Losing a parent is never easy, no matter your age or stage in life. Over time, grief shows itself in different ways, and often, holidays are a painful reminder of loved ones who have died. There is an emptiness and an absence that is almost indescribable. This is especially true when special days like Father’s Day roll around each year. It’s as if you have to say goodbye all over again.
Here at Cypress Lawn, we like to remind our neighbors in the San Francisco Bay Area that when a father dies, the connection to them lives on in many ways. Their memory can be recalled and honored long after they’re gone. As Father’s Day approaches, we’ve come up with a few meaningful ways to do so:
1. Pass along favorite stories and songs. Many people find it difficult to talk about their father who has died. They fear that recounting memories will worsen the pain. After all, does anyone ever truly get over a terrible loss? But know this: Telling stories, laughing with others who loved your father, and sharing memories can make you feel better. Singing or listening to your dad’s favorite songs can bring a smile to your face. You can maintain a connection in life and in death.
2. Create a family website. A Cypress Lawn family website is a wonderful way to record and share your dad’s personal life story, his family legacy, a generational family tree, portraits, letters, or meaningful video. This has the potential to become so much more than a website; it’s the quilt of your father’s heritage. At Cypress Lawn, we are honored to provide you with your own family website at no additional cost when you choose traditional burial or cremation with us. What a unique opportunity to preserve your dad’s memory, and really your whole family’s story.
3. Gather with family and friends. On a day you may want to stay in your pajamas or simply rest at home alone, remember how much support loved ones can provide. An informal gathering at home, a special get-together at the Cypress Lawn Reception Room, or a walk around our breathtaking grounds and to their final resting place will provide perspective when you need it most.
4. Visit your dad’s grave. Leave flowers, a ribbon, or a letter you wrote to him. Bring a folding chair or blanket and stay awhile. Spend some time talking with him. Let your mind wander. You might be surprised how refreshed you feel when you walk away. Our cemetery map provides directions to his gravesite if you need them.
5. Do your dad’s favorite things. This might mean making his beloved home-cooked meal or heading out to the restaurant he always loved. Did your dad have a place he treasured? Go there and think about what made it special to him. Was he a history buff? Attend a Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation Lecture. If your dad had an activity he enjoyed over the years, try it. You’ll gain a sense of closeness to him.
Wherever you are on your grief journey, know our caring team is there for you. We talk extensively on this blog and our Facebook page about the grieving process, and also offer a Guiding Grief Interactive Support Video and a downloadable Acute Loss Brochure on our website. Today and every day, remember to reach out to us if you need support.