Grieving on Father’s Day

Father’s Day is hard when you’re grieving. Seeing families celebrating on social media or on television can remind us of the fathers, grandfathers or children we’ve lost.

Tips for coping with grief on Father’s Day

  • Put yourself first

Don’t feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to do. Instead, spend the day doing things you enjoy. This could mean going for a long walk, spending the day watching your favourite films or going away for the day.

  • Put your feelings into words

Letter writing is a really useful way to deal with grief. Writing a card to someone who has died is a great way to organise your thoughts and make sense of your feelings.

  • Hold a memorial

You can do this by lighting a candle, planting a flower in your garden or visiting a place which was special to them. It’s is a way to maintain your bond with the person who’s died. Getting together with friends and family and sharing memories about the person who died can be very special and a lovely way to honour their life. More ways to remember someone

  • Talk to someone 

Sometimes it can be helpful to talk to someone who is not a family member or friend. You can call the Cruse helpline on 0808 808 1677 or contact your local branch.

Personally for me it’s nice to remember the good memories I had with my dad. When someone passes, people are scared to talk about the person so as not to upset you. This makes them seem like a distant memory or someone that never existed. Times like Father’s Day seem to make people more comfortable sharing the memories we had with him. I really appreciate this.

Grief when your relationship with your dad was complicated

If your relationship with your father was not society’s ideal of a close and loving one it can be a different type of heartbreak.

  • You might feel guilty about not feeling as you think we should – whether that’s not feeling sad about your own father, or feeling sadder than you expected for someone who might even have mistreated you.
  • Others around  you might not understand. They might judge if you don’t act the way they expect, or can’t or don’t want to take part in funerals and other family rituals.
  • We’re still not great as a society talking about death. It’s a whole other taboo if you didn’t actually like or love a parent who has died. This can feel very lonely.

Remember you have the right to grieve in the way that is right for you. You can grieve the relationship you have lost in all its complexity and imperfections. And you can grieve the relationship you wished you had, and the loss of hope for any future resolution.

If you are struggling with complicated grief this Father’s Day find out how we can help.

Dads who’ve lost a child

We know Father’s Day is also an incredibly painful time for Dads who’ve lost a child. A child dying is one of the most intensely painful experiences you can go through. People tell us they feel like they’ve lost a part of themselves and find it difficult to return to normal life.

There are no easy answers as to how to carry on after your child dies. The loss will always be with you. But there are some things that people find can help them to cope. Make sure you’ve got people you can talk to, whether that’s friends, relatives, or professionals.

Read more about losing a child.

Talk to us

We’re here to support you while you’re grieving. Find out the ways we can help.