Sunday, October 16, 2011

Every Man's Struggle

I began writing this blog, because I realized there is a severe shortage of blogs, books, etc. available from the husbands' perspective.  There are nearly as many men struggling with these types of losses as there are women.  Yet, you'll find that most men do not want to talk about their pain.  Most of us men internalize our struggles.  Furthermore, when confronted about this struggle to share emotions, almost all of us will deny that this is ever a problem!  When Emily and I first got the news, I didn't know how to handle it (in many ways, I still don't).  My initial thought was to bottle up my emotions and "be strong"..."you're a man...suck it up!!"  But this is definitely not healthy.  And not what it means to be "bold, courageous, brave, etc."  One of the most difficult realizations for me is knowing that, even though I am writing this blog primarily for other fathers who are going through similar pain and tragedy, I know that I will receive the least amount of feedback and encouragement from men.  Nonetheless, I keep writing so that someone, whomever it may be, may find solace and compassion from my journey through anencephaly.

What does it mean to be a man anyway?  Slanted media, misplaced stereotypes, beer commercials, "man laws"...all of these false pretenses create barriers for men to actually be themselves.  Questions that I often find myself asking include the following:
-"Why do I feel obligated to bottle up my emotions?"
-"Will I be less of a man if I share my true emotions instead?"
-"Is it ever manly to wear pink??"
-"Is it okay to cry?"
-"If I do cry, will I lose my "man card"?"
-"If I don't cry, does this make me insensitive or an uncaring husband?"
-"Why is it unmanly to drink frou-frou coffee?"
-"What?  I can't even say frou-frou now?" I have mentioned in a few of my other blog posts, I am breaking all kinds of "man laws."   I don't care what the stereotypes are anymore.  I was recently told by 4 medical professionals that my daughter will die shortly after her arrival into this world.  Right now, "man laws" mean nothing to me.  And who cares if I like to order an extra-whipped cream, grande, double chocolate, mocha frappuccino?  I have been known to wear pink...not often, but it happens.  And crying...yes.  After the last two weeks, I feel like I should own stock options in the Kleenex brand.  But know this:  I am still a man - no question about that.  I am rock solid in my beliefs.  I stand strong beside my wife.  I am confident in my abilities at my work.  I faithfully support my community and my church.  This is what it means to be man.

And in case you're still wondering, you can take my man fact, you can take everything I own...all I want is my little Caroline.


  1. We received your blog from mike and alissa kern our nephew and niece. We will be praying for you and your family, remember God will not put more on a person than they can handle and also He is in the healing business, all prayers are heard and answered to His will, with miracles every day. You also talk of being a man, you are experiencing things most people never deal with in a`whole lifetime, stand firm in the Word of God daily, don't worry what others think, love your Lord, your wife and family and the rest will take care of itself. You all will be added to our Prayer list at our church, so there will be many other prayers coming to you.

  2. Hey Cam, just found your blog thru fb. Wanted you to know that Josh and I will be praying for you, Emily and baby Caroline Grace. Praying for a complete healing. And for comfort and strength on this journey.

  3. @ Anon: Does this mean that you are Mr. Dan and Mrs. Brenda's brother and sister? Y'all have an amazing family and I am so thankful we got to dabble in the lives of Mike and Alissa for the short time we go to know them. They are so sweet. Thank you for following my blog and praying for us. Thank you also for reassuring me of my doubts and encouraging me in my weaknesses.

    @ Brandie: Thank you both for your prayers. Your faith in miracles is also encouraging. Also, thank you for putting on the event for the PAIL Remembrance Day. That's very sweet and thoughtful. We definitely lit a candle at 7pm on October 15th!


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