Thursday, June 18, 2009

Father's Day is coming... you doin OK?

Hi there,

Just wanted to check in on those of you who might be nervous or sad about Father's Day approaching. I know Mother's Day is a hard one for me, so I wanted to pass along some tips that have helped me over the years:

  1. Have a plan. Lying low may seem "respectful" to the parent you lost (after all, it seems wrong to celebrate), but 24 hours is a long time to be alone. Seeing family, calling a friend, or even just going for a walk can be a lifesaver. It reminds you that life goes on, and that even if today is hard, it will get better.
  2. Wallow a bit. Even if you have a plan, you're bound to have some alone time. During that time, if you feel like crap, don't be afraid to just feel like crap. Watch a sad movie. Listen to depressing music. Get it all out 'til you get the urge to feel happy again... and then allow yourself to move on from the sadness.
  3. Don't be afraid to cry. Sometimes crying on these big holidays feels like your whole self might just collapse. Well, consider me proof that you won't. I've cried on many Mother's Days, and I usually feel a lot better afterwards.
  4. Appreciate the day. In normal everyday life, it's hard to find appropriate times to really experience your grief or miss the person you lost. Whether it's Father's Day, a birthday, or the anniversary of someone's death, those holidays are a special time for you to collect your thoughts and connect with the person you lost.
  5. Talk. Family and friends are eager to listen to you and be there for you today. Take advantage of them and open up. If you're a more private person, you might write down what you're feeling or "talk" to the person you lost. On Mother's Day, I like to "talk" (in my head) to my mom and give her the update on my life.
You might find there's something you have to avoid this holiday, too. It's different for everyone, but for me, it's the greeting card aisle. Seeing all the Mother's Day cards makes me so sad that I can't send one to Sally. I avoid going to CVS for a few weeks!

I hope this helps. And on Sunday, you'll be on my mind.



  1. Thanks for this, Marisa. I'm really dreading Sunday. June is a tough month because it was my dad's birthday on the 3rd and now Father's Day. I hear you about the cards. I did okay picking out two for my father-in-law and Craig's grandfather. But this morning, I just looked at them, signed my name, and left them on the kitchen table. I just can't handle writing them out like I usually do! --Katie