Father’s Day triggers such mixed emotions. I have wonderful memories — my earliest is watching my dad unwrap the paperweight I’d made him in kindergarten, which was followed by years of hardback books, wide ties and grilling aprons.
But Father’s Day forever changed for us six years ago. Just days before the holiday, Dan suddenly passed away and I became a widow and single mom to our seven kids – ranging from preschoolers to teens.
Two days later, on that first painful Father’s Day, my oldest showed me the gift he’d ordered weeks before for his dad – an oiled canvas hat. Size XL. He asked about giving it to an uncle and though we sent it off with a heartfelt note, we knew it would be too big for him. It was yet another snapshot of the now gaping loss.
What do we do with Father’s Day when it hurts? When we’re grieving a dad who’s passed away, or who’s left deep wounds from a divorce or from not being there? Do we just skip the day altogether? Cover our eyes and ears until Father’s Day has passed?