On Father’s Day, we take the time to celebrate our dads and all that they do for us. However, for many of us, Father’s Day is a time of reflection. A time to remember — and honor — the memory of our fathers.
For many, this will be their first Father’s Day without dad. As others get together to celebrate, some of us will be reminded of what’s missing on this special day. To help those grieving, we wanted to share this collection of articles on healing, hope, and ways to remember and honor the memory of our dads.
What No One Tells You About Losing Your Father by Cristy Dougherty
No one is ever prepared to lose a parent. As Cristy Dougherty shares her experience after losing her dad, she reflects on all the things she never knew about loss — but unfortunately had to learn.
Highlight: “They say that grief occurs in five stages, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. Whoever concluded this statement definitely didn’t understand the complexities of my own feelings.”
When Your Father Dies, These Words Come to Mind by Mary Schmich
In a poetic reflection, columnist Mary Schmich analyzes the poem “Shifting the Sun,” and how it interprets the passing of a father or father figure.
Highlight: “When your father dies, it doesn’t matter that other people’s fathers have died, that fathers have been dying since human time was born. What matters in the moment of his death is that he was your father. Your one and only. Your loss is unique, profound, yours alone.”
After losing his father to cancer, Owen Jones felt angry that he was so unequipped with the emotional strength to handle death. He found that it was hard to remember who his father was during those initial feelings of grief.
Highlight: “It’s difficult, too, not to be angry at the continuing taboo of death. My father did not want to die, he wasn’t reconciled to it: until he was diagnosed with cancer, he hadn’t been hospitalised since he was a teenager with tonsillitis. He didn’t have to contemplate death until it was imminent, because our culture discourages us from doing so.”
Losing Dad: How a Man Responds to the Death of His Father by Brian Burnham
For some men, expressing emotion and grief doesn’t come naturally. But with a significant loss, such as losing a father, learning how to define and express our feelings is necessary. Author and counselor Brian Burnham shares perspectives from a son’s experience of losing a dad.
Highlight: “Many men who have lost their fathers describe it as a loss like no other. They report that the way they grieved their father was different from any other grief that they experienced and often felt that the only people who could readily understand were other men that had also lost their fathers.”
The Year After My Dad’s Death Was the Best of My Life by Alyssa Limperis
Don’t let the title fool you. Alyssa Limperis describes the loss of her father as the most heart-wrenchingly painful experience. But after spending time soul-searching, she took the experience and used it to create the life she knew her father would have wanted her to have.
Highlight: “Watching my dad die allowed me to live. His death woke me up and gave me the chance to really breathe in life before I stop breathing. Because I too am dying. We are all dying. I’ve always been dying. But now I finally live like it.”