Fatherless Sons and Their Pain

This week I wrote an article about the specific pain that motherless daughters experience. I was overwhelmed and very happy by the number of responses that I got not only from daughters everywhere but also from fatherless sons. They requested equal time. One reader even asked me to write an article about this group. Males from different walks of life sent me very sensitive and heartbreaking messages about the pain that they experienced as young boys, teens and as adults.

Today I am going to honor these fatherless sons by telling you some of their stories. Yes, men are also sensitive. We forget that and often forget to honor their feelings. Perhaps that is because men are less likely to give a voice to their heartbreak.

One teenage boy told me how sad and ignored he felt because his father was the only father who never attended his baseball games. No, the father was not a workaholic. He had died of a massive heart attack when the boy was quite young.

An adult male told me how he had built a good and sweet life, and he wished that his father had lived to see the family and work life that he created. He wanted his father to meet his infant son. Instead, he followed the Judaic tradition of naming his son after his father. In this tradition one names a child after a deceased relative. Not only did this man yearn for his father’s presence and pride but he also wished that his father was by his side to cheer him on and answer his questions about life.

You see what motherless daughters and fatherless sons have in common is that they don’t have their own private fan club;they lack a same sex role model; and their loss is particularly salient during important life milestones.

Wishing a good year to those grieving on this Yom Kippur. We are all sensitive during this time because we attend memorial services or celebrate those we have lost with our own private traditions.