Is this the year that fathers are finally allowed to be vulnerable? When faced with something as horrific as losing a child, the father is often cast as the strong and silent one, there to support his partner through her grief. Of course it's not that fathers don't have similar emotions, but that they aren't allowed to show them. And why is that? Perhaps, one reason, is that when dads face loss, they can’t point to real-life stories of other dads as examples.
Ted Yang felt alone when his triplets were born at 24 weeks on September 4, 2008. He could have used a fellow dad to speak with who had been there before and was willing to share his story—someone he could be real with. Yang could have especially used that dad a week later, when his son Raymond died, and the next day he found himself back in the same room in the NICU fighting for his two survivors.
Not finding a resource, Yang created his own.
"I looked, but couldn’t find either a person or a story," recalled Yang. "It wasn’t until all of my children were out of danger years later that I could finally grieve for my lost son. It was then that I realized that I had to get my story as a father out there to be a resource to other dads."
Yang's story, Table for Five: A Father’s Story of Life, Love and Loss is the #1 New Release on Amazon for Fatherhood, and Pregnancy and Childbirth. The memoir tells of loss and the struggles to bring his survivors home. Now 12, Sofia and Daniel still have issues to overcome, but their futures are brightening.
"I want to encourage dads who have been through the wringer to share their own stories not just with other fathers but with other mothers as well. As much as mothers need their partners to be strong for them, they want to be strong for their partners as well."
Table for Five is available now.