How to cope this Father’s Day when you’re grieving the loss of a dad

For those who have lost a parent, this coming Father’s Day may bring with it waves of grief, loss, hurt and sensitivity. If your dad has passed away, Father’s Day can bring up all sorts of emotions, whether you had a close relationship, a difficult relationship, or no relationship at all. And as Father’s Day approaches, it’s normal to wonder how you’re going to spend the day and whether you should be doing anything to mark the occasion anymore.

Alix Baldwin, director of Funeral Choice, explains why Father’s Day can be triggering for some people: “In recent years, many brands have attempted to improve their marketing emails or social posts to make days like Father’s Day and Mother’s Day less triggering for those who have lost a parent. However, even receiving these opt-out emails alone with the subject title of dad and father in them can be upsetting. And there will be repeated times throughout the year that will bring up feelings of grief – such as anniversaries, birthdays or family events – and unplanned and spontaneous ones such as a colleague asking about your parents, going to a particular restaurant, or even a smell that brings back certain memories. Father’s Day can be an especially hard occasion for those who are bereaved and can sometimes be as difficult as, or harder, than the funeral itself, when being busy with the practicalities of the service might mask your full feelings of grief. Our guide to coping with grief on Father’s Day offers some advice, support and quotes for people in this situation this week; whether it is your first Father’s Day without your dad, or years have passed.”

So, how can you cope with strong feelings of grief around these days?

Bereavement counsellor Georgina Sturmer, has shared advice for those with resurfacing feelings of grief this week: “Father’s Day is one of these collective moments that can trigger our feelings of sadness, grief and loss. And this can happen for a multitude of reasons. The loss of our own father, or other people who have played an important role in our life. Sadness about our relationship with our dad, if it wasn’t what we would have hoped to have experienced. Loss and struggles around fertility and the idea of fatherhood, if it feels as if it is out of reach. All of these individual stories can make Father’s Day a catalyst for strong waves of grief.”

For people dreading this coming Sunday, Georgina suggests the following steps:

1. Notice your triggers
If certain people or events or places might trigger a deep sense of sadness or grief, then consider how you can take control and avoid them if you wish to do so.

2. Make a plan
If you can feel a looming sense of grief when Father’s Day approaches, be proactive about how you want to spend the day. This doesn’t mean keeping yourself busy from noon until night. It might mean doing nothing at all, or planning something that you’ll really enjoy, or keeping yourself busy and distracted. But if you choose how you plan to spend your time, then it might make it easier to avoid being blindsided by your grief.

3. Seek support if you need it
If you need to share how you’re feeling, don’t suffer in silence. Reach out to friends or family and seek support. Or if you’d like to talk to someone else, you can contact the National Grieftalk Helpline or Cruse Helpline or SHOUT or Samaritans.

About Lisa Baker, Editor, Wellbeing News 4482 Articles
Editor Lisa Baker is a professional writer and the owner of Need to See IT Publishing. However, Lisa is also passionate about the benefits of a holistic approach to healing, being a qualified Vibrational Therapist. Lisa also has qualifications in Auricular Therapy, Massage, Kinesiology, Crystal Healing, Seichem and is a Reiki Master.