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Father’s Day can be a meaningful holiday, a time in which we celebrate our dads and all they’ve done to nurture and guide us. For some people, however, this holiday can be a painful reminder of loss. If you’ve recently lost your dad, there are some things you can do to embrace this holiday and make your loss a little easier to bear.

  • Remember the happy times. Watch old home movies or look through photos of your dad, reliving happy memories of times together. If you have children, talk to them about their grandfather, telling stories of your family history and helping them to understand the man your father was. Spend time with someone else who loved him, reminiscing about shared experiences. Find something that helps you move through your grief and embrace your fond memories, and you may find that this remembering helps you to heal.
  • Find a way to honor your father. Did your father have a favorite charity or a well-loved hobby? Perhaps you can donate or volunteer in his honor, or participate in an activity he used to love. You might even take a class to learn a hobby he enjoyed, as a way to remember and feel closer to him. Some people find it meaningful to visit their fathers’ graves on Father’s Day, perhaps giving the site some attention.
  • Work through unresolved issues. Not everyone experiences a loving and carefree father-child relationship. If your connection to your father was strained, his death may have left you needing closure. Consider writing a letter, saying all the things you never had the chance to say. What you do with the letter after you’ve written it is entirely up to you. It might be meaningful to tuck it away in a safe place, or you might find comfort in leaving it on the grave site.
  • Look for ways to reach out to others. Sometimes, the best way to work through pain is to reach out to someone else who may be suffering. On Father’s Day, perhaps you can spend time with an older man who doesn’t have a family to honor him. You might also consider lending your support to a young father overwhelmed with his new responsibilities, or a fatherless child who could use some support. Reaching out to members of your community can give you a sense of purpose and connection, and help you work through your own grief.

The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of San Jose is proud to be a part of the Catholic Community in San Jose, California, providing a sacred place where families can remember loved ones in a peaceful and hope-filled setting. If you have questions, we’re happy to answer them. We have three locations: Calvary Catholic Cemetery in San Jose, Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, and St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Milpitas. If you’d like to know more about our properties, or you need to know where to send flowers, you can contact us through our website, or call Calvary at 833-428-0379, Gate of Heaven at 833-304-0763, or St. John the Baptist at 833-428-0379.


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