Celebrating Father’s Day after Your Dad Has Passed
The days leading up to Father’s Day can be difficult for those who have lost a father. Father’s Day is surrounded by consumerism—and seeing all the commercials, greeting cards, and restaurant specials can be emotionally overwhelming. The holiday can be especially hard for those experiencing their first Father’s Day without their dad, and they may be tempted to avoid the holiday altogether. However, Father’s Day doesn’t have to be about gifts or grilling out with Dad. There are still many ways to celebrate, remember, and honor your father this Father’s Day, even if he is no longer physically with you.
Share stories about your dad
Gather with family and friends and reminisce about all the notable, fun, and even outrageous times you and your dad shared. Look at old photos and recollect the memories that will always be a part of you. Use this opportunity to talk about your dad to someone who never met him. This ensures that your father’s legacy will go on and remain an important presence in your life.
Send a card or spend time with other father figures in your life
Reach out to the men in your life who have served as mentors, coaches, and friends. While no one can replace your own father, it’s important to celebrate the men in your life who helped shaped you. Don’t forget to celebrate your mother, who at some point took on the role of both mother and father—all while dealing with loss of her own.
Spend time with your dad
This could mean visiting his grave site, or simply just sitting in nature and sharing with your dad everything that’s been going on in your life. Thank him and tell him that you cherish the time you did have together.
Find a simple, and even fun, way to remember your dad
If your fondest memories are of you and your dad fishing, take the day and head to the closest lake, enjoying the stillness and silence. If your dad was known for his love of scotch, order one at a bar and raise a glass to him and his memory.
Acknowledge your grief and deal with it on your own time
This can be a painful day, especially if it’s your first Father’s Day after losing your dad. The grieving process is different for everyone, and when you are ready to seek help in coping with grief, Delaware Hospice offers support and resources in various ways.
Ultimately, how you celebrate Father’s Day when your father has passed is up to you. Find joy, memories, and love in celebrating—or not celebrating. However you choose to spend the day, do something that would make your father proud. Because even if he’s gone, he will always be your father.
For more information on bereavement support and other services offered by Delaware Hospice, call 800.838.9800 and ask to speak with a bereavement counselor, or visit our grief support calendar to locate support resources in your area.