In the United States, the third Sunday in June has been set apart to honor fathers for many decades. It’s usually a day where we give our dads presents, heartfelt notes, and share a meal. While it’s meant to be a celebratory day for the man we call Dad, Father’s Day is tough for so many people.
I was 19 years old when my dad passed away. Just four months after his death, that Sunday in June arrived. I remember feeling so lost and alone because I didn’t have a father to celebrate. I didn’t have someone to give a gift to, get a card for, or take out to dinner.
Maybe you’re like me, and you have a hard time remembering your dad. I get it. I’ve spent more of my life without him than I did with him. If that’s the case for you, here are some ideas to help you navigate this day.
Here are three ways to find some hope if Father’s Day is tough for you.
1. Don’t forget to remember. One of the most healing and helpful things we can do is remember the good times. Tell stories about the things your father did or said that made you laugh or touched your heart. I know some of you may struggle to find good or happy memories because life with your earthly father was chaotic at best. If so, ask God to reveal a fond memory of your dad for you.
2. Grieve well. I’m sure you read that and immediately cast that idea aside. I don’t mean live in a place where you’re hurting and miserable all the time. I simply mean to continue processing your grief. We must grieve well to heal well. There’s a great YouVersion Bible Plan called Grieving With Hope that will give you some good tips on how to make sure you’re grieving well.
3. Get to know your Heavenly Father. When you lose your father at a young age like I did, you’ll feel the void quickly. There were things I still needed to ask my dad and areas I still needed his help in—but he wasn’t there. I began to lean into God and truly seek His guidance and leadership in my life. When I leaned on God and allowed Him to lead me, He went from being my God to being my Heavenly Father.
Perhaps this is the first Father’s Day without your dad. It’s also possible you’ve watched someone close to you experience losing their dad recently. So, when Father’s Day is tough, know that God sees you. He understands the pain you feel and wants you to lean on Him more than you lean on anyone else. He is your Heavenly Father, and He wants to love you—His child.