As I see families pass through my funeral home, I can immediately recognize families blessed with a strong father, from those who were not.
“My sweet little Daddy's happy birthday! So happy he is with Mother and all those he loves so much who have gone on. Nevertheless, I miss him so much and wish we could have one of our big heart to hearts! He taught me more riding along with him as we went to take care of the cows, hauling hay, going to the sale barn or just riding to town to get a so die pop! Loved how he loved Memaw (his mother) and how he interacted with her. Loved how he lit up when he was around his siblings. Loved how devoted he was to Heavenly Father and his quiet devotion. He was amazing. I love him so much and still can't bear that he's gone!”
She continues, “Today, I fight back the tears that are so close to my heart as I miss my sweet little Daddy. I loved him so much.”
My cousin’s father was a wonderful man and meant so much to so many. Her tears are not a sign of weakness, they testify that the love and time she spent with her father were, and continue to be, a great treasure. Eventually there will come a time when holidays and special events will be easier to manage, but one never forgets their father, nor the love they shared together; nor would you want to. Just because a loved one dies, does not mean that love has died too.
The heart wrenching pain expressed by my cousin, can sometimes be softened by developing new traditions based on old ones shared with the deceased. In my cousin’s little paragraph, she mentioned that she had learned so much from her father while participating in his work, caring for his cattle, hauling hay and accompanying him to the sale barn. Now that her parents are deceased, she can develop these same special moments with her children and grandchildren by following her father’s example. The death of a close loved one creates a wonderful opportunity to concentrate on developing those fabulous nuances that have created and molded you into the person you are today. Honor your father by passing on his greatest parenting skill or grand parenting skill. This would truly be a great compliment to your deceased loved one and an honor to his memory and accomplishments.
If you have the opportunity, please take this Father’s Day to openly express your love for your dad before it is too late. In my line of work, I have seen young fathers as well as old, slip away without any warning, and at those times, I realize how utterly important it is to express your love and appreciation for all those you love, each and every moment you have with them.
Fathers are so important to the welfare and health of the family. They play an important role in their children’s development into healthy functioning adults. As I see families pass through my funeral home, I can immediately recognize families blessed with a strong father, from those who were not. When parents die, realization of our own mortality, and the importance of being a strong and responsible parent, comes to the forefront of our minds. We vow to do better and regret our past shortcomings. I believe one of the best things you can do at the loss of a parent, is to evaluate their greatest contribution to your life, magnify it and pass it on through your children.
Gratefully, my father is still living. I tell him constantly that I love him, and how grateful I am to be able to draw upon his knowledge. I dread the day that he will leave this earth. When that happens, I know that I will be terribly sorrowful. I will also know, that I have taken every opportunity to express my love to my dad. That tiny bit of knowledge, I hope, will help me recover.
I saw on TV this morning that fathers are taking on more and more responsibility toward rearing families. I believe this is an excellent statistic.
My name is Tracy Renee Lee. I am a funeral director, author and freelance writer. I write books, weekly articles and brief tips on understanding and coping with grief. It is my life's work to comfort the bereaved and help them live on.