One of the hardest things about losing your father is that certain days of the year bring back your loss in a very powerful way. Days like Christmas, your father's birthday, and of course Father's Day can all be very difficult when your father has passed away. One way to make the most of Father's Day without your dad is to use this day as an opportunity to truly honor his memory. Here are five ideas for doing just that:
Get a New Grave Marker
Sometimes in the immediate aftermath of a death, decisions about details like grave markers are made in a rushed manner. If your father's grave marker is not especially meaningful or beautiful and this has been bothering you, or his grave doesn't have a marker yet, Father's Day is the perfect time to purchase something new.
You can have a meaningful epitaph or quote engraved on the new grave marker, and even have a picture included of something connected to your father, such as a military insignia or cross. You will feel comforted by his beautiful new marker every time you visit his grave.
Write Him a Letter
Sometimes the hardest thing about losing a loved one is all the things you didn't get a chance to tell them. Setting aside some time on Father's Day to write your dad a letter will make you feel more connected to him and possibly help you further process your grief. You can share your favorite memories of your dad, tell him how much you love him, describe the things you miss about him, or even fill him in on things that have happened since he died.
Spend the Day Volunteering
Instead of staying home and focusing on your sadness on Father's Day, consider spending the day volunteering in your father's name. You can volunteer for an organization that was important to him or simply spend the day visiting Alzheimer's patients, serving food at a soup kitchen, or doing anything charitable and kind-hearted that would make your dad proud of you. Another option is to make a donation to your dad's favorite charity in his name.
Create a Slideshow
Looking through old family photos of your dad can be a powerful way to feel close to him even though he is no longer living. To make this even more meaningful, you may want to spend some time on Father's Day making a slideshow of some of your favorite photos of your dad. You can make a slideshow using free online slideshow services like Smilebox.
Be sure to include photos of your dad at various ages and stages of life, for example including photos of him as a small child, his wedding photos with your mom, and photos from family vacations and events like graduations and weddings. Don't forget to include some silly candid photos as well. Once you create your slideshow you can email it to your family and your dad's close friends, or share it on your social media profiles so everyone can enjoy the memories of your dad.
Enjoy His Favorite Meal
If your dad had a favorite meal or special treats he was especially fond of, you might find that enjoying these foods on Father's Day can make you feel closer to him. For example, if he loved steak and baked potatoes, you can make a nice steak dinner for just yourself or for other family members. Focus on happy memories of times you enjoyed this meal with him.
Father's Day without your dad is never easy, but by following these tips you can turn it into a meaningful experience that helps you make peace with your loss.