Father’s Day – Love and Loss

Posted on June 15th, 2022

With Father’s Day approaching, this can be a difficult time for many. Rather than simply being a day to celebrate the father figure in our lives, it can be a sharp reminder of someone who is missing. This may be bittersweet as an occasion that highlights any kind of absence but can be particularly painful for those whose dad has passed away, recently or otherwise.

Our surroundings, and the media, can be swamped with messages and suggestions for how to celebrate Father’s Day with your family or how to spoil your dad – but here are some ways you may wish to pay tribute to a father who is no longer with you.

Accept your grief

It’s often tempting, or feels like the right thing to do, to try and show some stoicism when it comes to grieving but putting on a brave face can be exhausting and draining, especially over time. Even if it has been years since losing your father, it can hurt, particularly when you’re surrounded by reminders that he is not with you. Be patient with yourself; acknowledging your pain and recognising that it is perfectly natural to still keenly feel this loss may help to relieve some self-pressure for Father’s Day, allowing you to be kind to yourself and mark the occasion in your own way.

Alternatively, you might wish to let the day pass completely unmarked, if that feels right or the idea of partaking feels too overwhelming. Equally, if you are feeling some sense of peace and level of acceptance, that’s fine too. Accepting joy and contentedness into your life never negates your loss and need not be a source of guilt (as it can sometimes be); you can feel happiness without forgetting that your parent is gone – remembering them fondly can bring some comfort as well as sorrow.

Plan some activities

If you do wish to mark the day and reflect, getting together with family or friends out of the house can be a positive start. You may like to partake in some of your own favourite pastimes, perhaps recreate an activity or experience you used to share with your father or give one of his own favoured hobbies a try. This might be anything from a football trip, to a hike, to a visit to a favourite restaurant, to a listen to old records, to a cup of tea with a book in the garden. Whether a quiet, reflective experience by yourself or the chance for a laugh and to reminisce with people close to you, your celebration or remembrance of your father can be personal to you.

Consider involving your children

Whether you’re a father yourself, or a parent or relative of young ones that have lost their dad, Father’s Day may be a good opportunity to talk to children about how they feel and involve them in a discussion about how they may wish to spend the day. Perhaps a chance to remember what you all loved about the man who is no longer with you, partake in some of his favourite activities or food, or simply enjoy some uninterrupted family time together. Spending time with children can often help to raise a smile, as well as a sense of hope for the future – a chance to release the burden of sorrow for a spell whilst getting in touch with your fun, inner child could be just what you need.

Opt out of reminders

As we know, commercially, Father’s Day can be quite a prominent occasion, but if you’ve recently lost your father, reminders or prompts to buy cards and presents can hit far too hard as a trigger for your grief. Lots of brands and retailers, including Bloom & Wild, Etsy, Waterstones, Tesco, Boots and many more, now allow customers to opt out of reminders for Father’s Day, Mother’s Day and other similar occasions without the need to completely reject marketing communications – a move considered positive and encouraging by bereavement charities. If you’re subscribed to regular e-shot updates from any such brands and feel like you could use some space to manage your grief in your own time, adjusting your settings may be one way to do just that.

Reach out

If you feel you need to talk about how you’re feeling, speaking to someone you know and can be a help and a relief. The compassionate Freedom Funerals team are always here, 24 hours a day, to chat if you are feeling overwhelmed, whether that’s because you’re feeling the pressure of arranging a memorial, or simply need someone to listen. Get in touch on 01206 862 963 if we can be of support or guidance.