Tommy’s blog, 23/05/2017
Independent film project CRY is about the grief and denial of a father whose daughter is born sleeping.
Andrew always wanted to be a dad but is faced with a heartbreaking reality when his baby girl is lost in childbirth.
Sophie McVeigh, writer of CRY, was prompted to write this script when she read about a couple who divorced in their 50s after having never properly dealt with the loss of their child years earlier.
Sophie was particularly interested in showing baby loss from the father’s perspective as she feels that stillbirth is too often ‘considered to be primarily a female experience.’
Men often feel they cannot show their emotion after the loss of a baby, thinking that they must instead remain strong for their partner.
Blogger Nick Harrison wrote that he felt guilty for crying when he and his wife found out that they had suffered an early miscarriage.
‘I had no words of solace for my wife because very obviously everything wasn’t going to be okay. Through the blubbing I apologised to her, driven by the fear that I’d not met some outdated notion of a stoical impassive husband.’
CRY follows Andrew after the stillbirth of his daughter and explores the way in which his grief and denial affects his relationship with his wife Ella.
Andrew keeps being confronted by young parents with children when he ventures into the outside world, reminding him of what he could have had.
Producer Lea Dettli was motivated to take on this project due to the upfront way it addresses a subject that has historically been taboo.
‘I’ve never come across anything that openly talks about this and that’s what really moved me and inspired me to make it happen.’
Projects like this are vital steps towards breaking the silence around baby loss. Exploring baby loss from the father’s perspective also emphasizes the fact that dads grieve the loss of their baby too.
Guy Wilson, CRY’s Director, said that the focus on Andrew’s experience and how it affects his relationship with his wife is important to the project.
‘One of the important themes of this story is about men’s grief and men’s capacity and need to share their pain and be vulnerable. And our culture traditionally doesn’t really allow that to happen. It’s a sign of weakness.’
We think it’s great to see the subject of men’s grief being addressed so unflinchingly in CRY.
It is important that we show fathers that it is ok for them to grieve as well. Many women who get in touch with Tommy’s say that they didn’t know what their partners were going through until much later.
One mother told us,
‘Looking back now I know my husband was trying to be so strong for me and I was so confused as to why he wasn't showing his grief the same way I did. He told me sometime after that he used to cry in the toilets at work or in the car on the drive way as he was so heartbroken but felt he had to be strong for me. That really upsets me, even now…’
After hitting their £5,000 crowd funding target to get the ball rolling on this project, CRY will be filmed from the 10th – 13th of June.
The final film should be ready to watch from the 7th of September.
You can read more about this project at CRY’s kickstarter campaign page here.
If you have suffered the heartbreak of stillbirth, you and your partner, family and friends will all be processing what has happened. You may all experience different emotions at different times. You can take a look at our feelings and emotions after stillbirth page here.
Coming to terms with your loss is an extremely personal process and one which is going to take time. One thing which can help is commemorating your baby. For ideas on how to do this, you can see our page on remembering your baby after a stillbirth here.
Sharon and her husband Andrew from Manchester lost their son, James, at 29 weeks. Sharon was referred to the Tommy’s Rainbow Clinic at St Mary’s Hospital with her second pregnancy and now has an 18-month-old daughter, Sophie.
Our beautiful baby girl was so perfect, I looked at her little face and waited for her to cry to prove that they were wrong, but she couldn’t.
Around 1 in 4 pregnancies in the UK will end in loss. Education and family support specialist, Margaret Pritchard Houston, shares her experiences of baby loss, milk donation, and why mothers should always be given all the options.
My pregnancy with Kaitlyn was what you would call “textbook”.