s day every year!

    • June 26, 2014 at 4:55 pm

      I assure you, every comment does, Emilio.

      I was so saddened to hear about your parents. I have known couples who have split because of losses or not being able to conceive. It is terribly tragic to hear and witness.

      Thankfully, my husband and I have been strengthened through this. We have learned to lean on each other more and to make sure we give each other grace and time, even when we don’t have it to give.

      Honestly, he has been much more understanding and loving than I. Much more. But I am trying to do my best to right the wrongs I’ve done. And since he is a gracious man, I know it won’t be too little too late.

      Blessings to you and your parents,

  46. June 26, 2014 at 1:23 pm

    this is beautiful in so many ways. The love between husband and wife, the love between parents and children, even when they are beyond the stars (that’s how we call it here in Germany). I hope you will be blessed soon with the gift of a child.. as your post is a blessing for others in the same situation like you.

    • June 26, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      Barbara, thank you for such a lovely comment. I also hope we will be blessed with a healthy pregnancy and child, but if not, there are three little souls waiting for us…beyond the stars. And there is comfort in that.


  47. mamak10
    June 26, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    This brings tears to my eyes it is so beautifully written and written not only for your husband but for other loss dads, too, I’m sure.

    • June 26, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      Thank you so much. And you are right, I wrote it to honor my husband, as well as the other would-be-fathers whose sacrifice and heartache are all too often forgotten.


  48. June 26, 2014 at 6:21 pm

    That touched me! Thnx for sharing genuine feelings with the world

    • June 26, 2014 at 7:24 pm

      I’m happy to do so, Hayat.

      Blessings to you, sweetie,

  49. June 27, 2014 at 5:50 am

    Reblogged this on davkengfun's Blog.

  50. June 27, 2014 at 3:09 pm

    delicate writing on an indelicate topic

    • June 28, 2014 at 4:54 pm

      Thank you for saying so, Matt.


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