How to handle Father’s Day when your dad has passed away

Father's Day is just around the corner but, for some of us, it is an unhappy reminder of the fact we've lost our daddy. Here's some advice on how to handle the day if you're grieving


by Kayleigh Dray |
Published on

Father's Day is a day to pay homage to our relationship with our dads, but, for those who've lost their father, June’s annual day of celebration can be a stark reminder of the grief and loss felt when we said goodbye.

But it doesn't have to be a sad time. Father's Day should be a celebration of a father's relationship with his children - so why not take the time to honour his spirt on this special holiday?

Look through old photos

You could take the time to sort through old photos of yourself and your father, remembering the moment the snap was taken and trying to recall the happiness you felt at that time. It might be a good idea to set some aside for your own children to look at, too, and share some stories with them.

Give him a gift

Your father might have gone, but that doesn't mean you can't give him a present on Father's Day. Whether you donate the money to a charity he supported, or to a cause he was passionate about, or even to a hospital or retirement home, it's a great way to remember your dad and do something that lifts your spirits.

Look through family photos together - and remember the happy times
Look through family photos together - and remember the happy times

Attend an event he would have loved

Think of something your father loved doing; perhaps he was an avid walker, or there's a movie coming out at the cinema that he would have loved. Either way, take yourself along and it'll be as if you're sharing the experience together.

Call your mother

If your mother is still around, she probably misses him too - so why not give her a call? Or, better yet, take her out for lunch. You two can reminisce over old times and talk about your father together, swapping stories and anecdotes and remembering all the times he made you smile.

Spend time in a place where you feel close to your father's memory

This could be anywhere – at the beach, in his garden, down the allotments – it doesn’t matter.

Go to a place where you can feel close to your father's memory

Teach your children something your father taught you

This Father's Day activity reaches across three generations and provides you with the perfect opportunity to bring your father into your relationship with your kids. It provides natural opportunities to talk about your mother with your kids and helps you to feel close to his memory.

Write him a card

Writing can be a cathartic experience. Why not buy a card, or simply grab a notepad and pen, and write a message to your dad on Father's Day?

Raise your glass

If you're out to dinner, why not raise your glass and make a toast to one of the most important men in your life? It doesn't have to be long, it doesn't have to be eloquent - it just has to come from the heart.

It is best to reflect on the life you shared together, and the joy it brought you, rather than the fact he's no longer with you.

Spend time with your family

If you are married with children, why not help your little ones make a fuss of their own dad? Helping them make him breakfast in bed, or write him a card, or sneak his present into the house, is a great way to focus your mind forwards, rather than backwards. After all, your dad would want you and your family to have an amazing day, wouldn't he?

Losing a father is nothing short of a devastating experience. But if you keep him in your memories, and in your heart, his legacy will live on forever in you.

Reclaim the day as a day for your family and, if you have them, celebrate it for your children; it's what your dad would have wanted.

Our thoughts are with you this Father's Day.

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