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Father's Day

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I told myself I would be okay for Father's Day. I made a list, long before, of special things to do.

But now it's 20 minutes into Father's Day, and I've been lying in bed soaking my poor teddy bear, and I have a stomach ache. :unsure:

I am fortunate in that I have a father figure, my stepdad, who is an awesome guy. But, I don't want any father. I want my father. I miss him so much! It's just no fair that other people get to call up their fathers and wish them happy father's day. I can't call my dad, even though I can just imagine how our conversation would go.

I just feel sad, right now. I wonder how this could have happened, and how it is that I'm 7 months into grief. My world has been turned upside down, and even though I've grasped things I enjoy doing again, and really found out who my friends are, it still doesn't feel the same. It still feels really wretched, sometimes.

I just want to hear my dad's laugh again. I want to be on a beautiful nature hike, and see him clomping ahead of me with his blue sweater and his ratty tote bag. I want to see him sitting at the driver's seat, scribbling in his notebook and shoving the crummy old Geo from one drive to another to make it groan up the next hill.

Really youth has nothing to do with grief; everyone gets sad no matter when they lose their parents. But I must say, it is so strange to be hearing my mother explaining that some of the chocolates she got are to send to her dad. I mean, how can my mother still have her father and I don't have mine? It's so strange.

Hopefully, I can do some of the things on my list tomorrow (actually, today) to feel better. I want to get a bouquet of wildflowers and put them in a vase by my dad's picture, and I was thinking it would be fun to make his salad, the personal salad he taught me to make that he would eat for lunch every day. It would be awfully brave of me if I could manage a hike without him...for him, on Father's Day, to meditate on him. Maybe I can.

Please tell me your experiences and feelings on Father's Day. Any tips?

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oh Chai

Your Dad sounds like such a wonderful person (I have just read your beautiful description of him on your profile). No wonder you are missing him so so badly.

I know youth has nothing to do with it ... however I do feel robbed because I lost my Cliff at the age of 52, and you will harbour the same thought about your Dad, I am sure.

You are such a gifted writer Chai, and I believe that it is because of the empathy and everything else that you have clearly inherited from your Dad. If you are not strong enough today to take a hike perhaps you could write a poem or a story about him. Or make a collage with photos of you on hikes together, or simply views that you saw together? If you do make the hike, then I think you are immensely brave and I have NO DOUBT at all that he will be walking with you. Just because you can't see him anymore doesn't mean he is not here. Just because he has left doesn't mean that the love has gone too. You have learned the lessons that he taught you. That is your true legacy from your Dad. Carry him in your heart, continue to talk to him. I do to Cliff and it may be a happy coincidence, but I swear that I make better decisions because of it.

I can tell you that around two to three years after I lost my Daddy I started to laugh about him again and could listen to his music again. And today? There are times when I really wish I could talk to him again, to visit my parents at home. But they are infrequent, and perhaps this is because the loss of Cliff has overshadowed all my previous losses in life. I think that I also have the comfort of knowing that my Mom and Dad are together so they are happy and safe. Something I say to myself is this: I would rather have had the parents that I had and lost them, rather than never had them at all. Now it is easier for me to say that because I have had a long time ... whereas you are still raw from your loss.

Recently, it has dawned on me Chai, that I was priveleged to have had the parents and the husband that I had. The three of them gave me the most wonderful gift. A strong foundation. Many people do not have that luxury and I try to remember that, but it is hard. It sure sounds like your Dad gave you the same gift. He continues to live on in you and in your heart. Hold onto that.

I know that you are making your Dad proud of you. He loves you still. You will miss him but I promise you it will get better.

I am pasting below some words that a very old friend of mine sent to me when I lost Cliff (she is talking about losing her little boy) and I hold onto these words like a security blanket. I really hope that they may give you a little comfort today:

“I didn’t know I could feel such levels of emotion, that my heart was that big, that devastation could be so expansive and complete … over time, that huge vast bottomless hole just fills up with love and then the feeling is almost sublime … but it takes a good long while and oceans of tears to get to that point.”

I am thinking of you today and hope that you got some sleep.


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I just copied and pasted this poem here because I think it is pertinent to you (and others who may read this post) today. I think it is an adaptation of a Jewish poem called "We will remember them". I don't know who wrote it but it IS beautiful. And I took the liberty of changing a word in the final line, because it was one of the words that you do not like. I thought you and your Dad would like this poem because of the references to nature xxxx

I remember him

In the rising of the sun and its going down, I remember him

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, I remember him

In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, I remember him

In the warmth of the sun and the peace of the summer, I remember him

In the rustling of the beauty of autumn, I remember him

In the beginning of the year and when it ends, I remember him

When I am weary and in need of strength, I remember him

When I am lost and sick at heart, I remember him

When I have joys and yearn to share, I remember him

So long as I live, he shall live,

For he is now a part of me, As I remember him

Because he has been here, I will be different than I would have been

I will have to become his legacy

He travels with me into tomorrow

He may have left, but love never ends

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My dear Boo (and Chai) ~ This is, indeed, one of the most beautiful prayers, and how fitting to include it here, on this special day for remembering our departed fathers. I first read this prayer in the book, A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies by Anne McCracken and Mary Semel. They write:

This prayer, or some variation of it, is said on Yom Kippur, when Jews take special time to remember the dead:

It is hard to sing of oneness when our world is not complete, when those who once brought wholeness to our life have gone, and naught but memory can fill the emptiness their passing leaves behind. But memory can tell us only what we were, in company with those we loved; it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become. Yet no one is really alone; those who live no more echo still within our thoughts and words, and what they did is part of what we have become. We do best homage to our dead when we live our lives more fully, even in the shadow of our loss. — Jewish Prayer for High Holydays, in A Broken Heart Still Beats: After Your Child Dies

In the rising of the sun and in its going down,

We remember them;

In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter,

We remember them;

In the opening of the buds and in the warmth of summer,

We remember them;

In the rustling of leaves and the beauty of autumn,

We remember them;

In the beginning of the year and when it ends,

We remember them;

When we are weary and in need of strength,

We remember them;

When we are lost and sick of heart,

We remember them;

When we have joys we yearn to share,

We remember them;

So long as we live, they too shall live,

For they are now a part of us, as

We remember them.

— From Gates of Prayer, Reform Judaism Prayer Book

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Marty, thanks for including the original prayer. I think it is THE most beautiful prayer I have ever heard/read.

It's strange how different poems and songs take on a different meaning after you lose someone.

I'd copied that poem into my blog because it really spoke to me, but then I realized today that it was also so appropriate for our members thinking about their Dads today.

Chai - please come back and let us know how your day went later.


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Dear Chai

I think you are coping really well with Father's Day, to be honest. Yes, cook the favourite dish, yes, if you can manage it, do the hike just as he showed you how to do. Be his eyes and enjoy the walk. Doesnt have to be straight away. You can start planning for it today, same thing.


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Chai, I have been thinking about you and was also feeling the dread of Father's day (for you). Mother's day was difficult for me. I hope you did some of the special things that you mentioned. It sounds like you had a great dad that you can be proud of. Try hard to keep those happy memories in your thoughts. It seems that you have a great many. Take care! I'm keeping you in my thoughts!


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Dear all,

thank you so much for your wonderful hearts feeling with me and reaching out to me. It really means a lot and is a big help.

Father's Day was okay for me. I think it could have been worse. Dear em, I am sorry you had such a tough one. :( My thoughts are with you. :wub:

I got really sick in the morning on Father's Day, and almost felt like I was going to throw up. The morning was worst - dizziness, nausea, almost felt like fainting at one point. But then it left, and I was just haunted by a tummy ache all day. This made my day sadder, really, because I wasn't able to do all the things I'd wanted to do for Father's Day. No hike.

But, even though I had low hopes of finding any wildflowers in our tiny town, I spotted a patch of daisies in a dirt field by someone's house. So I got out and picked some. :D and put them in a vase by my dad's picture. It looks beautiful! He would looove it.

I also wrote my dad another letter. It didn't feel as satisfying as my first letter to him, but it was something.

The loveliness of the poems, prayers, comics and well-wishes that you all gave me...thank you, thank you. I wish that all people would have such a beautiful and thoughtful mourning period (and prayer) as the Jewish do. It is very appropriate and considerate for those grieving, and very respectful to those who are gone. I like how much Nature is in that poem.

Boo, dear Boo, what you said about carrying my dad in my heart and all that...((((HUGS)))). :wub:

Part of me, at the same time as I was thinking about how to honor my father on THE Father's Day, I was also thinking...why have one special day? Why not do a bunch of special things for my father every day? Pick flowers for him and put them in a vase as a regular practice? Write letters whenever I feel like it?

I think, I'll start doing all sorts of things for him (and eventually hikes), to feel like I am keeping the connection going, and to keep him in my heart. So that I can look at his picture and think of the last letter I wrote him, or a sweet memory, instead of thinking, "Now all I have is a picture of him..."

Thank you all for your replies. :) (and um, feel free to reply more, er...yes).

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Dear Chai

you sound a little better today and I was relieved to read your post.

My personal experience so far is that grieving is a very physical thing too ... and perhaps that's why you felt so ill on Sunday.

I loved what you said about honouring your Dad whenever and all the time, rather than getting fixated on one day. Actually it made me smile because it reminded me that Cliff refused to buy me flowers on Valentines, because they always inflate the prices ... opting rather to buy me them out of the blue when he felt like it. He didn't want to be dictated to about when to treat someone or how, by Hallmark and other card companies!!

Always remember Chai, that every time you appreciate a sunset, a butterfly or some wildflowers, you are honouring your Dad. Every time you show the immense empathy that you have (especially at such a young age) you are honouring your Dad and passing his legacy to you, onto others. That's pretty amazing. His love, values and lessons have been "copied and pasted" directly into you. And that proves what a wonderful Dad he was and continues to be to you. Live each day to make him proud of you. I try to do this, but it is hard and you have to be gentle to yourself.

A question I asked myself recently was, "What do I have to live for?" Today I realized that I have to live for him.

And daisies are wonderful flowers - their simplicity makes them all the more beautiful, doesn't it?


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Chai - I think Boo said it beautifully. I think honoring our loved ones can be a day in, day out process. My dad is gone 12 years, my mom 8, and my husband almost one year. I feel all of them inside of me. All the things my parents taught me are here. Everything my husband and I shared is also here, in my heart. Over the months I've taken their strength, the best of who they were, and tried to incorporate that in my life now. When I go to the beach, and watch the waves, and the pelicans, I can see it through my eyes, and Joe's as well. When you take a hike, and can appreciate the beauty of nature, you're doing it for yourself, and for your father. The way I see it, you've been honoring your dad every time you post here. Your open heart and willingness to share your personal experiences show a core of strength, and quest for understanding, that's unusual for most people, not to mention one of your age. Hugs, Marsha

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