Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Father's Day--OH NO! How will we get through?

Yesterday, Margaret wrote that "God has new plans, fresh ideas and an innovative strategy for all of us that we know nothing about yet."
Her statement is so full of hope and promise! It especially applies to Father's Day and the question of how you'll get through it.
So . . . how will you get through it?
Here are some options. DO NOT TRY THEM ALL! Just pick one to adapt to your own situation.
  • First off, you're going to be glad when it's over, but it's not going to be as bad as you think. Often, anticipating it is worse than the actual event.
  • But, prepare yourself. I hate to say this--if you knew me you'd know I'm a big supporter of going to church even when it hurts--but here's what I hate to say: this might be a good day to do something different, or go to a different church with friends or family. Especially if you have little kids who will be making "I Love You Daddy" pictures in Sunday School. Remember? They do that every year, don't they? So prepare, and plan ahead.
  • Do SOMETHING, but feel free to skip the traditions. If you've been planning to go to a theme park sometime this summer, maybe Sunday June 20 would be a good day for it. Look for something to do that eats up a lot of hours. The goal for this day is to get it over with! :)
  • Do a small, quick acknowledgement of the day--don't treat it like the elephant in the middle of the room that no one will talk about. Maybe start the day with a prayer to thank God that your children had a good father, that you had a marriage, that you loved . . . I'm talking one quick little prayer--two sentences at the most. That's plenty! You don't have to talk about it or think about it all day long.
  •  One idea I picked up from "A Grace Disguised--How the Soul Grows Through Grief" (such a great book!) was to fill up on gratitude for experiencing love, marriage, and parenting --because those good things are not the norm for many people now days. So instead of bemoaning the fact that I'd never have a 50th Wedding Anniversary, I gained a new appreciation that I'd even had a good marriage.
  • Give your kids and/or yourself "A Hug From Above." Hug them and say something like, "Today is Father's Day and here's a hug from above: your dad loved you so much!" Tell yourself that, too: "He still loves me and I'm grateful to have had ____time with him."
  • Give in to the little cloudbursts. Let yourself cry. It'll last maybe five minutes. Then --(I'm saying this kindly)-- put your big girl pants on and help yourself, and your kids, and those around you by focusing on them instead of the dread and misery.
  • Accept grace. God showers it in unexpected moments. Watch for it, God has a day full of surprises and goodness ahead.  
  • Be flexible. Roll with the waves of grief. Don't build up your expectations too much--it's not going to be the worst day of your life. (You've already had that one!)     
  • For more ideas, check out these articles from Griefshare:   http://www.griefshare.org/holidays/articles/holidaysspecialtimes
I look forward to hearing what you discover! Remember, God has new strategies, fresh ideas and innovations that are beyond our imaginations! And, I'm no expert, so please please please share other good ideas. God might use you to provide the perfect solution for someone else! Add your ideas in a comment or email. Thanks!


  1. This will be our 3rd Father's Day without Tim. The first year, I was so very angry. I didn't go to church, didn't spend time with my own father. Mainly because I didn't even want my kids around other kids who had their fathers. Last year, still skipped church, for my sake as much as theirs, but agreed to spend time with my family. I'm still not sure what to do this year. Part of me wants to lobby to have the day removed as a holiday. Ok, thats going too far I know! But thats how I still feel sometimes! I think I'm going to sit the kids down, explain to them whats going on, and let them have an opinion about the day. And then we may spend the day in our pj's on the couch watching hours of Disney movies!

  2. I'd join your lobby in a heartbeat. Mother's Day, too. (EVERY day should be mothers day, right? smile) They're two holidays that put a painful divide between the "haves" and the "have nots." Those that don't have parents, spouses, or the opportunity to be parents don't need this reminder which basically just lines the pockets of gift and card manufacturers.

  3. I will post here what I put on my Facebook:

    Father's Day - A melancholy day for we adults, whose fathers are not here with us. Doubly so for kids like mine, whose father entered Heaven sooner than expected. We rejoice they are where we will be one day, but miss them very much. We will honor them this Sunday, and call it Father Remembrance Day.

  4. This will be my first father's day without my husband; my own father died the year before. My sons are grown and young fathers themselves, and I'm hoping that will be their focus. I should probably send a card to my father-in-law, who I'm sure is missing his son. I've just avoided thinking about it all, so thanks for the reminder to make it somehow positive.


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