Remembering Dad

Ahead of Father’s Day this Sunday, we’d like to wish a happy Father’s Day to all Dads around the world, including those we remember. Of course, special days like this aren’t always a time of celebration for those whose Dads have died, and for children and young people this can be especially difficult.

Emma Andrews, one of our Family Support Practitioners who works with children and young people who have faced bereavement, said:

“This can be a very emotional time for families grieving the loss of a father. And for children, in particular, it can feel a very lonely time. But, for many bereaved children, being given the chance to talk about Dad, to make a card for their memory box or take to the grave, can be a comfort. Sharing memories, exploring feelings and spending time with other children who understand can also provide some relief from the pain of grief.”

Some children find it helpful to mark special occasions be creating activities to remember the person who has died. Some of our ideas include:

  • Scatter some forget-me-not seeds in a window box or tub and keep in a special place that reminds you of Dad
  • Cook and share his favourite meal
  • Make a memory box. Aside from photographs, cards and letters, some children like to include items of clothing and other treasured possessions
  • Blow some bubbles and send him your love on the wind
  • Talk about memories and laugh at some of the funny things that Dad loved to do
  • Listen to Dad’s favourite music and sing-a-long – even if it’s totally NOT cool!
  • Ask relatives and friends to share their favourite memories of Dad. Maybe they could write them down a postcard which you could keep in your memory box?
  • Write Dad a letter or poem.

In our Family Support Groups, we encourage children and young people to pick out a button that might remind them of their special person who has died. We find that this is a really excellent icebreaker.

Encouraging children and young people to share special memories is a very important part of our one to one sessions.

At a recent ‘Rainbow Day’ we hosted earlier this month, we asked the children to think about the feelings they have when someone they love has died. They were also urged to think about some of the things that help them. Sharing their experiences helps them feel less alone.

To find out more about our Family Support Service, please call 01434 600 388.