This is to all the girls, boys, women & men who are finding this a particularly difficult day. My Facebook is overflowing with statuses of how fathers have helped mold us and love us into the people that we are today.
However as I scrolled through my newsfeed this morning, a piece of my heart broke knowing that there is another side to this day. The side that may creep up and send us into a downward spiral of grief. Where people are mourning their fathers’ presence and are finding this hallmark holiday a particularly difficult time.
Moving back from the an island in Caribbean, I am shocked to see how much emphasis that America puts on these Hallmark Holidays. My boyfriend, who is from Bali also feels we don’t need one day to celebrate our loved ones. We should be grateful and expressing our loves daily through our generosity and love. What I have also observed, is that these holidays seem harmless but they trigger those who may not have had a picture perfect childhood with their fathers, or never had a relationship with the father or the fathers that they were taken away to early. Today, that harmless hallmark holiday is a reminder of the void that may be in our lives.
Whatever the reason may be that you are not with your father on this day,
I want you to know, You are not alone.
Here are a few ways to get through this tough day:
- Allow yourself to feel exactly how you feel. If this day makes you angry. Be Angry. If this day makes you sad. Be sad. If you are in a good mood, don’t feel guilty for being happy. Allow whatever mood you are experiencing to be just that, a mood. Also know that our moods are always flowing and that the mood that you experiencing now in this moment won’t be forever.
- Know it is okay to mourn. Mourning is not only for the lose of life but also the absence of an ideal father figure since the beginning can be a reason to mourn. Mourn in a way that helps you heal, helps you remember and honor that person.
- Remember sometimes family is not “blood”. Family can be whoever you want and is often those we have chosen because of their love and kindness that they show to us. Celebrate the people in your life who are there for you. Who helped you along the way. Mentored you. Doesn’t matter if they are a father or even a male… if they contributed to your life, celebrate that person. Send a text, phone call, maybe visit.
- Tell a good story. Stories have a way to heal us as we remember the funny, the passionate, the love and the characteristics of that person. Do something that helps you remember that person! If you never had this father figure, then remember the person who was there for you in that role, whether it be a friend, a grandfather, a mother or a neighbor.
- Stay off Social Media! Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat. We all know the types of posts we will see and why put ourselves through that torture? Instead of scrolling through your phone, get outside, do something in nature, be active and make new memories with your partner, friends or family. This day is what you make it.
- Letting go of the past and hold on to the future. As we know, mourning and grief have different stages and people work through those stages as they are ready. Whatever stage you are in today, have hope in the future. Know that the father figure person has helped you become the person you are today and think, would they proud? Are they smiling down on me today? Are they with me in times to comfort me? Whatever your religious beliefs or lack of beliefs, have faith that better days may lie ahead.
- Pay love forward. Find someone who may also be alone on this day and spend time with them. Visit a nursing home, visit family members . Being alone can often times be isolating and put us in a place where we are ruminating negative thinking. Even a short visit with a loved one, this can be a good support and may add a bit of sunshine on your day.
Whatever you decide to do today, be kind to yourself