Father’s Day can be difficult for those who have lost their father. Memories, whether good or bad, of that father-child relationship, can rise to the surface and sometimes bring up unexpected emotions. This is a natural part of the grieving process, but one way to help yourself move beyond it is to reach out to someone else, by honoring someone who is not your father, but is an important father figure in your life.
Who are the father figures in your life? There may be an older man who has mentored you, whether in business or in life. You may have a confidant who acts in a fatherly capacity, giving you advice and comfort. On the other hand, when you hear the word “father”, it may bring to mind someone you admire because of his work in the community, or his parenting skills. It doesn’t have to be one you turn to as a father, but could be just as easily be someone who you see acting as a father figure to someone else. This Fathers’ Day, why not invest in those men you appreciate as fathers, using the energy and resources you would have used to honor your own dad?
- Take a dad to lunch. If you traditionally took your dad out for a meal on Father’s Day, this might be a good year to take someone else. Maybe you’ll want to invite an older man who has played an important role in your life. On the other hand, maybe you’ll want to invite a young dad you know, who you feel could use some support. You might even ask your place of worship if they know of senior citizens who could use companionship, and choose a man without family as your guest of honor.
- Write a letter. If there’s a man who has made a difference in your life, whether it’s a family member or just a friend, drop him a note to let him know he’s appreciated. It can be as simple as a thank you card, or as deep as a heartfelt letter; the important thing is to reach out and let him know he matters to you. While you’re at it, you might want to write your own dad a letter too, expressing how much you miss him, and either leave it at his grave or put it in a safe place to read later.
- Donate to a good cause. Maybe you don’t personally know someone you want to honor as a dad. Why not donate money or time to a cause that supports dads or mentors kids. Maybe there’s a cause that was dear to your dad’s heart, and you can make a donation in his honor.
- Help a dad in your community. There are always people in our communities who need a helping hand, so look around for a dad you can assist in some way, big or small. Men often have trouble asking for help, but it means a lot when someone notices and steps up for them.
When you honor the fathers around you, in a small way you’re honoring your own father. If you’re having trouble getting through the grief of losing your dad, or you want to create a memorial that will honor his life, we can help. Contact us to learn of the resources we have to offer, both in life-honoring tributes and in support for those left behind. In the meantime, we hope you have a meaningful, life-affirming Father’s Day.