No-one asked Gerard how he was feeling. Everyone who approached him asked after Martine: how she was, whether she was coping, how she was feeling. He visited Hannah’s grave a lot, grieving quietly in between working and looking after his wife and daughter.
“I felt I had to take care of the family first, that my own grief had to take second place,” he recalls. “I had to be strong for both of us.”
Gerard Brennan, father of Hannah
Excerpt from 'How I Came To Hold You'
After a baby dies, it is often the father who has to ring friends and relatives to deliver the devastating news. He is the first line of defence in shielding his partner from the flurry of visitors; the spokesman for the family. A father's role in the weeks and months following the loss of a baby is often primarily to support his partner as they both grieve. And, when I asked on Twitter about this role, a particular phrase came up more than once.