I am not going to pretend I understand how you must feel today. My father is ever-present in my life and I have been lucky enough to have him proudly by my side for the big and small events, for which I am eternally grateful. I cannot imagine how this day or let’s be honest every day feels like for you. You are walking through your teenage years without a father and this breaks my heart. It is painful because as your mother I can not do anything to fix it. I listen to you say, “I miss dad”, and my heart breaks and all I can do is hear you, hug you but I cannot make it better.
I can teach you that feeling this pain and acknowledging this pain is a wonderful stage in the healing process. I can tell you funny stories about your dad and we can watch home movies and look at photos together. I can tell you that your dad was an extraordinary father, always present, always ready to teach you something, and always had time to listen and just be with you. But you know this already. I know that sometimes you say, “it was not long enough“, and you want more time with him. Sometimes because he was such an amazing father it feels like the loss is even greater because the void is just so big.
All I can do on this day, just like every other day, is be there for you. Be really present in your life. I can be a role model and show you that emotions are an important part of evolving. Feeling with our whole heart no matter how painful will help you grow as a person and being vulnerable is a true sign of great strength. I can show you that living in the moment is beautiful, valuing each person, each experience and each adventure.
In the end though, no matter what great inspiration I have for you I can not really feel your pain or ease it. You do not have a dad to hug warmly today on Fathers Day. Even though many people think that today would be hard for you, I know the reality is that every day you miss your dad. He is not here when you run onto the basketball court, swim into a water polo match or run off a netball court. He is not here to answer your simple or complex questions or laugh at your jokes. You do not have the chance to yell out the word ‘Dad’ and he answer. I can say to you that he is your guardian angel and always with you, which I believe but also understand more than anyone, that sometimes that is simply not enough. You want to hear his voice, his laugh, him proudly clapping his hands. You want to feel his hand in yours and see the pride in his face. You want him to be here.
I get it.
In spite of it all, today I wish you a Happy Fathers Day. You have experienced pain and loss; yet continue to dance through life with a sense of joy and gratitude. You don’t sweat the small stuff or whinge about annoying parents because you have learnt first hand that they are precious. I am a lucky mum to be raising the three of you because you never take me for granted, never consider being embarrassed to kiss me goodbye in public and you remember the simple things like asking me how my day was or how did I sleep. I treasure these special gifts. I treasure the little things. This is the purest form of unconditional love and I thank you. I am proud of you and even though I will never pretend to understand how you must feel, I want to let you know that I am always here for you.
To everyone who is experiencing today and every day without a parent – I send you love. X