“When TJ died, someone described me as ‘lost’...” says Paul Scully-Sloan.
Paul lost his 14-month-old son, Travers James, to a sudden viral infection in November 2010.
The dad-of-six channelled his grief by launching Daddys With Angels. It’s a safe space where grieving dads don’t have to feel ‘strong’ – and can feel supported by other people who have lost a baby or child.
Here, dads from the Daddys With Angels community movingly share their honest feelings about life after the loss of their child.
Always remember this
Daddys With Angels helps fathers who’ve lost a baby or child of any age to share how they feel, in an environment where they won’t feel judged.
It’s okay to share how you feel
“Did everyone assume that I was ok? That I was strong? That I had to keep things together? I had lost a baby too,” says Paul. He understands that some dads don’t know where to turn and can bottle their emotions up.
Once a dad, forever a dad
Daddys With Angels hopes these dads will inspire others who need a shoulder or a listening ear to join its supportive community.
No grief is the same, but other people understand the burden
“There was a lot of support out there for my wife and other women, but not so much for men,” explains Paul, who says that Daddys With Angels provides an opportunity for other grieving dads to open up.
Say their name
Members of the Daddys With Angels community share memories about their children. “As a man, I lost many friends after losing TJ. Most of my friends found it uncomfortable to reach out to me and speak to me about my loss,” says Paul.
Don’t feel alone
After losing a child, many fathers experience a whole new set of unfamiliar emotions, says Paul. Daddys With Angels members are very supportive of dads who are new to its community, with up to 2,000 bereaved parents connecting every week.
Hold on to the memories
“It’s been eight years since he died and I still sometimes imagine I’ll hear T-J’s footsteps,” says Paul.
“At 14 months old, he had a fully developed character and left his footprint in our lives.”
A lifetime of love
Open to people grieving a child who has died at any stage of their life or gestation, the Daddys With Angels community supports parents no matter how recent, or long ago, their loss.