My dad will not be here to celebrate Father’s Day this year. In fact, he has not been here on earth the past six years. To add to my sadness, I have three sons who will also experience yet another Father’s Day without their dad, my husband Dave. This Sunday will mark the sixth Father’s Day since Dave died, and it still seems wrong. We need our dads, and they loved being a father.
How can we celebrate a day to honor fathers as well as provide compassion and support to those who fathers may have died? To recognize those longing to be fathers and are not, is important.
For some, our dads are gone from our physical sight. They did not choose to leave us, and they certainly did not choose for us to experience this day with pain and emptiness. Father’s Day is the day our country will honor fathers and our sons and I, as many others, will again experience it without them. While we can never take away another’s pain, we can be of support and comfort.
On Father’s Day we can show our care to others who may find this to be a difficult day. Some simple actions can make a significant difference to others. If we pause prior to using the greeting of, “Happy Father’s Day”, and consider their life. With a few simple acts of kindness, we can be of help to others experiencing Father’s Day without their dad or longing for a child.
To support those who long to be a father:
Offer words of recognition to those who may long to be a father and have not yet been able experience that role. Many men carry the pain of wanting to have a child and for various reasons have not yet become a dad.
To support those who have lost a child:
Encourage them to say their name, remember their beloved child, recognize their loss.
You are not reminding them of a loss they forget. You are not bringing about pain that they feel following the death of a child, you are acknowledging. To say the name of their beloved child who died, reminds them that their child is not forgotten. Invite them, if their child lived for a time, to share a story or memory. To allow memories or loss of dreams to be shared, you are recognizing the great love and loss of their beloved child. This is pro-life.
To support those who have lost their father:
Say their name, remind them you are thinking of them.
If you knew their father, share a memory. If you see their father in them, share that insight, that story, that memory. Invite others to tell you about their father. If you are grieving, ask to share your story, stories matter. Sharing our memories can often bring smiles, joy and healing.
Death does not win. Death does not overpower the reminders, the feelings, the memories of love. I still have a dad, our sons still have a dad.
On Father’s day, I will tell the stories of my dad. Our sons and I will tell the stories.
We will remember. We will celebrate. We will believe.
I hope you do as well.
Believe ‘n love,