It's always difficult losing a parent and while Mother's Day is normally the day most choose to honor a parent on, losing a father is just as emotional, difficult and tragic. Remembering fathers, grandfathers and father-figures can be more challenging since flowers are not always appropriate as memorial items. But with a little thought and creativity, there are ways to honor dad's legacy in personal and inventive ways.
Too many fathers and grandfathers are taken due to illnesses like cancer and diabetes. Consider joining a fun run to help support research for the cause or donating in your father or grandfather's name in their honor. Donations, fun runs and supporting causes are all good ways to honor dad and also get other members of the family or community involved to help others in a similar position.
Flowers are a memorialization mainstay but they don't always feel appropriate for remembering dads. Flags, wind chimes, banners and other small memorial totems are a fantastic and at times more appropriate way to honor dad's legacy. And using small flags are additionally fantastic ways to honor our fathers and grandfathers that also served our nation in the armed forces.
If your father or grandfather had a particular hobby like fishing or motorcycle riding, consider going on a trip with your family in their honor. Creating new memories and maintaining the traditions and hobbies your father or grandfather loved can be a more healthy way to move through the grief of losing a parent.
Losing a father can create an irreplaceable loss in a person. If you have the time or resources, consider volunteering your time to an organization that helps mentor your community's youths. Reaching out and volunteering can help ease some of the pain that comes with losing a parent while also helping someone else who could really use the support of a father-figure to help teach some of the vital things that only a father or grandfather can teach.
This Father's Day, let honoring your father's legacy become part of a new tradition. Honoring dad is a healthy and natural way of moving through grief and can help strengthen you, your family and those around you. From our family to yours, we'd like to wish all the fathers, grandfathers, father-figures and future dads a very Happy Father's Day.