So, it’s Father’s Day…

What do you do when it seems like everyone around you is celebrating something that causes your heart to ache? You’re not alone if you feel like that today – Father’s Day, here in the US. Before you stop reading if that’s not you, consider staying with me because you likely know someone who’s feeling that very heartache today when they wish they could instead laugh over a family barbeque.

This will be my sixth Father’s Day without my dad. What I wouldn’t give to hear him tell one more story, to see him smile with that twinkle he’d get in his eye, or to even help him bail hay just one more time. Memories are truly priceless. What can you do when you aren’t able to make new memories with your dad?

Here are a few things that you can do on Father’s Day:

1. Write your dad a letter.

When someone close to me recently lost their dad, they felt like they had a few things that they still wished they could say. I suggested buying a “Dear Dad” journal and writing him a letter when they wished they could reach out to him. If you’re feeling that pang of “I wish I could tell him…” then consider writing your dad a letter, or maybe even starting a letter journal. You could even start it with “Happy Father’s Day dad.”

2. Pay kindness forward.

Find someone to be kind to today. Call a friend that is also missing their dad, tip your server extra, or wish a dad you know a great day. Whatever it is, find a way to intentionally spread some happiness today.  

3. Take a trip down memory lane.

Spend a few minutes today remembering a great dad story that you have and share it with someone you care about. Or take some time to look over some pictures of your dad that make your heart smile. Honor your memories and use today as a day to celebrate them rather than tucking them away or trying to ignore the day altogether.

4. Do something in his memory.

In the days and weeks ahead, choose to do something in your dad’s memory. Maybe give to his favorite charity or donate to a cause in his name. If he volunteered somewhere, find a way to encourage those who volunteer there and are continuing to do the work he believed in. Or maybe you do something completely different like planting a tree or perennial in his name.

5. Allow others to enjoy their day without guilt.

It’s hard to be without your dad on Father’s Day. But, making someone else feel guilty that they’re able to do something with their dad today does not change things. Instead of saying “at least you get to…”, encourage them to make the most of the time they have together because time is precious, and we never know how much of it we’ll be lucky to have.

Before you go…

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the fact that many people may have a dad who hasn’t passed away but isn’t present. Today can be difficult if your dad hasn’t been a healthy part of your life. One thing that you can do is thank the men who have been a healthy influence on your life or you can use today to encourage dads that you know. Neither will take away the gap you’re dad has left but, they will allow you to use today to have a positive impact on other dad figures in your life.

While today may not be my favorite day in the year, today I’m choosing to use it to honor my dad. I’ve decided to dust off my keyboard and start blogging again. It’s been a tough year and I can’t think of a better way to start a new season than by honoring my dad and restart doing what I know I’m meant to do. Also, after posting this, I plan to make my mom’s zucchini bread recipe… one that my dad enjoyed. But, I’m not making it for me. I’m going to take it to someone special who is having a tough time with their first fatherless Father’s Day. I know it would make my dad happy to know that this is how I’m honoring him today.

It’s your turn.

What are you doing this Father’s Day? Is it a tough day for you too? If so, I hope this post has given you a few ideas that you can adopt today. And, if you’re blessed to have your dad with you to celebrate with you today, I’d love to hear how you’re spending the precious time. Be sure to click to comment to join the conversation.

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Be well friends. And, until next time, be blessed.