Friday, June 15, 2012

Fatherless Father's Day #5

I've been thinking about my Father's Day blog for a while, but haven't written it because I've been waiting to feel worse.

I know that sounds really strange, but I try to be as honest as I possibly can be with this blog.  I share, the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the ugly.  And so, as Fatherless Father's Day #5 looms before me this year, I've been wondering which I would be sharing.

And as it turns's the good.

This is probably more shocking to me than anyone else, especially because I was an inconsolable mess last year the days leading up to Father's Day.  I cried constantly and literally made myself so physically sick with grief that I couldn't even bring the kids up to the mountains to visit him (our yearly tradition) and we had to go the following week.

What a difference a year makes.

If you had told me last year how I would be feeling this year...I wouldn't have believed you.  Never would I have thought that such an enormous transformation could have happened.  But it did.  And here I am, writing to you from the other side of what must have been a transition that I didn't even know I was going through.  Yes, the idea of Father's Day still makes me sad.  But it isn't the tidal wave it was last year, knocking me off my feet and dragging me out into the abyss.  It's more of a gentle wave that I can dip my feet in, maybe even swim in a little, but still see the shore.

I feel pretty good.  The kids and I are going to visit his grave a day early so that we can have Father's Day free to spend with my dad.  I'm looking at this trip to the mountains for what it has become - a family tradition and an excuse to spend the day together free from other distractions - and not for what it will never be again.  And all I can say is that, after 5 years of fatherless Father's Days, I think what I'm experiencing is acceptance.

And relief that it has come at last.

I don't know why it's happened this year.  I don't know if it has to do with just the passage of time or the fact that I have over-thought my grief so much that the table finally turned so that this year, I can look at it in more of a detached way.  It could have to do with the fact that, with each passing day, I'm more and more excited about what may be on the horizon.  Or it could just be that I'm completely delusional and that next year will be just as hard as last year.

Who knows?  Maybe the difference is that this year, I'm smart enough not to question it too much and just take it for what it is, a welcome reprieve.

As you all know, I never write this blog as a blueprint and what I think you should follow.  There are some people out there who never had a problem with Father's Day and some who will grieve that day every year for the rest of their lives. And that's okay.  I know enough at this point to acknowledge the fact that I may feel good today and then later this year, some day that's never bothered me before will sneak up on me.

But today...I feel good.


Widow Chick (aka, Catherine Tidd) is the owner of and the author of the upcoming memoir Confessions of a Mediocre Widow (Jan. 2014).  She is also a writer for The Denver Post's Mile High Mamas and a contributor to several books on grief and renewal.


  1. This is my first fatherless Father's Day. I wish there was a handbook on what to do on this day but since there isn't one, I will have to take it as it comes. Right now, I only want to focus on the 2 fathers that are still in my life - mine & his father. Tomorrow may be different. Thank you for your words of wisdom. I hope you know how your words inspire others (even when we don't comment! LOL!)

  2. Kirsten,

    I'm sorry for my delayed reply and I hope that you got through Father's Day okay. That has become one of my hardest milestones and something that you just can't explain to other people unless they've been through it.

    I try and do the same thing: Focus on my dad and my brother-in-law and just think of it as a family day. But it's a punch in the gut for me for SURE.

    Thinking of you and thanks for commenting!!! :>)