The days surrounding Father’s Day can be an emotionally stressful time for those who have lost a father, especially if it’s the first Father’s Day without him. It can be hard to ignore all the Father’s Day advertisements, celebrations, and gifts, and you may feel like not even celebrating the day at all. However, even if your dad is no longer with you this Father’s Day, there are still ways in which you can celebrate and honor his memory.

Share memories and stories about him. Gather those close to your dad and reminisce on all the great memories that you have together. Tell funny stories, emotional stories, stories that describe the kind of person your father was. You can even pull out old photos and recount the best qualities of your dad. Gathering with his family and friends is a great way to celebrate him and keep his memory and legacy alive.

Spend time with him or talk to him. If possible, visit your father’s place of rest for quiet reflection. If this isn’t possible, write him a note. Writing can be a good way to let out your emotions. You can tell your dad how much you miss him, what’s going on in your life, and thank him for the impact that he had on your life.

Celebrate other father figures in your life. While no one can replace your dad, it’s important to honor and thank the other men in your life who have shaped you. Friends, uncles, teachers, and even your mother—tell them how much you appreciate their impact on your life in the absence of your father. Also, if you are a father yourself, spend the day letting your children celebrate you.

Spend the day doing something that reminds you of him. Spend the day alone or with loved ones to pay tribute to your dad and the things he loved to do. Go fishing at his favorite spot, cook his favorite meal, or listen to his favorite song. This is a good way to feel connected to him, even when he is no longer physically there.

Acknowledge and understand your grief. Recognize this can be a distressing day, and it’s perfectly normal to be emotionally overwhelmed. Allow yourself to deal with your grief on your own time; the process is different for everyone.

Celebrating Father’s Day after a father has passed can be painful, but remember that it’s okay to grieve, laugh, cry, and celebrate—or not celebrate. Ultimately, how you choose to spend the day is up to you, as long as you allow yourself to honor your dad in a way that’s best for you.

Hospice of South Texas is committed to offering a variety of bereavement services to individuals, with special emphasis on providing family bereavement support, for up to 13 months following the loss of a loved one. Our dedicated team is committed to providing support and resources for those who are grieving. For more information, contact us at our Victoria, TX office at 361.572.4300 or our Hallettsville, TX office at 361.798.2077.