Learning to use Father's Day as a day to reflect and reminisce, rather than a day to ignore.
This 21st June will mark my second Father's Day without a father. Just one year ago, on my first ever Father's Day without my dad, I chose to ignore such a special and joyful day. A day in which I am supposed to tell my dad how much he means to me, a day which we are supposed to spend together as a family and collect precious moments... However, this day was no longer what it used to be. How was I supposed to celebrate a day meant for someone who was no longer here?
Vividly, I remember walking into a Tesco store and seeing all the bright and bold Father's Day adverts bombarding the entrance of the store- and then it suddenly hit me. I had completely forgotten that there was a Father's Day. How could I forget? The answer was elementary. I chose to forget. Not once had I ever forgotten Father's Day- I would always consult my brother a month in advance to hatch up a plan to do something special for our dad! It simply had become just another day, and I found myself ardently avoiding any mention of Father's Day when it arose in conversation. I found it too painful to even think about, so I stuffed it deep into a little corner of my mind.
Nonetheless, this year I have realised that it isn't 'just another day'- it is still Father's Day; a significant day. Although my father may not be here, he is still my dad and he will always remain an important part of my life. I realised that I do have something to celebrate. It is still up to me to do something that brought my dad so much joy. I can acknowledge that it will no longer be the 'ordinary' Father's Day, nevertheless, it is still a special day in which I can celebrate the amazing father I once had- a day to reflect upon his life and all our warm and fond memories. Even though he is no longer alive, I can still keep his memory alive. Just because I lost him, doesn't mean I have to lose all that came with him.
So, if you have lost your dad or your mum, you can still do a little something for them on Father's or Mother's Day. Whether big or small like looking through a few old photographs or cooking their favourite meal, you can still do something special to honour their memory. You can even 'celebrate' it a day later if that is a tradition you used to have. Just because you have lost them doesn't mean that you need to lose everything that you had in life before losing them.