With father’s day coming up this weekend, I wanted to talk about what it’s like to not celebrate father’s day. At a time when families often come together, it can be an incredibly painful time for those without a father to ring in the occasion.
I grew up with an absent father but as I entered my 20s a few years ago, we reconciled. Though we are on amicable terms and speak regularly we don’t have a close relationship and father’s day is not something I feel comfortable celebrating.
Throughout my childhood, my dad was not around for birthdays, holidays, and general life which has had a profound affected on me. The lack of support had me mourning the father I wish he would have been. But now as I come to accept that things will likely never change, it can still be difficult to be reminded of what you don’t have.
As I reflect on this day and all of the years prior I want to remind myself of what I do have to be grateful for and why I shouldn’t feel guilty for not marking this day when my father is still alive.
Grief can present in a number of ways and often hits without warning. No matter how hard you can try to unsubscribe from emails, stores, and social media are filled with reminders. Making it somewhat unavoidable.
For anyone out there who might be going through something similar or grieving the loss of their father in some form, I wanted to share some tips on what you can do for yourself during this time.
What you can do for yourself:
- Be accepting of all feelings – don’t try to fight against sadness, anger, or pain
- Focus on your needs – what are some things you can do to make yourself feel joy today. For me I will go for a long walk and stay off social media
- If you have some positive memories of you dad or time you spent together journal them or share with family or a friend
- Draw in on the close relationships you do have
- Give love to other great father figures in your life
- Remember family is what you make it – you can decide who your true family is and who gets to sit at the table
How you can help someone not celebrating Father’s Day:
- Encourage open conversations
- Offer a small gesture of kindness – a text or phone call to let them know you are thinking of them
- Don’t try to fix things or have all the answers
- Try not to complain about your family to them at this current time
Spreading love and having a strong support network can make a world of difference. For those that are not celebrating today, there is an abundance of support available to you and you do not have to go through things alone.
My resources page has a list of some great charities available to contact at any time. I also found solace in reading this beautiful story about a father’s suicide on heads together which is definitely worth reading if you can.
I hope you all have a great day however you choose to spend it!