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“How do I cope with Father’s Day?” It’s an intense topic for many Griefline help-seekers this week. As the calendar creeps closer to the first Sunday in September, fear and dread continue to rise. Not just of the day itself but the days leading up to it.
One way of coping with Father’s Day is by practising Continuing Bonds. An evidence-based approach that invites you to maintain a sense of connection with your lost loved one by developing a new style of relationship with them. So rather than ‘getting over’ your Dad, you can focus on strengthening the bond you will always have with each other.
You can do this in many different ways, depending on what is meaningful for you. We created a ‘Father’s Day Gift List For A Dad That is Gone but not Forgotten’…it’s a selection of gifts that you might have given to your Dad if he were here. It’s poignant to note that you could still buy any one of these gifts in his name – to continue your bond.
Hanky embroidered with his initials
– To mop up the tears I’ll cry on Father’s Day (Have a hanky embroidered with his initials tucked into your pocket. It can bring comfort on a daily basis.)
– To tend to the garden I planted in his honour. (Plant something in memory of him. You’ll need to carve out time to tend to it, which is time to feel close to him. Feel a sense of pride as it blooms.)
Bottle of his favourite wine
– To share with loved ones at his favourite picnic spot (Make a visit to his special place and reminisce over his favourite food or drink. You’ll be immersed in precious memories, sparking moments of joy).
A cast-iron pot
– To replicate his secret goulash recipe to perfection (Recreate his signature meal or some other accomplishment to validate his unique strengths and ensure they are passed on to future generations)
– To express how much I miss him in a letter, and follow it up with a cheeky reply (Write a ‘hello again’ letter to help you stay in contact and communication with your Dad. Writing his reply as you think he would have keeps you in sync with his cherished personality)
– To create a legacy in his name so that he’ll always be remembered (Donate to his charity of choice or start a fundraiser to prevent more losses like your Dad. Creating a legacy in his name can give meaning to his loss).
Over to you Community Members…let us know some of the ways you’ve been able to Continue Bonds either with your Dad or another loved one. 🌸
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