To the mom missing her dad on Father's Day
Written by: Amanda Simkin
Photo: The author, second from left, with her dad, second from right, and family
I don’t mean to brag, but my husband is a really amazing dad. Ever since my boys were born, he was hands on and involved in every aspect of their lives, from changing poopy diapers to waking up with them in the middle of the night…even happily going into super-cold pools with them during swim lessons so I could stay warm and dry on the sidelines.
And when Father’s Day rolls around, I always want to shower him with love, praise and appreciation, but it is so incredibly difficult. Why? Because I don’t have a dad anymore, and sometimes missing him becomes so overwhelming that I really struggle with doing anything to celebrate Father’s Day. And I know I’m not alone.
I lost my beloved dad to colon cancer almost six years ago (this Father’s Day weekend will mark the anniversary of his death, which feels like a combination of a kick in the teeth and the stomach all at once). And the more I meet new moms while at my kids’ schools or at the park, I keep realizing that I am not alone in missing a parent…too many fathers have passed away to count (and I find that it has been so incredibly lopsided with feisty men avoiding the doctor, unfortunately).
So I wanted to write a letter to all of you moms who are struggling with missing your dad this Father’s Day while trying to figure out a way to celebrate your husband or partner for being the amazing dad that he is.
Communicate with your family, especially your husband or partner, about how you are feeling about Father’s Day. My husband knows that Father’s Day is especially rough for me since it marks the anniversary of when he passed away, so we don’t do a lot of specific Father’s Day activities on the day and instead fill our June and July with tons of fun summer activities that my husband especially enjoys.
You can always celebrate your dad, even if he isn’t with you on Father’s Day. My dad died a year before my oldest son was born. And even though I am so incredibly sad that they never got to meet, I am really lucky because my son is the spitting image (tantrums and all) of his Grandpa Tim. So whenever I am feeling a little blue, we take out photo albums and compare pictures of Grandpa and grandson and tell stories. It is the perfect medicine for my aching heart. And we always eat a sundae at one of Grandpa Tim’s favorite ice cream shops, a family Father’s Day tradition.
Father’s Day will never be the same after you lose your dad. Ever. But here’s the thing…once your husband or partner becomes a dad, it gets a little better. Because you now have a dad to honor and celebrate. I’m not saying that the day will be all butterflies and rainbows, but it will be better.
Happy Father’s Day to all the amazing dads in your life, past and present!