In 2010 my mother lost her cancer battle and died way too early at the age of 56.
She was my best friend.
I was not prepared for the emotions that would slap me in the face the spring of 2011 with the constant barrage of media coming at me reminding me over and over of her passing.
Mother’s Day was coming and I was being told repeatedly that I needed to do something special for my mom, but she was gone.
With Father’s Day quickly approaching I am sure if you have lost your father or husband you are experiencing similar feelings to what I went through, possibly worse if it was your husband or partner.
Here are some things you can do that may help you if you are having a hard time this Father’s Day:
1. Mood Stabilizers
Try to do things that stabilize your emotional state generally the next few days. This can include:
- eating well and getting enough rest
- limiting alcohol
- engaging in some activity you enjoy
- taking walks
2. Limit media exposure for you and your family
This can be hard, but it may be best to just shut it all off for a few days.
3. If you are a father, put your energy into your children that day.
Help your children plan the day for you. You may feel a void connected with not having anything special to plan for your own dad. Planning something may fill that void a little.
4. Direct your emotions and energies elsewhere
It helped me to channel some of my grief into honoring other moms in my life. Of course no one will ever replace the people we have lost, but it does help to recognize other family and friends who are dads.
If you need a good cry, have a good cry. It won’t help you to bottle it all up, but direct your emotions into constructive activity rather than inactivity.
5. If you just can’t deal with it, cancel the day.
You have complete permission and right to just cancel the day. Father’s Day just does not exist this year. Enjoy your Sunday and go about your normal routine. It will be over before you know it.
6. Work hard at finding reasons to laugh or smile this Sunday.
My husband lost his father this year. Lloyd was an incredible man whose motto in life was, “Don’t take life too serious!”. We will be honoring him this Sunday by enjoying the day with our family and working to find laughter and joy.
Your loved one who has departed does not want you to feel sad. They want you to find happiness and joy and for you to work to create your life as best you know how.
Finding something to laugh about may be exactly what he wants from you this Father’s Day.