Father’s Day isn’t something I’ve given much thought to for many years – my Dad always forgot about it, he really didn’t see the point so quite often we didn’t bother. Somehow this year it’s different, so I’ve been pondering why. 
Timing is all – we’ve just had our first wedding anniversary – marking an event that Dad wasn’t around for because he sadly passed away quite some years ago which meant that he wasn’t there to give me away. In the run up to the wedding I’d noticed that I was thinking about Dad a lot and it took me a while to work out why I was suddenly missing him so much more than I had been. Then I realised. This was my first wedding without Dad there to give me away. 
Father’s Day

Why today? 

Further proof (if any more were needed) that the idea of “getting through the first year of bereavement is the worst as you have all the firsts to cope with” isn’t helpful. The truth is there are a lot of firsts in year one, but there are still plenty of them in year two and onwards. 20 years on I was facing one I’d never have thought of! 
So that explains missing him at my wedding, but what about today? 
Inevitably the anniversary prompted fond memories of our wedding, where my younger brother did an admirable job in the giving away/father of the bride speech slot. My brother is a talented speaker and his speech was one of the highlights of the whole event. The thought that Dad would have been so proud of us both was primarily what crossed my mind at the time. 
Tragically my late husband’s Dad also died young, he’s been gone many years too. So it’s been quite some years since Father’s day has even crossed my radar but here I am 1 year in, married to a Dad, who has a living Dad – suddenly, like love, Dad’s are all around. 
A lot of this must have been buzzing around in my subconscious mind because when the awful news broke about the murder of MP Jo Cox, some of my first thoughts leapt ahead to Sunday (today) for her devastated family left reeling in the face of massive media intrusion, the public grief of her friends and colleagues and memorials on a day that should have been all about family stuff. 
Even as a widow I can’t begin to imagine the pain her husband is in, and will experience in dark days ahead. 
At Grief Recovery one way we define grief is “reaching out for someone who has always been there only to find when we need them one more time they are no longer there.” Sadly there will also be many today reflecting that their grief is “reaching out for someone who was never there only to find when we need them one more time they are still not there.” Not all Dads are present, and not all Dads who are present are good parents.  
So today in summary, I’m extremely thankful that I had a kind, loving Dad for as long as I did. I miss you Dad, no matter how old I get I’m still your little girl. 
Now may be a good time to order a copy of The Grief Recovery Handbook and start learning the steps for recovering from grief on your own. You can order a paperback here or order an audio version in our online shop
About the Author 
Carole Henderson
Carole Henderson is Managing Director and Senior Trainer at Grief Recovery Europe and was the first-ever Grief Recovery trainer in the UK. Since 2010 she has trained hundreds of Specialists from over 30 different countries to help others move beyond loss. She has been featured in The Guardian, the Times Educational Supplement (TES), Jeremy Vine, The Sun and numerous other publications.  
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