Losing a parent is never easy and losing a father can be especially painful for those who have not gotten to experience a great deal of time with their dads. In honor of Father’s Day, here are a few tips to help support those who have lost their fathers too soon.
A father’s role is to teach invaluable lessons to both sons and daughters but more importantly, a father’s role in their family’s life is to provide strength. Regardless of who you are or how much you may be able to contribute, the finest and more appreciated contribution to a young person who recently lost their father is time and understanding. Losing your father during your youth can be emotionally very confusing and difficult to deal with and just having someone there to listen can be an immense comfort during a trying time. Offering your time can be a welcomed and appreciated way to help a young person cope with the loss of their father. Volunteer to be a chaperone to a father-daughter dance, offer to help teach a woodworking or shop class, consider assisting a neighbor with some of the tasks that would typically be done by the man of the house like mowing the lawn or helping with basic auto repairs.
Losing a parent can be a very difficult and lonely feeling, by simply being there and listening can be immensely helpful to a young person as they move through grief. Know that grief in children and teens can look very different than it does in adults and often times acting out, anger, or even with disassociation and apathy. But being consistent, present and open are all wonderful ways to support a young person as they go through the pain of losing one of the most important parts of their life: their dad.
Happy Father’s Day from our family to yours.