Monday, June 9, 2014

Widows Talk About Facing Fathers Day

This week I wanted to give you some ideas to help you over one of the most challenging days for widows: Fathers Day. But rather than rattle off my own suggestions, I gathered input from widows who've already been through a few Fathers Days. Today and tomorrow I'll share a collection of their advice: what they've done, what they wish they'd done, what they shouldn't have done, and how they'll face it this year. Knowing we're not alone is a huge help and comfort, but knowing what others do is an added benefit, and seeing how God helps each year get a little easier is great encouragement. Please join in and have your say in the comment line. We're all in this together and I love hearing from you.  

Judy: I bought him a card as usual. That was important to me, so I did it and I wrote a gratitude list in it. Like thank you for teaching our sons a love of baseball.
I called all 5 kids, told them I loved them and wanted to know how they were doing. I told each child one thing their dad was really proud of them about. I skipped church. I bawled my eyes out. I was grateful to have gotten through the day my first year and my second year.
No, it wasn't as bad as I anticipated. : )

I did bawl in the drugstore buying that card, Ferree, but it depowered the long row of cheerful cards. I don't cry in that row anymore and now, this 3rd year, I actually look forward to the tradition. It was important for me to establish new traditions.
Kathleen: We (me, kids and grandkids) get Dennis cards and I put them on his dresser. This year I think I will also send a balloon to him in Heaven. Go up to the cemetery and just let it go, with love. Maybe add some written messages to the balloon.
Marcia: Last year I went to church and it was a mistake. This year I'll take my dog for a hike on the trail we used to walk together. I am also giving each of my sons a gift thanking them for being such good dads to my grandchildren. They are good fathers because of their dad.
Doris: I usually celebrate my son being the father of my grandchildren.
Sheri: The first couple years I cried in the Fathers Day card aisle - couldn't even get a card for my own dad... I don't go to church that day, except to go to a neighboring town that has a community day --church in the park-- without the Fathers Day message; they have general music, a devotional, a children's choir... But then we usually get balloons and send them off at the cemetery with our notes of love - from my youngest children to the pre-teens.
This year will be our 4th Father's Day. This year my children will be on choir tour to FL,and I plan to write notes for them and put in their suitcases of how much Daddy and I love them... I was able to buy my Dad a card.
I don't really know what I will do this Sunday though - maybe join some other widows and go to the park since my kids will be gone. But then we have a special singing group at our church in the evening; I plan to sit in the back so I can escape if necessary... I learned to not be caught in the front! ...But I'm praising the Lord for helping each year get a little better

Kate: We bought him gifts like a DVD we wanted and chocolate we ate. We went to the river and spent time as a family and wrote some funny memories in a book. Fathers Day was very soon after his death and the day loomed large but it was good to do those things. This year I am not sure if we will do any or all of that - will see how the kids feel.
Darlene: My husband used to take his daughter's fishing for the Father's Day weekend. When the son-in-laws came along it got switched up and he took them, and then the girls and I had girl time while they were gone. The boys still go fishing and we still have girl time. This will be the 3rd Father's Day without him. I still don't plan on going to church that day, the thought of that is too hard. We were going to start a tradition of sending off flying lanterns on the anniversary of his death, but this April 2nd was still so cold and so much snow that we couldn't do it, so I think we will change that to Father's Day from now on. My grown daughters also have written notes on the concrete at the cemetery with sidewalk chalk which will likely be passed on to the grandchildren. If I had to give someone advice, I would say do whatever feels right, there is no right or wrong way to remember, and if whatever feels good this year, may not feel right the next year, and that's okay. Your traditions and memories are as unique as you and your family.
Sheila: Fire up the grill for a special steak dinner!


  1. I invited other widows from church to lunch at my house. The table was filled with ladies who were older than me but had survived...with faith and courage. I was newly moved to a house in Va that Donnie and I had been restoring. It seemed as though those wise women , amid their laughter, passed some of their wisdom and strength to me. It was the beginning of many friendships. Three years later, it is still a difficult day full of memories.

  2. Dear Susan, What a fantastic invitation, and I can see how those wise women truly would pass strength along to you. And now you're passing it along to others. It can be a difficult day, that is so true. Life is precious and love is costly. You'll be in my thoughts and prayers.


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