How to Plan for Father's Day

A 6 step helpful guide to planning for Father's Day after a loss.

How to Plan for Father's Day After Losing a Father

Father's Day can be a deeply emotional and challenging time when you've lost your father. The days leading up to, during, and following Father's Day are likely to bring a mix of memories, both joyous and sorrowful. It's important to navigate this period with care and compassion for yourself. Here are some tips to help you plan for Father's Day after losing your father.

1. Be Honest and Open About Your Feeling

Acknowledging your emotions is crucial. Whether you're feeling sad, angry, or even relieved, it's essential to accept and express your feelings honestly. An unexpected death is naturally shocking but an expected death while in hospice can be just as stressful. Talk to a trusted friend, family member, or counselor about what you're experiencing. Sharing your emotions can be incredibly cathartic and can help lighten the emotional load. 

2. Ask for Help

You don't have to go through this alone. Reach out to friends, family, a funeral director, spiritual leader, or grief counselor for support. They can offer a listening ear, a shoulder to cry on, or simply be there to provide company. If you find it difficult to talk to someone you know, consider joining a support group where you can connect with others who are going through similar experiences.

3. Plan Time to Celebrate and Grieve

Father's Day is a time to remember and honor your father. Plan specific moments throughout the day to both celebrate his life and grieve your loss. This could include looking through old photo albums, listening to his favorite music, cooking his favorite meal, or watching a movie you used to enjoy together. Allow yourself to feel joy in the good memories and sadness in the loss.

4. Visit the Grave

If you find comfort in visiting your father's grave, take the time to go and pay your respects. Bring flowers, write a letter, or simply sit and talk to him. This can be a peaceful way to feel connected and honor his memory. If you are unable to visit in person, try scheduling a flower delivery to the grave with help from a friend, family member, or cemetery staff. Some perpetual care cemeteries will install your flowers for free when you send clear directions with appropriate notice ahead of the date.

5. Don’t Wait

Sometimes, we delay dealing with our emotions, hoping they'll fade away. However, this can make Father's Day even more challenging. Confront your feelings head-on in the days leading up. Acknowledge the upcoming event and start processing your emotions early. This proactive approach can help reduce the intensity of your feelings on the day itself. Regret from not celebrating Father’s Day could intensify the feelings of grief. Try to focus on completing small tasks to avoid becoming overwhelmed. 

6. Share Stories

Sharing stories about your father can be a beautiful way to keep his memory alive. Gather with family or friends who knew him and take turns recounting your favorite memories. This can be a healing process, allowing you to laugh, cry, and remember the wonderful moments you shared with him. 

Father's Day after losing your father is undoubtedly tough, but it's also an opportunity to honor his memory and find comfort in the love you shared. Be kind to yourself, allow yourself to feel, and lean on your support system. By following these tips, you can navigate this challenging time with grace and resilience. Remember, it's okay to grieve and celebrate simultaneously – both are integral parts of the healing process.