Coping with Grief on Father’s Day

With Father’s Day coming up this weekend, many people are making plans to spend time with their dad. But for those whose fathers have passed away, the holiday is a heavy one. Parent-specific holidays, say most therapists, are even more difficult than other holidays. They bring back memories, but are not likely to grow new traditions, and thus become days of looking backward. Social worker Jill FitzGerald founded the Grief Resource Center in Glen Allen, Virginia, and she recommends giving grief its space by starting new traditions: traditions of remembrance for the person you have lost. It is important, though, to note the differences between grief and depression, and seek counseling or therapy if your sadness is overwhelming or doesn’t soften with time.

© Copyright 2010 by By Noah Rubinstein, LMFT, LMHC, therapist in Olympia, Washington. All Rights Reserved. Permission to publish granted to

The preceding article was solely written by the author named above. Any views and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by Questions or concerns about the preceding article can be directed to the author or posted as a comment below.

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    June 18th, 2010 at 5:36 AM

    It must be really sad to have lost an important person like a father for anybody and especially so for young people who have lost their father prematurely…And yes,I agree that something like fathers’ day can make a person who has lost his father seem sad and depressed but it would be better to utilize the day to remember all the good things and experiences shared with their father…and pray that God help his soul rest in peace.

  • Nathan


    June 18th, 2010 at 12:56 PM

    I just cannot describe how changed a person my friend became after losing his father last year…we’re both in high school and I have seen what losing a father can mean to someone.He was this happy-go-lucky kind of a guy but has now become an introvert…someone who doesn’t mingle much with anyone,even his old buddies…I just hope there is something I can do to help his situation…any suggestions please…?

  • Weeble


    June 15th, 2011 at 4:28 PM

    Then there’s the flip side–I’m a bereaved father who has lost his only child. I have struggled to find meaning in the day in recent years–my brother has 3 kids to honor him that day, my Dad has 2 sons (me and my brother) PLUS 3 grandkids. I don’t have anyone to recognize me or honor me as their dad. It’s hard as hell. BTW, my website is where my late son’s story is told.

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