To Allyn, on Father’s Day

Dear Allyn,

I perused the card aisles. As it turns out, they don’t make cards for dads like you—nothing for the dad in grief, nothing for the dad who does not get to see his child grow up.

Just over three weeks ago, we stared at the screen together. You said to me that as you saw the image of our too still baby, you thought, “that’s my little girl” and fell in love with her all over again—fell in love with the girl that you knew was already gone.

And isn’t that the perfect image of a father? One who manages to love more when it seems all hope is lost, when that love cannot be returned?

It was you who first spoke aloud our daughter’s name, during that moment when we both knew, but I was too scared to say it. “I think her name is Avelyn.”

There are no cards. Hallmark and the lines of Father’s Day marketing don’t know what to do with dads like you. You, the dad who picked out material for a blanket that will be used as a burial shroud. You, who held my hand and cried with me when the doctor confirmed that there was no heartbeat.

You are the dad that Avelyn needed—the dad she needs now. The dad who remembers her when the world forgets. The dad who speaks her into being by giving her a name. The dad who continues to love the little girl who died too soon.

Happy Father’s Day.

Jennifer and Avelyn Grace



Filed under miscarriage

12 responses to “To Allyn, on Father’s Day

  1. Robin

    Continuing to grieve with you both…

  2. I am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet baby daughter. We have lost a baby, too, but didn’t know the gender. We will be praying for you both and thinking of you, especially tomorrow. My heart hurts for you in your loss. Hugs from a stranger and lots of love sent your way.

  3. He is, and will always be, a father. Whether you have any other children or not, Avelyn will always be his and your daughter. I found this post very touching.

  4. Blake Hart

    My wife and I lost our son, Silas, to stillbirth in November. I’m so sorry. May God’s peace surround you, even if you struggle, like me at times, to believe it’s there.

  5. This is one of the bravest online series I’ve ever read. You may not realize it now, but it is helping to heal you and certainly healing others. {HUGS}

    • Thanks, J. I know that it has been helpful for me. Scary at times to actually post, but the writing was essential. And while I didn’t expect the response I’ve received, it has also helped me to have conversations and ministry moments with others who have been going through similar things in silence.

  6. Pingback: Dear Dad: A letter from your daughter. | Where I Stand

  7. Jeannie

    I have been following your journey since it was posted by Birth Without Fear. I admire you so very much. I miscarried much earlier than you and chose to have a D&C as I was not emotionally stable enough to wait. Reading about your little Avelyn inspired me to finally name my little angel. It has been two years, but it is with your help that I feel some closure. Thank you. I hope that the goblins leave you and that your journey ends when you are prepared. Love and safety to you.

    • Thank you, Jeannie. I’m glad that my words have been helpful to you — and that you were able to name your child. Being able to talk about Avelyn by name has helped us give her an identity, something that seems stolen when miscarriage occurs. Luckily I read something about naming, otherwise I might have been too ashamed to do so — or too ashamed to share her name with others. Love to you as you continue on your journey of healing.

  8. I’m so very sorry to hear of your loss 😦 I thought this was a beautiful way to say Happy Father’s Day to Allyn. May God be with you in your time of grief. My prayers and heart goes out to you

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