A father is one of the most important people in our lives. The impact a father has on a child lasts long beyond his death. Father’s Day is meant to celebrate our fathers, yet how do we do this when our father is no longer living? Memories come to mind of past Father’s Days or other fond family memories. Those of us with uninvolved fathers may feel lonely or wistful wishing our fathers were more involved with our lives. Others are thankful for even the tiniest way their father impacted their life. Whatever your relationship with your dad was like, here are a few ways to remember your father and to celebrate Father’s Day when your father is no longer alive.
Family Get Together
Celebrate by getting together with other family members. Perhaps a picnic at a local park or a camping spot that was one of his favorites. If your father had a favorite restaurant, you could join others there for a meal. Perhaps invite family or friends over for a favorite meal of your father’s. Just by picking a place or the meal that is related to your memories of your father is a fitting way to remember him.
Some families prefer a more formal remembrance. Going to the cemetery or burial place of your father and leaving flowers is a comforting way for both mourning and celebrating your father’s life and his passing. This can be an especially significant way to remember a father for the children and grandchildren in the family. Spending time together remembering is a very powerful way to honor your dad.
In the Catholic tradition having a Mass said for the person who passed away is an honored way to remember your father. It can be a very private way to honor your dad. People from other faith traditions also remember loved ones who have passed away with various traditions. All of these are worthy ways to remember your father.
It is important to find a way to celebrate your father whether individually or as a family. It helps to keep family continuity in place and brings comfort at the same time. As Anne Sexton said, “It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was.” Remembering is a powerful healing tool and Father’s Day is one of the best days to remember your beloved father.