By Lora Mercado
Grief on Father’s Day can occur whether you are grieving the loss of your father or if you are a father grieving the loss of a child, Father’s Day can be rough on the emotions.
If the loss is recent, the pangs of sorrow can be overwhelming. This is normal. Even twenty years down the road, we will find ourselves missing our loved ones, especially on holidays and significant dates.
I lost my father and my husband and I lost our son. This can be a particularly hard day for our family as well as others who have experienced such loss.
To help ease the pain on this day, honor their memory by doing something special.
If you have lost your father:
- Visit one of his favorite places that you used to go to together in the past. If your dad enjoyed golf, go to the driving range or gather family members for an all day golf outing. You could also consider eating at his favorite restaurant and ordering his favorite meal or watch his favorite movie.
- Plant a tree. Find a special place in your yard where you can plant a tree or donate one in his memory to a local park.
- Make a collage. Remember the good times you had with your father by going through old photographs. You can easily create a digital photo collage online and have it printed on canvas, or you can also use a frame with multiple openings for many photos. Consider making one for your siblings as well.
If you have lost a child:
- Support. Take time to get some help. Grief is a process and grief counselling is often helpful for people who are struggling through the loss of a child.
- Message in a bottle. Write down all of your thoughts and everything you want to say to your child. Place it in a bottle and float it off in a nearby lake or river.
- Donate. If you had a young child who passed away from a specific illness, consider donating stuffed animals to children in the hospital. If your child was older or died of other circumstances, volunteer your time helping others who are facing the same struggles.
- Make a memory box so that you have a safe place to keep all theses memories. This special box can be pulled out and cherished year round on birthdays and family occasions.
When we do things in memory of our loved ones, we heal ourselves in the process. It takes time to get accustomed to the feelings, but you WILL get through this. I promise.
Wishing you a peaceful Father’s Day.