For those of us who have lost a parent, these days renew our pain of loss as well as bring a time of honoring and remembrance. Whether our father died a few weeks ago or years ago, these holidays bring a flood of memories and a mixture of sadness and joy and the question of how to honor our deceased Dad. In recognition of the upcoming Father’s Day holiday, we brainstormed a few ideas to help you honor your father’s memory.

-Celebrate your father’s life by continuing a favorite tradition, such as firing up the grill and cooking burgers, hot dogs, steaks or chicken to share with family and friends (or make a reservation at one of his favorite restaurants!).

-Plant a tree in his memory in your yard.

-Write a letter or card to your father. Tell him how much you love him, how much you care. Tell him how you feel. Tell him how you are remembering and celebrating his life. Tell him about the gifts he brought into your life and how you have changed and grown or share something you wish you had said to him but never did.

-Create a memory book with pictures of your father and you using an online service such as Shutterfly.

-Share stories of your father with family and friends. Listen to the stories they tell. Write them down in a special journal.

-Make a donation of money or your time in your father’s memory to a local charity (a homeless shelter? Circle of Life? Habitat for Humanity?).

-Attend a favorite activity of your father’s – go fishing? Attend a baseball game? Putt-putt golf?

-Develop an online memorial to your father where friends and family can post and share their feelings and feel connected to each other through those heartfelt sharings.

-Allow tears of sadness to come. It is natural to miss our fathers and to feel sorrow on these special occasion days. Tears help to move the energy of grief through us.

-Seek local support. Circle of Life offers different support groups throughout the year, free of charge. For information about these groups, visit our Bereavement page or call 479-750-6632.