Tuesday, June 10, 2014

More About Fathers Day 2014

Let's continue yesterday's conversation by hearing from a few more widows today. Please join in with your comments too!

 Jennifer: The last three years, we have been travelling out of town on Father's Day. Great for distraction and ignoring the day. This will be the first year that we'll be home for it. I don't want to go to church. I know they'll be making Father's Day gifts in my son's children's church class. I've been looking at alternatives to sitting at home, but everything that I've come up with so far would probably be super crowded. I honestly don't know what to do and I'm not real comfortable with it. Not much help, I know, but there it is. (Jennifer, honesty is the best help of all. I hope what you see here from the others will give you some good ideas and coping skills. Travelling out of town sounds like it worked well for you in the past, but being home this year for the first time is understandably a challenge. Be sensitive to the Lord and to your son, and I think you'll find it will go far better than you thought it would f ). 
 Linda: First year one daughter and I went out to lunch at her suggestion for Father's Day and remembered dad. The second one she preferred to spend alone working on a wood project with his tools that she inherited. I will leave this one coming up to her. If she wants to be with me fine - if not I will do something myself - quietly.
Nancy: I usually visit my father's and my husband's gravesites; I always remember my father-in-law with a gift, as he is still living- I purchase greeting cards that speak my heart, and display them on the mantle; I buy red roses or carnations to remember my husband.
 Joann: The first year Father's Day fell on my daughter's 22nd birthday; always had been a special connection for her. So the younger kids stayed with their older siblings and I flew out to WY to be with her. She and I went out to brunch then went to the Tetons to go hiking. She assumed she had to go to church and was so relieved when I told her it was OK to skip. 
Give your kids permission to do what they need to do. Each year I ask the kids what they want and they usually want to just stay home, keep it low key and quiet. Not sad or depressing, just simple. Eat, watch movies, cry if we want, laugh and talk if we want. Honestly it is probably the only Sunday each year that is truly a day of rest.
We've talked about going somewhere but my 18-yr-old said it is just no fun to see everyone else with their dad. My married daughter celebrates her husband and my son enjoys the company of his kids and being appreciated by them but both have their melancholy moments.
 Amanda:  We have a family day! Enjoying each other's company and remembering him. Funny stories, sad ones too. We usually go to a place to eat that he would've wanted. But the thing we've all agreed on....we skip church. Too sad and overwhelming.
 Barbara: We also skip church as it just reinforces our loss. Since my Dad died 18 months before my husband, we now have a happy tradition of going to our favorite place on the shore and enjoy a little vacation/girls time out, my daughter and I. 
 Joy: I am another one of those "church skippers". I usually take my bike and my dog and ride on one of the beautiful bike trails along the South Platte River, or I will head into the mountains for a drive, enjoying God's majestic creation. For me Father's Day is much more difficult than Mother's Day.
 Ann: My father died on June 30 (2007) and my husband on May 29 (2013). I chose to honor them and their faithfulness to God by going to Church as usual last year and plan to do the same this year. Yes it was tough but a small step forward for me in the grieving process. I need the fellowship of being with other believers.
 Lucy: I went to the cemetery with my kids the day before and left a card in a sheet protector attached to a flower basket. On Father's Day I spent it with my dad. This 2nd year I'll do the same.

A sincere Thank you to everyone who shared their Father's Day experiences and plans.
I'm sure you noticed a church-skipping majority today, so I'd better clarify. I usually encourage widows to consider church like strong medicine and to attend regularly because it will help the healing process. But each church is different in their acknowledgement of Father's Day. If yours over-emphasizes it to the point it becomes like pulling a scab off an old wound, then exercise your good judgment and wisdom, especially when children are involved. But remember this--- you need your church, and just as important is the fact that your church needs you. What I love about these ladies is that they're not skipping church, per se, they're just skipping the day. They'll be back to honor and worship God with fellow believers, and that's the biblical and important thing. ferree

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