Posts tagged “Holidays & Anniversaries”

Whether it’s your first Christmas without a certain person or your fifth, whether you’ve experienced a significant loss in the past year or are sad to be spending the holidays alone – so many of us struggle at this time of year because our memories turn painful, certain songs or decorations trigger emotional reactions or we’re heartbroken that our relationships are not the way we wish they could be. 
 
Many of us find it difficult to enjoy the holidays. What makes things all the more challenging is that we're expected to be in good spirits all of the time and that we see everyone else enjoying their holidays and thinking we should be able to do the same. 
Grief during the holidays
Today, we would like to remember the Service families and the sacrifices they make. As part of standing with those in Service they inevitably experience feelings of grief, the conflicted feelings caused by the end of, or change, in a familiar pattern of behaviour. 
 
These families endure periods of separation from their loved ones, experience the loss of friends or deaths of service members from their units, and can experience the loss of their loved ones. If there are younger children involved, there can be an added complication of explaining their parent is never coming home. 
Lest we forget
Father’s Day can be a very triggering time for many of us especially if: 
 
your father has died, even if it was a long time ago 
the father of your children has died 
you didn’t get the chance to get to know your father and they were absent from your life 
you’re a father and your child has died 
you’re male and a child you conceived was never born, or was stillborn, or was born but lived for a short time 
you’ve experienced infertility and there’s never been a pregnancy, as we establish relationships to the child we want and have hopes and dreams about 
Father's Day is complicated
As Fathers’ Day approaches, it is quite common practice, especially in early education, to make Fathers’ Day cards and even gifts. Sadly, not all children have a dad around. Their dad may have died, and it could be their first Fathers’ Day without their dad. Their parents may have divorced, and their dad might have moved away and lost touch. They may be in foster care and not have built up enough of a relationship with their foster father to feel comfortable with giving a card. 
Father's Day without a dad
For those who are having a hard time this Father’s Day, just remember: 
 
It’s okay to be sad. 
 
You don’t need to be strong for anyone else. 
 
All feelings are normal. 
 
You don’t need to grieve alone. 
 
You're entitled to feelings of sadness even if your father is still alive or you have children of your own. 
Father's Day for grievers
Whether you always made a big deal of Father’s Day or it barely raised a mention in your household there is no doubt that this year it will feel like it’s everywhere and unrelenting. 
 
Continual reminders of the life you no longer have, rubbing salt into your wounded heart. 
 
Unfortunately, however much you want to put your head under the duvet and not come out until Tuesday you can’t. You have to continue to be both parents to your kids who also are being bombarded with images of kids playing or bonding with their Dad’s. So what can you do to get through this as best you can? 
Widows Guide to Surviving Fathers Day
Age is not a factor here, as in it doesn't matter how old you are. 
 
If your Dad has died Father’s Day sucks. Yes I know that is an American phrase but it’s one that I think says it all really succinctly without swearing. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has died Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Dad whose child has run away or gone missing Father’s Day sucks. 
 
If you are a Mum whose husband has died Father’s Day sucks. 
Father's Day when you're grieving sucks
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
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