Honoring the Fathers Still with Us, Remembering Those Who Are Gone


A father smiles with his sons, with a caption reading "VITAS honors and celebrates great dads, Happy Father's Day!"

Father’s Day offers an opportunity to celebrate the dads and fatherly figures in our lives, but for those missing their dads, the day may evoke conflicting emotions.

It’s normal and healthy for survivors to feel bittersweet about special days such as anniversaries, holidays and birthdays. Ultimately, there’s no single “right way” to honor the memories of the deceased.

If you’re looking for ways to find joy and meaning in Father’s Day after the death of your dad, VITAS offers a few suggestions:

  • Ask yourself: What do you hope to experience or express? What memories mean the most to you? Would you rather celebrate privately or with others?
  • Consider the gestures that would mean the most to your father. You might invite family and friends to enjoy your dad’s favorite meals, plant his favorite flowers in your garden or donate in his honor to his favorite charity or former place of worship.
  • Let yourself feel whatever emotions arise. Don’t invalidate or overanalyze your feelings, and remember: Quiet reflection can be just as meaningful as a planned memorial.

More Support: Coping With Loss on Father's Day

However you decide to celebrate Father’s Day, we hope you find joy in dad’s company or peace in his memory. VITAS thanks all fathers for everything they do.

Find VITAS groups, classes and events near you.


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