June 15, 2022
I know, I know, my friend. This absolutely sucks!
Yet what choice do you have as a grieving heart?
Option 1 is to insert yourself in bubble wrap to insulate yourself from being inundated with Father’s Day ads and festivities. (Hello, fantasy land!) Option 2 is to acknowledge the reality of the day and take steps to prepare yourself in advance, as much as you possibly can.
Since my dad died in March 2020, I’ve felt tempted to hide from all of the Father’s Day activity. Nevertheless, it’s virtually impossible to do so. With the click of an icon on a cell phone, we’re flooded with commercials, gift ideas, and sentimental items focused on fathers. And aside from my experiencing father loss, deep down, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Fathers deserve to be celebrated for not only what they represent, but more importantly, for who they are.
My dad, Darnell Lars Harris, embodied adventure and togetherness. I can easily recall the hundreds of times he invited family around the country to gather for a cruise or simply enjoy time together in his party hot tub.
This year, my third Father’s Day without him, I’m determined to pursue both on his special day.
However, I’ve realized the importance of preparing my heart in advance. With a few days remaining, I wanted to share that Father’s Day may bring up or heighten emotions associated with father loss. First, know this is 100% normal. Preparing for the upcoming holiday can awaken an array of intense feelings, no matter how long you’ve experienced life without your father (or the relationship you had with him). Second, know you’re not alone. While exact numbers are unclear, the rates of father loss increased throughout the past two years as a result of COVID-19. Finally, planning can prove valuable. It may be helpful for you to think ahead to Father’s Day and plan for ways that may bring you comfort and support.
Remember, however, just how much agency you have to care for yourself, ask for help, and lean into your experience. From one grieving heart to another, you’re far more capable than you may believe.
Feel free to share your thoughts below.
Learn more about managing your lifestyle, love, leadership, and loyalties to God, self, and others by clicking here: https://mekelharrisphd.com/.