When you have lost your dad or another father figure in your life, the days surrounding that special day in June can be difficult. The first Father’s Day after you’ve lost your loved one can be especially difficult. Everywhere you look, TV ads, displays at the department store, balloons in the grocery store, the greeting card isle – are all there to remind you Dad is not with you this Father’s Day. You may feel like ignoring the nineteenth of June, but instead you can take this time to celebrate your role model, which in turn can help you begin a journey toward healing.

Here are 5 ways to honor and celebrate a Dad who is no longer with you.

  1. Gather in His Honor: Celebrating his memory with family and friends allows you to experience all the love he had in his life. Host a gathering in his honor. Share his favorite meal and invite those attending to share their favorite memories and stories about him. These memories will help you remember how fully he lived and how much he meant to those in his life.
  2. Do Something on His Bucket List: Celebrate who he was by doing something on his bucket list in his honor. Take that trip he always talked about taking, see his favorite event, attend the concert he enjoyed or visit the old friend or drive Route 66. Create a memory in his memory. Find joy in living for him. Capture this memory in photos to share in the Photo Project (see number 5). If the bucket list adventure is something that takes you out of town, consider writing Dad postcards along the way. Those too can become an impactful part of the Photo Project.
  3. Spend the Day Volunteering. When the day comes it may just be too difficult to celebrate in a traditional way. Spending the day in service to others can help you navigate this difficult day while giving you a sense of accomplishment and value. Volunteering also helps you forget your own sorrow and gives you a chance to connect to others. Volunteering helps counteract depression and has a profound positive impact on your overall psychological well-being. Consider volunteering for a cause that meant something to your dad. This too, is a great way to honor his memory without all the trappings of a traditional Father’s Day.
  4. Create a Tribute Video. Tribute videos don’t have to be just for memorial services. Creating a video can help you and loved ones honor his memory and help family and friends come together to reflect on his life. Encourage loved ones to share their own memories, stories or reflections. Watching the completed video will help you and others see the impact he had and remember the joy in his life. The video can also be a beautiful way to share his life with younger and future family members. There are numerous Tribute Video services online with a variety of services available.
  5. Create a Photo Project in His Memory: With the help of family and friends, gather photos and short captions to pair with them into a single collection. Use a photo service such as Shutterfly to create a memory booklet that could be ordered for each loved one for remembrance. Other options like a poster or simply a photo wall may also bring comfort for everyone missing Dad. If you are able to do the Bucket List (see number 2), then photos or postcards from that experience can make a great ending to the memory booklet.

Roze Room is committed to offering a variety of bereavement services to individuals, with special emphasis on providing family bereavement support, for up to 13 months following the loss of a loved one. Our dedicated team is available to provide bereavement resources for those who are grieving.