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Surviving Father’s Day

Surviving Father’s Day is tough, I hope you find these seven tips to survive Father’s Day without your dad. In Australia, we celebrate Father’s Day on the first Sunday in September. For some of us, Father’s Day is a day of missing and grief.

In the lead up, there’s advertising, inviting us to celebrate the day with our dad there’s Facebook and Instagram posts, TV ads telling us to buy Dad power tools, barbecues and gift cards. This can be upsetting for those whose dad’s are no longer with us and only have memories.

It’s difficult to explain to someone who’s dad hasn’t died what being without them is like, especially when you were close to him. In the run up to Father’s Day you’re likely to feel upset and more sensitive than usual. This is natural. There’s not a day go goes by I don’t think of my dad, and Father’s Day is the toughest.

My Dad

The above photo is of my dad who was always behind the camera and rarely in front. There’s only a few that exist of him, this being one that was taken circa, 1956 with Mum. I think it was at my aunt’s wedding. I have a photo of him at my brother’s wedding when her was extremely ill but still standing. I hope some of my family find more recent photos of him that I can share with you.

I see all those kids out there with their dads celebrating them in the best of ways. It makes me want my dad to be here even more. Dad died from lung cancer in 1989, at the age of 60, just before Christmas. He’s suffered terribly from the disease. He was a philosopher, a joker, a deep thinker, an artist, a chef, an opera singer, a writer, a Buddhist towards the end of his life, created our awesome family, a lovely dad, husband, uncle and grandfather. He was all this and so much more.

My brothers, sisters, and myself had a close relationship with Dad – He had this wonderful way of making each of us believe that we were his favourite child. I remember finding out when I wasn’t. We were at a party after dad died, with all my siblings, and explaining to family and friends how I was his favourite child. When from out of nowhere, all my siblings appeared exclaiming they were Dad’s favourite. I always knew Dad was a loving man. However, being at this party and having to fight for my position as the favourite child set it in stone for me. We all loved to being his favourite child.

Here’s the tips

Here’s some tips to help you get through Father’s Day:

  1. Be gentle on yourself. Remember that you’re grieving and it’s okay not to be okay
  2. Try a new tradition. If it feels too tough to do things that you did with your dad, give yourself permission to change it.
  3. You don’t have to show up for other people. If there’s zoom meetings set up with friends and family, and you want to show up that is fine. But if you feel like you don’t want to be there, it’s okay to leave.
  4. Go for a walk. Walking outside in nature is relaxing. And it’s good to reset your energy level five, share how you’re feeling with families and friends.
  5. You don’t have to celebrate Father’s Day at all.
  6. You can spend the day looking through photos and reminiscing, being with your dad.
  7. Ask your friends and family to share stories of your dad. You might find out something new about his life.

The wrap up

I hope these suggestions help, and that you take a risk and do what you want to do. Do Father’s Day your way. Remember your dad the way you want to – Create the day that satisfies you. I’m sending out lots of love to all the children out there who are missing their dad today. No matter how old you are, you still miss your dad.

Have a good day.

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