Fathers of Loss Support Series: Vaughan’s story


My wife and I were were ecstatic when we found out we were pregnant with our first child. We were on a high about to give birth to our son – and then in an instant it was all over.

On Saturday morning in 2006, my wife noticed there was no longer any movement in her tummy. Feeling worried, we went to the hospital.

The nurse did a scan and couldn’t find a heartbeat, so she called the doctor, who repeated the process. The doctor also couldn’t find his heartbeat.

We were asked to wait, for what felt like a very long time. A second doctor then confirmed – there was no heartbeat. Our baby had died.

My wife was induced, and on Sunday evening Nathan was born – he was 55cm long, a pretty big baby.

Grief process

The grief of Nathan’s death was like falling off a cliff.

We were crushed. We went from the ultimate high to the ultimate low in an instant.

Now 16 years have passed since Nathan was born still and I still think about him every day, less now with sadness and more now with a smile. When I see other kids his age, I do wonder what he would be doing.

I also feel grateful now. We have two other children who fill our lives, and Nathan is still a part of our family.

Supportive friends

We really appreciate the friends who still remember his birthday – saying his name and acknowledging that he existed is really important.

Some of our friends were and continue to be a great support, but there were others who seemed to so quickly and easily forget about Nathan – which is incredibly hurtful.

My advice to other grieving parents is that it’s okay to grieve differently from your partner – looking back over 16 years, my wife and I did grieve differently and it was difficult sometimes, but we go through it.

Let each other grieve in their own way, and respect that they want and need different things.

Red Nose 24/7 Bereavement Support Line 1300 308 307.

Last reviewed: 22/5/22