Father’s Day can be painful and difficult for bereaved families. It can bring up powerful feelings and and memories which can be hard to manage when you are surrounded by images of people celebrating with their fathers. Our Grief Support team give their advice to families supporting a bereaved child around this difficult time:
• Speak to your child’s school and find out in advance if they will be taking part in any activities to mark the day. Ask your child’s teacher to speak to your child in advance about any activities planned and give your child the choice to take part or opt out.
• Find ways to remember. If it feels right for your child, they could make or write a Father’s Day card and fill it with their thoughts and memories of their dad. This could then be put in a memory box, by their grave or displayed at home.
• Have a simple act of memorial. This could be lighting a candle, planting bulbs, making a favourite meal, baking a favourite cake, watching a favourite film, or going to a special place.
• Take moments to remember. Your child does not necessarily need to spend a whole remembering their dad. This could be emotionally exhausting and difficult for them. Take small moments throughout the day, this may be easier for your children to manage.
• Be kind to yourself. Do what feels right for you. This may mean a quiet duvet day or a day with friends and family. You will know what feel right for you and your child.
• Consider possible triggers. You could choose to watch streamed TV so you can avoid adverts that may focus on Father’s Day or perhaps consider avoiding shops with Father’s Day displays.
• Seek Support. Father’s Day can be a particularly hard day for bereaved dads too. For support to manage the day if you are a grieving dad then please contact us on our helpline.
Some ways to remember
For anyone struggling to cope this Father’s Day, our helpline is open Monday – Friday, 9.30am – 12.30pm. Call 01342 313895 if you need support or advice. We help children and their families in Surrey, Sussex and Kent through the loss of a loved one. There are also some emergency contacts if you need them, just click right here.