On the first Sunday in September, families across Australia will be spending Father’s Day with their dad. But for many of us who have lost our father, this may be difficult time.
It can be impossible to explain to someone who hasn’t been through the loss what it feels like to lose your father. You may think of him every day and of course on Father’s Day, with all of the promotion that goes with it, it can be a particularly tough time for you.
You may be seeing lots of messages on Facebook and Instagram, television advertisements, and signs in your local shops, reminding you that this special day is coming up. This may make you feel frustrated, sad, and even jealous. Why do they still get to spend time with their dad? You may miss the good times and what you will never go to do together. This is a perfectly normal response.
As anyone who has lost someone close to them will know, grief doesn’t have a chronological timeline. The grieving process is personal and people react in different ways.
You may be surprised by your grief; how intense it may be at times or how long it is lasting. Even if you have family and friends around you, you can still miss your father.
Small steps you can take to cope
Try to not withdraw and instead talk about your father to family and friends, remembering the good times you had together.
Write down your stories and anecdotes about him. Reminiscing about your father can help you work through your grief.
You can spend the day doing an activity you and your dad would have enjoyed. That could be going for a walk, fishing, watching his favourite movie, or having a barbeque with the family.
Remember that you don’t have to experience grief alone, let someone help you. Don’t be afraid to ask your loved ones for support. If you want to speak to a professional counsellor, you can call MensLine Australia at any time on 1300 78 99 78.
Happy Father’s Day to all dads with us and those in our memories.