Today marks my 18th Father’s Day without my dad. Every year as this day comes around and it comes wrapped in commercials for Dad’s new grill or new set of tools. I watch as there are many “Donuts with Dad” posts on social media and I start to prep pictures for my standard Happy Fathers Day post to my dad talking about how much I miss him. I will say that for me, this day has become easier over the years, and I think one of the reasons for that is because of the routine that I have in place for this day.
One of the routines that I have in place is sharing the day with someone else who is missing their dad. She and I have spent part of Father’s Day together for about 12 years now. We go to the cemetery together and spend some time doing something fun afterwards. In the past few years, I’ve also been able to celebrate Father’s Day with my husband’s family and celebrate my incredibly helpful and hilarious Father-in-Law. So today, I made sure to keep my routine. My friend and I went to the cemetery together and had our usual adventures. Then, we went to an amazing restaurant for an early dinner with my husband’s family and I called my uncle to wish him a Happy Father’s Day as well. Today, out of my routine, I got to catch up with a college friend who was a helped me lead the peer led grief support group in college, AMF.
Routine and support has helped me make it through days like today. I know the people who will be there to talk to me when days get hard. They don’t have to even be nationally recognized holidays to be considered “bad days”. These days sometimes can come out of no where. Almost 18 full years after my dad’s death, I still have bad days. They’re going to come because grief is messy and unexpected. Today was a good day and I’m thankful to those who were able to help make it so. Tomorrow could be a different, story, but I know who will be able to help me through it. I hope that all of you were able to honor whoever you chose to honor today whether living or not on this Father’s Day weekend.