While Father’s Day is a time of celebration for many, it can be one of the most difficult times of the year for either someone dealing with the grief and loss of a parent, or a father who has lost a child. Anyone who has experienced the loss of a father or child will know that grief is one of the most challenging emotions to process, and these feelings can be heightened greatly on Father’s Day as it acts as a reminder of the loss.
While experiencing grief on Father’s Day is painful, developing coping strategies can help you to deal with the difficulty of your emotions. Likewise, if you know someone who is grieving the loss of a father or child, there are a handful of things you can do to make the day a little easier for your loved one.
How To Deal With Loss On Father’s Day
The days leading up to Father’s Day are likely to be a cause of anxiety for those dealing with grief. While it’s perfectly natural to dread the day, the period beforehand is an ideal opportunity to consider methods that will be beneficial in helping you deal with your emotions on the day itself.
● Create a plan for the day, even if that plan is to simply run some errands or relax. Having some kind of structure is useful for preventing your feelings from becoming too overwhelming, and planning some kind of activity is a great way to get outdoors and let nature clear your head.
● Take a day off social media, as it’s likely to be filled with posts and photos related to Father’s Day which may be triggering. When dealing with loss, it’s often much more productive to put down your phone and go about the day as you intended rather than risk exposure to something which may worsen your feelings.
● Simple memorial acts such as visiting your loved one’s favorite place or lighting a candle in honor of them is a heartfelt way to pay tribute to them. Although they may no longer be with you physically, you can still feel an affinity to them by keeping the memory of them alive.
How To Support Someone Who Is Grieving
If you have a loved one who is grieving the loss of a parent or child on Father’s Day, it can be difficult to know how best to support them. However, there are small steps you can take towards making the day more comfortable for them.
● If your loved one would like to do an activity in memory of the family member which they have lost, then offer to join them. While it is possible they would rather be alone, having the support of a friend could be beneficial to them by providing a much-needed hand to hold.
● Offering literal support can be a lifeline for someone who is experiencing grief. Dealing with the loss of someone can make it challenging to do seemingly simple tasks, so help around the house by cooking your loved one dinner, or running some errands on their behalf. Good company can be the perfect remedy for difficult emotions, so offer that in any way that you are able to.
● Listening and engaging with your loved one’s feelings is probably one of the most supportive things you can do as a friend. Let them explain their current emotions and actively work through any feelings and memories with them, providing they are comfortable with this.
Dealing with loss is incredibly hard all year round, but holidays such as Father’s Day undoubtedly present a further challenge to those experiencing grief. And while it often proves helpful to utilize coping strategies, it is also perfectly fine to simply acknowledge and experience the emotions as they come, for there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.