Another day of celebration. At least for other people. For people who are grieving, this can be another day that makes the absence of our person seem more present. We are reminded of the loss.

Of course for many of us, we don’t have to be reminded. We walk with it every day. Father’s Day just accentuates our grief.

And it is different than Mother’s Day. It is different because our relationships with our fathers are different than with our mothers. Not better or worse, just different. It is important to name this because, it might make how we grieve different too. That can be confusing for some. An understanding that we can feel differently in grief about different people is important.

Having said that – here are some ideas for you to take care of yourself as the day arrives.

Make a plan. That plan might be to do nothing, and that is okay. It is in the decision making that we empower ourselves. Our grief can make us feel helpless. By making a plan, you take charge of your experience.

Tell stories. Remembering our loved one helps us to stay connected to them. When we share stories with others, we can laugh and we can cry and we can feel that bitter sweet feeling of loss and love at the same time.

Be with people who understand that you are grieving and don’t try to fix you. Grief can bring up a lot of emotions, if you have people who will allow you to feel, be with them.

Do something that you did with your dad. Was it a day of fishing, or a barbeque, or watching a game? Honour your dad by continuing a tradition. Find ways to bring the goodness close to you.

Create a ritual for yourself. It could be lighting a candle, or taking a mindful walk of remembrance, or even listening to his favorite music.

Or, if it suits you, just get on with your day. There is no right way to do this, only your way.

Allow yourself to feel the feelings as they come up and be gentle with yourself as they do. Grief is complex. It can take a lot of energy. Self care is essential.

Denise Torgerson