But Father’s Day can stir up the pain of your loss even once you’ve made it through that first year. In addition to the memories of your late spouse/partner, the occasion may also remind you of your own deceased parent(s). Children and grandchildren may also ask about your spouse/partner and have difficulty understanding why he’s not here to celebrate.
Rather than ignore the occasion and/or brushing off children’s questions, consider:
a) Acknowledging your loss by talking about your spouse with other family members. This gives others, especially children, the cue that it’s okay to remember and share feelings of sadness about a loved one.
b) Helping younger children create “remembering” cards, with photos or drawings of special memories about their parent or grandparent.
c) Visiting the cemetery or other places of remembrance on or close to Father’s Day.
d) If there is a family gathering, make some time to share fond or funny memories of your spouse/partner.
The feelings this holiday stirs up won’t just go away. It’s best to acknowledge the occasion, even briefly, especially with children. Otherwise, the emotions you try to push down and avoid will just come up another time. Probably when you least expect them.