A Letter to My Friends Who Miss Their Dad This Father’s Day

Dear friend,

You know if this letter is addressed to you. You know because Father’s Day brings a certain sadness for you while it brings celebration for others. Maybe you lost your dad like I did. Maybe you’ve never met your dad. Maybe you have a bad relationship with your dad. Honestly, it seems that good dads are hard to come by. I’m truly happy for my friends who have wonderful relationships with their fathers, but there are some of us who spend Father’s Day missing our own dads for one reason or another.

If that’s you, I’m with you. I lost my dad 2 days before Father’s Day in 2014. I actually spent Father’s Day at the funeral home making arrangements. Every Father’s Day since has been a few days after the anniversary of his death. Honestly, I feel thankful for that now, because it not only lumps two tough days into one time frame, but it also gives me the chance to actively reflect on my dad’s life.

Oh, but I know how you feel. You’ll avoid social media when Sunday comes around. As happy as you are for your friends celebrating their dads, it still hurts. You wish you were celebrating, too. Maybe you feel guilty for being sad, because there are so many dads out there to celebrate. I have felt all of those things.

I have also felt that nothing anyone says will help. My hope is that reading this will make you feel less alone. It’s easy to believe you’re the only person feeling these things, but you’re not. That’s what I want you to know above all else. You are not alone.

While so many people experience grief, I don’t think anyone experiences it the same. What helps me may not help you. Just in case, though, I want to share a few ways that I deal with my own grief.

  1. Just feel it. Allow yourself to be sad.
  2. Be alone if you need to, but don’t spend the whole day alone. Ask a friend, your spouse, or a family member to spend some time with you. Be sure to tell them if you want to just watch a movie and be quiet or if you want to talk about it. They want to be there for you.
  3. Write down special memories you have with your dad. Look at pictures. This may bring more sadness, which is still okay. I think reflecting on memories is so important.
  4. Spend time with Jesus. God is our ultimate Father, and He wants to heal our hearts. He wants to speak tenderly to us and remind us how loved we are as His daughters. Allow yourself to be loved by Him.
  5. Treat yourself. However you like to treat yourself, do it. You have been through a lot and deserve it.
  6. As cheesy as it sounds, remember how many ways God has blessed you. I often remind myself of the sweet family and friends that I still have in my life, and it heals the hurt a little.

Friend, you are loved. Even when you feel different or lonely, you are loved. Father’s Day doesn’t feel the same for you as it does for most people, but you are immensely loved by your Good Father. Sometimes that feels like enough and other times it just doesn’t, but I promise that in reality it is enough. God’s love for you would be enough even if you had nothing. Let yourself believe that.

Sara Clarke

If this resonates with you and you are struggling this Father’s Day, please reach out to me. I would love to talk!

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