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Ways to remember dad on Father’s Day

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Remembering dad on Father's Day

Father’s Day commercials are everywhere, from Hallmark cards to the latest grill. The holiday can be hard to ignore. For those whose fathers are no longer with them, Father’s Day can stir up mixed emotions, including fond memories as well as grief that he is no longer here.

If you have lost your dad, no longer how recent or long ago, the fact that they died doesn’t change. Rather, your “relationship to that fact changes over time,” depending on what happens in their own life, writes author Hope Edelman. Our “perspective shifts and (we) look at loss differently. Grief is a lifelong process—it doesn’t end, but it evolves.”

8 ideas to memorialize your dad

Memorialization can help preserve the memories you have of your dad and allow those memories to continue to provide you comfort, writes Missy Roney on peacefully.com. What this looks like depends on what you and your dad enjoyed doing together, or what his hobbies or favorite foods or places were. Here are some ideas of how to pay tribute to your dad this weekend.

  1. Write a message and put it in the balloon, and then release the balloon. You can do this alone or make it a group gathering.

  2. Have a cookout with family and friends with all his favorite foods.

  3. Buy a card and visit the cemetery and read it to him. Or make a card. I remember making a card for my dad when I was probably about seven or eight years old and giving it to him before Sunday school. He proudly showed it off to anyone at church that day.

  4. If your mother is still living, remember to include her, asking her about their first Father’s Day and what that was like.

  5. Plant something in his honor (his favorite flower, or a tree).

  6. Put together a photo album with all those photos of him you’ve been meaning to organize. Create several small albums if you have siblings featuring them with their dad as a gift.

  7. Create a special piece of jewelry or a keepsake. Did he like motorcycles, golf, hiking, or baseball? You can incorporate any of these into a truly personalized keepsake. Did you know? Sunset has the largest selection of keepsakes and jewelry—we can help you create something special, whether it’s for you or for you to give as a gift.

  8. Start a new tradition in honor of your dad.

4 ways to support a friend

If you have a friend who has lost their dad, here are some ways for you to offer support.

  1. Say his name: Don’t be afraid to talk about him. We may think that talking about him may upset them. However, “by saying or asking their name, you create an opportunity” for your friend to talk about their dad and memories they have of him, according to speakinggrief.org. “If you don’t know it already, ask what their name was. If you know their name, continue to use it. Giving a griever the opportunity to say their name out loud is a very powerful gift.”

  2. Share memories: If you knew him, share some memory you have of him. Your friend will appreciate it.

  3. Check-in with them: A quick text will work, just to say you’re thinking about them. Says Matt Scott, who lost his father in 2017. “It means a lot to have friends who simply show up—who just check-in and are there. Even if it was a mundane “Hey, how’s it going?”

  4. Spend time with them: if they want to. Ask them to go to a movie with you, or for a hike.

You choose. It's ok.

Choose how you want to spend the day. If you’re sad, don’t feel like you must set aside your grief this weekend, advises vistas.com. “It’s ok to acknowledge Father’s Day without participating in it.” You may also feel happy, content, or nothing at all. You may feel differently next year. Take care of yourself each step of the way with what feels right for you.

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Carrie Phelps, Sunset Contributor

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