Losing your dad can be devastating, especially if you were close to him. I think we will always miss our dads but our sadness will lessen as the years go by.
When Father’s Day comes around, I would find myself in a state of sadness. I see all the wonderful Father’s Day cards out in the store and I just walk past them, because I did not need to buy one. My dad had died several years ago, but yet my heart aches come Father’s Day.
Your dad will live on in your memories and in your hearts forever. Just because your dad died does not mean that you have to stop honoring your dad on this special day. You can start a new tradition or find different ways to honor him each year. Here are a few suggestions:
Write a letter to your dad
Tell him what has been happening in your life. Share the good as well as the bad – be honest about how you are feeling. Share your family news. At first you may feel uncomfortable doing such an exercise but once you get started your pen will flow freely over the paper.
Donate to a favorite charity
This may be a good time to support a charity in your community in memory of your dad. After contacting people with the proper authority, often plants/trees can be planted in public places such as a cemetery, school, or city park. Most organizations will take donations in memory of a loved one. You may wish to start a scholarship fund in his memory at your local school. Your legacy of love can live on in so many different ways.
Enjoy a family gathering
Another good way to share your memories is to invite your friends to a family gathering. This may be a traditional dinner, a backyard barbeque, go fishing or a time together in the backyard with refreshments.
Visit your dad’s grave
Spending time at the grave side can be very healing. Bring your lawn chair and a blanket and relax at the grave side, bring the family and have a picnic, or leave flowers in his memory.
Share your pictures/making a scrapbook
Sharing pictures or making a scrapbook with your children and grandchildren will enrich your entire family. You will be sharing a legacy with the next generation. History often dies when our older family members die –you have the ability to continue your history as you share it with the younger generation. Encourage others to also share their memories. Take turns telling stories about your dad. You will realize that you are not the only person who misses him.
Just because your dad has passed on does not mean that he is no longer in your life. Through his words and memories, he will live in your heart forever. Father’s Day is the perfect time to remember Dad.
One of my greatest gifts from God: I called him Dad!
Margaret Anne Yost nursed for 35 years. I completed two units of Clinical Pastoral Education at the Regina General Hospital. Returning back to school I completed classes from the Red River College in the areas of Gerontology, Bereavement, Death and Dying.
I was enrolled eight years in lay ministry training, and graduated as a (LPA) Lay Pastoral Assistant. For twelve years I worked in bereavement support at a funeral home.
At present I am employed as an Interim Parish Worker at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Melville Sask. I also enjoy my role as homemaker and full time grandmother.
If you are grieving at this time and you would like to share your story or comment on what you have read, I may be reached at 1-306-728-4744 (evenings).