“To help grieving children, make it okay for them to talk about their dad.” Create a safe space where there can be sharing of memories, stories, laughter, and tender moments in times spent with their father. To learn more about showing your love for a friend who is grieving on Father’s Day, read the Option B article found here.
In the same way, Father’s Day can be a difficult day to navigate for parents who are grieving the loss of their child, whether at an early age or as an adult. “When someone loses a child, their world changes forever. Father’s Day is just one of many days that make that loss feel even more profound.”
Try to meet your friend where they are in their grief and loss and be a listening companion in your time together. Remember to speak the child’s name in your conversations. Kara’s grief-support expert Shelly Gillan says that “it reminds them that their child is still loved and missed by many. A parent’s worst fear is that their child will be forgotten.” To learn more about ways to help support parents who are grieving on Father’s Day, read the rest of this Option B article found here.
Like Mother’s Day in May, Father’s Day can evoke complex and challenging emotions for many people. It doesn’t necessarily get easier to experience these holidays year to year, but it is helpful to remember to thoughtfully reach out to your friends and family members for whom these days present complicated feelings and more suffering than celebration.
We recall with comfort the words of Henri Nouwen, internationally renowned author and theologian: “The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”