Living intentionally with people is paramount to living well. I also believe intentionality is essential to grieving well.
Father’s Day hits a tender spot. Every year as I write posts about mothers and fathers I’m struck by the feeling of each day. Mother’s Day feels pink and rosy, the prime of spring, and there’s a fresh sweetness to it that just fits with the idea of celebrating our moms. Father’s Day is at the cusp of glorious, adventure-filled summer and there’s a nostalgia that comes with that of our days playing in the yard, family vacations and ice cold drinks.
I love how the time of year influences our experience of these days and that these holiday markers offer us opportunities in a “busy season” to stop, remember, and be intentional.
If you are grieving this Father’s Day I want to encourage you to prepare some unique ways to honor your father. For some people there is a desire to do this privately and there is beauty in that, (just be careful you’re not isolating yourself because of possible discomfort). Others may want to involve family and friends of theirs who would also benefit from being together and telling stories.
The only wrong way to grieve is to not do it. Avoiding Father’s Day or “trying not to think about it” will only make the day all the more painful next year and the year after. Being intentional about being present in grief is the healthiest way to acknowledge what was and what is lost.
Below are some prompts that can help you as you begin to think about intentionally honoring your dad.
- Think of some of your favorite memories with your dad. Are they tethered to a place, a taste or an experience? Select a part of those memories that you could re-create on Father’s Day. If it was playing baseball with him, go to a baseball game or throw around a ball with some friends. If it was getting pizza and watching a favorite movie, do that.
- What were some words of wisdom or favorite phrases of your dad? Put them up on your chalk board or share them on a social media post with a photo of him.
- What were some of your dad’s habits or eccentricities? Find fun or sweet ways to share with siblings or friends the memorable quirks that made your dad special.
I think you get the idea; it doesn’t need to be extravagant or expensive, it just needs to fit who he was.
The word “honor” can sound big and overwhelming but it’s in the simplest of rituals that we can say, “Dad, I’m remembering you today. I know you would have loved this and I miss you.”
Wishing you a Father’s Day of special simplicity, significant memories and peace.