Sunday June 20, 2021 is father’s Day. Many men will be having a tough time with this day. Perhaps they want to be a dad, but so far they aren’t. they may have a strained relationship with a child, or they may have lost a child. They may have a strained relationship with their own father, or may have lost their own father. Choose to be kind to all of the men in your life this weekend’
If you know a Dad who is grieving the loss of a child be kind. Send them a note or text, or call to check on them. Father’s day will be tough for them. It doesn’t matter if it’s the first year or the thirty-first year. Those days always bring up intense emotions. Ask about their child who died. Share your memories and stories. Ask him to share his memories and stories He may or may not have other children. Include all of his children in your discussions that day. Allow them to talk about all of their children.
Don’t tell them you know how they feel if you haven’t lost a child. Don’t compare their loss of a child to your loss of a parent or grandparent, or pet. Tell them you care and you are here to listen if they wish to talk. Consider wishing him a Peaceful Father’s Day versus a Happy Father’s Day. It may not be a happy day, but it can be a peaceful day.
If you are a father who has lost a child, be gentle with yourself this weekend. If watching social media and seeing all the photos is painful turn off social media and spend the day doing whatever it is you choose to do. Memories of your son or daughter will undoubtedly fill your mind. Find someone you trust and talk about your feelings. Talk about your child and when anyone asks you how many children you have count them in your number. You are still their father. If you have other children spend time with them. Share stories of your child, their sibling. Some memories will bring up good pain. It is ok to laugh and remember the good times. Some memories will bring up bad pain. It is ok to cry. Men can and do cry too. It doesn’t mean you are weak. It means you are human. All of your feelings are meant to be felt and processed.
As you wake up and just aren’t sure what or how to do this day. Allow yourself to just feel whatever it is you are feeling. Close your eyes and name that feeling. Is it sadness? hope? guilt? Think about what it is you are feeling. Then tune in to where you are feeling it in your body. Are your palms sweating? Is your heart racing? Is there a lump in your throat or your stomach? Is it cold or hot? Once you’ve identified where you are feeling it take some deep breaths and see what happens. Does the feeling move? change? dissipate? Allow yourself to just feel all of it. Then set your intention for the day you want to have. What do you want to feel? What do you want to think about the day? You get to choose. If you choose to be sad it is ok. Life is like that. You don’t have to be “happy” all of the time. Life is full of emotions and feelings. You are meant to feel all of them. Feelings are not good or bad. They are just your feelings. Decide what you want to think that will make the day what you choose it to be. Then intentionally think those thoughts. You get to choose how to spend the day and how you think about this day. Your brain his amazing at how it can process all of this!
However you choose to spend the day know you are still a father. Loosing your child does not change that. You are and always will be a Dad whether or not your children live here on earth or in heaven. Practice some self love. Feed your body well, get plenty of sleep and do what it is you want to do to, remember and love your child.
I wish you all a Peaceful Father’s Day. I am sending you all love and strength to get through the day.