Father's Day can be an emotional holiday for those who have lost their dads. If it is a recent loss, the prevalent messages of Father's Day may feel like too much to bear. If more time has passed, the holiday may inspire you to do something special to honor the memory of the man who taught you so much. Regardless of how much time has passed, there are several ways you can remember Dad this Father's Day.
Ideas for Paying Tribute to Dad on Father's Day
- Buy a Card
In the month of June, it's nearly impossible to escape the in-store displays of Father's Day cards. If the greeting card aisle makes you emotional, go ahead and buy a card that captures your feelings or describes your relationship with your father. Thoughtful, serious or funny, the card you choose can help put your emotions and thoughts into words. Tap into those memories and write a note inside. You can bring the card to your father's gravesite or keep it in a special place at home.
- Share His Stories
Many fathers are known for the stories they tell, whether they are life lessons in disguise or colorful tales of a past era. On Father's Day, keep your dad’s stories alive for future generations by recording some of your favorites in a journal or retelling them to your own children. Or, at the dinner table, ask each family member to share their favorite Dad or Grandpa story before beginning the meal.
- Bring Flowers
Taking flowers to your dad's gravesite on Father's Day is a nice way to pay tribute to him, and you can do so with a “masculine” touch. Choose flowers in the colors of Dad's favorite college or pro sports team, like red and white carnations with blue irises for a Chicago Cubs fan or bright yellow daises with greenery for the die-hard Green Bay Packers fan.
- Visit Another Father
Father's Day might feel lonely if you can't visit or call your own father. Consider visiting a senior in a nursing home or senior center who might not otherwise have any guests on Father's Day. If appropriate and permitted by the facility, younger children can also come along to brighten up the senior’s day. Instead of feeling alone with your memories on Father's Day, use the holiday as an opportunity to bring joy to another father.
- What Would Dad Do?
Spend the day in tribute to your father by taking part in activities he would have enjoyed. Take the family to a ballgame, barbeque on Dad's grill in the backyard or watch a movie marathon of his favorite flicks. Whether it's John Wayne or James Bond, these activities can help you feel connected to dad, even when he's gone.
It's especially difficult to deal with grief during the holidays, and missing Dad on Father's Day is natural. However you decide to spend the day, experts agree that it's most important to listen to your heart and allow yourself to do as much (or as little) as you are able. Giving yourself permission to grieve for and honor Dad in whatever way you need is essential to coping with a parent’s death.
“Dad, your guiding hand on my shoulder will remain with me forever”.~Author Unknown