How To Celebrate Father's Day When You Don't Have A Dad


It's been almost two years since my father passed away.

He was my best friend. And to this day, it's still the most difficult thing I've ever had to endure.

The grief never completely goes away, but it does get slightly manageable. It's occasions like Father's Day that truly put you through the wringer.

You know it's June when those massive Father's Day signs appear in department stores advertising what you should buy for your dad.

You never really think about how triggering those ads are until you no longer have a dad. Now, they're just giant bullies.

A lot of people out there don't have fathers, so June gloom is very real for us all.

But, instead of hiding out and sleeping the day away -- which was a very real option for me -- I decided I wanted to celebrate Father's Day. I still had a dad, and he was a great one.

Here's how you can celebrate Father's Day when you don't have a dad.

Surround yourself with friends.

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Not every friend is going home to hang out with their dad on Father's Day. Find people to spend the day with, and make a plan.

Last year, I had friends who reached out and took me to lunch and dinner. They kept me company on a very difficult day.

True friends are there for you when you're going through extremely tough times. Find your support group. It could even be a tribe of friends you know who also don't have dads. You can all be there for each other.

Do something your dad would have loved. 

My dad loved chain restaurants. As cheesy as they are, I love them, too. I got it from him.

Every Father's Day we would go to my dad's favorite chain restaurants. It was a tradition he started for himself that I wanted to continue.

Find something your dad loved, and do it in his honor. Going to a familiar place will feel like home, and it'll be like he's there with you.

Share your favorite memories.

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If you think now that you no longer have a father you can't post something on Instagram talking about how great he is, you're wrong.

You still had a father, and you can still celebrate him.

This is actually the perfect time to talk about your dad. Share a fond memory, along with a great picture of you two.

If you never had a father, this is the day to celebrate the amazing father figure in your life. Father's Day isn't just for those who have living fathers in their lives.

But once you share your memory, immediately get off social media. If you thought spam Father's Day ad emails were bad, your Facebook newsfeed will be pretty tough to get through.

Book up your entire day.

Your dad wouldn't want you to be sad and alone. Last year, I surrounded myself with friends all day, but there was a time period where I had a gap in my schedule.

It was a short period of time, but it felt like eternity of sitting around with my own thoughts. Find little distractions for yourself all day long.

Father's Day without a dad will seem like the longest day of the year.

If you don't have people to distract you, find some activities to distract you. Maybe go to a movie you've been wanting to see, which is the ultimate escape.

Make sure it's a light-hearted comedy. It's inevitable you're going to cry, so try not to put yourself in a situation where it's impossible not to.

Father's Day is a hard day. I'm only on year two without my dad, and I imagine it never gets any easier. However, it doesn't have to be the worst day of the year.

Happy Father's Day to all you lucky ducks who still have dads, but a real special Happy Father's Day to all of my fellow people without fathers. I'm hoping you have a good one.