It is okay as a widow to feel overwhelmed by emotions on Father's Day
Father's Day, traditionally a time to show appreciation for the fathers in our lives, can be a day of mixed emotions for widowed mums. While it may remind you of the profound loss you have experienced, it can also be an opportunity to celebrate your own father, as well as the unique role you play as both mother and father, and support your children with their feelings, too.
Father's Day as a Widowed Mum
When mourning the absence of a loved one, many people can feel overwhelmed by emotions on Father's Day. In this article we talk about some things you can do to bring meaning, healing and celebration to Father's Day as a widowed mum.
Acknowledge the Emotions
Start by acknowledging and accepting your range of emotions, recognising that it's natural to experience sadness, grief, or longing. Allow yourself to process these emotions, seeking support from loved ones or professional grief specialists, if needed. Remember that it's okay to feel the absence of a partner, but it doesn't diminish the love and dedication you have as a parent.
Reflect on Shared Memories
Father's Day can serve as a poignant moment to reflect on the memories and moments shared with your partner. Take time to reminisce about the positive experiences your children had with their father. Encourage your children to share stories, look at old photographs, or create special crafts that honour their dad's memory. By keeping their father's spirit alive, you can help your children maintain a connection with their late parent.
As a widowed mum, you are shouldering the responsibilities of both parents due to something you had no choice over. Father's Day can be an opportunity to recognise and celebrate your own efforts and sacrifices. Take pride in the love and care you provide for your children every day. Allow yourself to embrace the dual roles you fulfil, acknowledging the profound impact you have on your children's lives.
Seek Support from Your Community
On Father's Day, it can be helpful to reach out to your support network, including family, friends, and other widowed parents who understand your journey. Surround yourself with individuals who can offer comfort and encouragement. Engage in activities that bring you joy and provide an opportunity for connection. Consider participating in support groups or online communities where you can share experiences and find solace in knowing you are not alone.
Create New Traditions
This might be a time to consider embracing the opportunity to create new traditions. Involve your children in brainstorming ideas for unique Father's Day activities that celebrate their father's memory and honour your role as a mother. It could be a picnic in a meaningful location, writing heartfelt letters or poems together, or engaging in activities that their father enjoyed. By incorporating your children's input, you can make the day meaningful and inclusive for everyone.
Ultimately, it is a day to reflect on the love and devotion you pour into your children's lives, highlighting the incredible bonds they share. It's normal to experience a rollercoaster of emotions, but ultimately it is important to embrace this day as an opportunity to keep your partner's memory alive and honour all the positive things you bring to your family.
Remember, it is okay not to be strong or independent and to seek support to process what can be complex emotions around your grief. Talking to a grief specialist is a good way to start finding the right support for you. They will be able to listen to your story and help you explore ways to cope.