How Do You Celebrate Father’s Day When Your Father is Gone?
I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this particular holiday anymore for the rest of my life
Father’s Day is right around the corner and on any normal given year, I would be frantically scouring the internet right now searching for the best gift ideas or deals on some sort of electronic or gadget that my sister and I can buy for our Dad. However, this year is not a normal year.
This year isn’t like years past because this will be the very first Father’s Day that we have to experience without our Dad being here to celebrate with us. This year, Father’s Day will be a particularly depressing one.
My Dad has always received the bulk of the attention from my family on special occasions such as his birthday or holidays like Father’s Day — he always received the better gifts and had the bigger celebrations because he was always the life of the party. He was always the center of attention. And he always expected it to be that way.
So, unfortunately for my Mom, this meant that she always got the short end of the stick when it came to celebrating her special occasions. And as if her past birthdays and holidays weren’t significantly less extravagant enough, this year she lost her husband during a pandemic…on Easter day…only days before her birthday…just weeks before Mother’s Day.
Talk about a tragedy, right?
One could only assume that it’s fair to say that we can just bypass any type of celebration this year — or at least, that’s what I assume. But, I’m not quite sure if that’s how others would view it. So, the thing that I’m wondering is, how do other people do it?
How do you celebrate Father’s Day (or any occasion for that matter) when your Father is gone?
Now, I know that the short answer to that question is that you “just do it”. That you should just cherish everything and everyone you still have with you. You’re supposed to embrace all of the good things in life and only make happy memories moving forward because that’s what that person would have wanted for you.You’re supposed to stay strong and positive, right?
Well, of course that’s what anyone should do, but as we know, things are a lot easier said than done — it’s a lot more complicated than that. And when it comes to dealing with loss, there’s no specific timeline or magic word that can make it any easier to cope.
So, why even attempt to celebrate then?
That’s exactly the question I’ve been asking myself since the very day he left us. I looked ahead to the rest of this year and all of the years ahead —I looked ahead at all of the holidays, all the big milestones, and big moments that he won’t be here for. I look at those days and it just makes me sad.
And when it comes to Father’s Day, why even celebrate the day if the person we’re supposed to celebrate isn’t here to soak it all in? Why celebrate when it only serves as a reminder that he’s not here to see it?
In full transparency, I’m not even going to be around this year to celebrate Father’s Day anyways — my husband and I are flying out to attend a wedding that weekend.
But, that’s not the point.
The point is, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with this particular holiday anymore for the rest of my life.
And I know that I’m not the only one in this situation. I know that some have lost a Father too, while others may have never even known their Father, or others just plain hate their Father.
So, I don’t know if I’m supposed to sit down and think of him and cry, or think of him and laugh, or think of him and smile — frankly, I’ve already been doing those things on a regular basis anyways. So, why should this day be any different?
I know that everyone deals with their own grief in wildly different ways and that there’s obviously no one-size-fits all answer to that question. After all, everyone celebrates special occasions differently, so handling emotions is just another thing that we all have to take our own course of action for. But, for me personally, I don’t know how I’m going to handle the horrible realization that my Dad is no longer here to celebrate with anymore.
And honestly, I don’t know if I ever will.