© istockphoto.com/ Dan Roundhill

Dads have someone to talk to after loss of child

GRIEVING Rockhampton dads now have a caring bloke to turn to when they lose a child.

Sands Australia, the country's key support group for parents who have lost a baby during or straight after pregnancy, has started a specific support service for fathers.

Two dads who have gone through the grieving process have been trained to take calls for help from across the nation.

Wayne Faulkner (pictured), a gas industry logistics expert, is one of those men.

Mr Faulkner knows well the pain of losing a child. His wife suffered two miscarriages more than 30 years ago.

He said, like most men, he was his wife's bedrock, which meant there was little time for him to grieve.

"I was there for my wife when she miscarried but there was nowhere for me to go," Mr Faulkner said.

"I was also grieving for her and trying to work out how best to support her grief.

"I woke up at night crying.

"It was just unbearable grief - it came in waves and it was multi-faceted in that I was grieving for the loss of the babies and grieving for the potential loss of more children."

Now married to Janina, the 62-year-old father-of-six said men needed a forum to talk about their loss.

"Guys put themselves in a corner and the sadness becomes overwhelming.

"You don't talk about it with your mates - you don't go to work and talk about it.

"You don't even raise the subject. It's something that you carry inside."

The Western Australia-based counsellor said not accepting the emotional impact of a child's death could be devastating.

"It's amazing that these guys have courage to make the call in the first place," he said of the service, which started about eight weeks ago.

"They need to talk - they can't access the ability to work through what they are going through themselves."

Contact the support service by calling Sands Australia on 1300 072 637 or visiting www.sands.org.au.

- APN Newsdesk



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