Many men and women will be without Dads this weekend and it will be painful. Unfortunately for many this may be due to estrangement or other poor choices. For me this is my first fatherless Father’s Day after his death. I am sad. I miss him. I miss his sense of humor. I loved him. There will be no Father’s Day call this year. In September 2022, he quietly passed away.

Like so many fortunate children, my Daddy was my hero. He worked hard to give all five of his children a good life. Then he would come home after a hard day in the fields and play with us. He would almost endlessly put up with childishness from all of us.

Dad as my patient

In a world, where my disabled brother stood out as memorable to everyone, and I was just “his sister,” my Daddy always made me feel like I mattered. Whenever I would “help” him with some project, he would tell me, “I never could have done it without you.” (After having my own children, I often wondered if he could have done it faster without me?) I enjoyed working with Dad and learned many valuable skills which have served me well. I also had many memorable experiences in the fields, house, and around the yard with him.

While he was probably just like so many dads, he was my Dad and I miss him very much.

My First Birthday

If your Father’s Day is going to be fatherless, how might you be able to plan to help yourself through it? Here are nine possible ways to take care of yourself this weekend.

  1. Acknowledge your grief and accept where you are today.
  2. Go ahead and buy the card! Buy the one that speaks what you want to say–thoughtful or funny. Maybe you take it to the cemetery, or maybe you keep it for yourself.
  3. Tell his stories. Record them, write them down, or share them with friends or family.
  4. Take flowers to his grave if you live near enough.
  5. If you have another father figure in your life, visit them.
  6. Spend the day, or a part of it, doing what you would have done with your dad if he were here. Activities he enjoyed, watching his favorite movie, etc.
  7. Gather the family for a meal featuring his favorite foods.
  8. Practice some self-care. Get a massage, go on a hike, do a hobby, or rest. For some, disengaging from family and taking time out alone may be needed.
  9. Look through old photos. Make a special scrapbook of you and him. Perhaps include written stories.

Remember you are not ever alone. If you need to reach out to friends or family please do so. If that is not possible, and you need support please call 988 to get support for yourself because you are worth it.