As Father’s Day approaches, we find ourselves reflecting on the significance of this day and the emotions it might stir within us. For those who have the their Father with them, it might, but not always, be a joyous occasion filled with celebration, laughter, and moments with their Fathers. For others, it can be a constant and painful reminder of the void left by the death of their Dad. Whilst many may therefore, in a state of self-preservation, choose to ‘Opt-Out’ when faced with the variety of options laid out by social media, email marketing and more, I encourage you to “Opt In” this Father’s Day, and consciously choose to continue the bonds of the relationship you knew.
Grief affects us all uniquely. The death of a father or a father figure, may leave an indelible mark on our lives, which permeates into everything we do, and how we grow up. But alongside the grief, there is the opportunity for hope and healing. One key factor related to positive grief is the power of remembrance. “Opting in” means actively engaging with the emotions and memories associated with our Fathers, regardless of whether they are physically with us, and in doing so, continuing those special bonds that bind us beyond life.
At Grief Encounter, we encourage the act of memory making and remembrance at every stage of the grief journey. Sharing stories and memories about the people in our lives, whether that’s through talking, singing, writing or online, keeps their memories at the forefront of our minds. We allow their legacy to live on through our words, and we honour the impact they had on shaping who we are today.
“Opting In” also means acknowledging the emotions that sit alongside grief and giving ourselves permission to feel. Grief can be overwhelming, especially on widely celebrated and talked about occasions like Father’s Day, so it’s essential to create a safe space where we can express our feelings, whether it’s through talking to a trusted adult, or seeking support from professionals. By acknowledging and validating those emotions, we take an active step towards hope and healing.
Additionally, “Opting In” involves communicating with others who may be experiencing similar grief. Connecting with individuals who understand the feeling of a parental bereavement can provide immense comfort and support. At Grief Encounter, community is so important to us, and connecting those who have experienced similar grief situations is at the heart of what we do.
This Father’s Day, opt in, with me, to remember our relationships, and the profound impact our Fathers, or Father figures, had on us, because memories matter.
To learn more about the support Grief Encounter offers, please visit www.griefencounter.org.uk or call us on 0808 802 0111.