The Father’s Day Dilemma

I received a lovely email today from someone who had heard my interview on CBC, thanking me for writing the book. I am so gratified. Her cousin had recently lost her husband and her two young boys are facing their first Father’s Day without him. I was asked how I handled Father’s Day with my kids. Its a difficult question. Like all “EVENT” days, there is a certain amount of “grin and bear it” that must happen to get through it.

In the past, I have often spent Father’s Day with another widow with kids. We try to do something fun like a trip to the beach or a museum and as fellow widows, we each know how the other feels, although we don’t really talk about it.

If the kids are young, and they will be making a craft in school, I usually ask the teacher or suggest to my kids that they select who they are going to give the gift to. In the past, it has gone to their grandfather, uncle or a male friend. Of course there is no great solution, other than to muddle through the day as best as possible and to be prepared for the fallout (anger, crying, lethargy) from both you and your kids. Its often harder AFTER the event than during it.

I know some widows have a tradition on Father’s Day (releasing a balloon with a message, always going camping or to an amusement park for instance), but I never seem to be that organized, and find myself pretending the day doesn’t exist until it is suddenly thrust upon me, and I am forced to figure out something to do. If you can find something to do with the kids that your husband loved doing, it might be a great way to honor him.

I have been wondering lately if it would be wrong to get the kids to bring ME pancakes in bed, since I am in effect their dad as well as their mom. Hmmmm. Could be a new tradition 🙂

Still, no matter what you do, even almost 7 years after the fact, it is still a tough day to get through. Good luck to you all!

Feel free to post your ideas what to do on Father’s Day for other’s to read.

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  1. pigeon August 7, 2008 at 1:04 pm

    Father’s day , you are right, is not an easy day. I recall this year someone expressing concern for the girls that they have nothing to celebrate on the day. I was immediately struck by how wrong that actually is. There is much to celebrate and I have chosen to do just that with my daughters. After all they were blessed with a father who loved them completely and with everything he was. I want them to always be able to remember that and honour it. The fact that he is no longer with us does not change that he is and always will be their dad. That we will always love him.

    So we go to the cemetery in the afternoon before supper. We bring with us the gifts they made for him at school. I was blessed this year with a teacher who was sensitive to our situation and let my youngest daughter make a bookmark that was a little different from the other kids with a picture of her and her dad together. She felt included and special.

    We leave the gifts. We leave roses- red from me and one from each of the girls in whatever colour they choose. We write notes to him and we have Popsicles. Our twist of his tradition that when you are on holidays, or in this case celebrating, you have dessert before the meal. We make jokes about what we think Daddy is doing now or tell stories about all the silly and fun things we did with him.

    Admittedly the mother in me is silently screaming at the horror of the reality of what we are actually doing but I try not to let it overtake what is meant to be a happy time.

    When we leave I do as I always do. Kiss the corner of the stone and tell him ” Miss you baby, Love you” This year my middle daughter snuck up on me and slapped me on the behind while I was bent over and started to giggle. This made us all laugh. And there in that moment it hit me- we were together as a family and were actually laughing- what a sense of peace and comfort there was in that. Despite everything there is still much to celebrate.

  2. Pingback: A Father's Day Round-Up - Abigail Carter

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