How to Survive Father's Day Without A Father
The time of the year has come when you celebrate the most important man in your life. Not your significant other or the guy who hooks you up with double meat on your taco at the local joint, but the man who is the reason you're here in the first place—your father! This day is supposed to be one of pure joy, filled with elated "Happy Father's Day"s and whatever gift you settled on buying this honorable man in your life. But what does this day mean to those of us who have don't have a man to honor? I'm not talking about those who have bomb ass stepfathers who, without hesitance, step up to the plate to be your pops. In my eyes, they're equal to biological fathers and sometimes better. I'm speaking to those who have absolutely no presence of a father.
Depending on why you don't have a father, this could be a day of mourning, resentment, or even self-loathing. No matter what feelings you form, this day isn't easy. So as someone who doesn't even have a memory of my father, I'm sharing my Father's Day survival tips for all of us fatherless children.
Appreciate Those Who Are Present
In life, it's common for us to let what we don't have overshadow what we do have. We may not have fathers but there may be people in your life who played an almost equally important role. Don't get me wrong, nothing can replace a father's love, especially if your father has passed away. However, we must remember to appreciate those who have strengthened and encouraged us throughout the absence of our poppies. These people don't necessarily have to be men but anyone who stepped up when they saw you were in need of extra love. For me, it was my grandmother who made sure she picked up wherever my mother lacked. It can be an aunt, uncle, cousin or even a neighbor. No, you don't have to take them out for Father's Day or buy them gifts. Just don't forget that while you may suffer from a loss, life has also given you a gain through those who give you unconditional love and support.
Remember Them For Who They Are
Here's where it gets a little complex. We've all had different relationships with our fathers and reasons for them not being in our lives. Some of us, like me, have no memory of their father because he passed away while we were still in diapers. Others had strong relationships with theirs, but he passed away later in their lives. On the other hand, some people don't know their fathers because he's an asshole who abandoned them. Then there are those who have chosen not to have a relationship with the man because he was toxic as fuck. Whatever the cause may be for their absence, we must remember them for who they truly are. Those of us who have heard or remember many great things about our dads should remember them for their contribution of positivity to the world and, most importantly, our lives. For us whose father is nothing short of an asswipe, relish in the fact that he is out of your life and instead focus on the positive things you have instead. Long story short, focus on positivity! If that means being happy the man who made you is not present in your life, so be it. Based on what he has contributed to your life, you either appreciate his absence or honor his former presence.
Take Comfort in Knowing You're Not Alone
As bad as it sounds, misery definitely loves company. For me, it's not because I want someone to suffer as much as I do, but I take comfort in knowing that there are people who have had the same struggles as me and still persevered. I take joy in the fact that someone is out there that I can come to who will understand my pain and we can help build each other up. In a world that has become highly apathetic and desensitized, it is easy to think you're alone and no one can relate to you. Believe me when I say, you're not the only one who is suffering on this day. Even if everyone surrounding you is celebrating this day with their father, know that there are countless others who are trying their best to survive this day without becoming emotional wrecks. If need be, talk to someone for encouragement. Go out to celebrate your fathers together(if he is worth celebrating). Just remember that you're not the first, only, or last person to suffer through Father's Day without a father. It gets better and you have others just like you to help you get through it in whichever way you choose.
Know That His Absence Has Molded Your Character
You may not see it, but his absence has helped you in ways you couldn't imagine. It has built you to endure struggle, become emotionally strong, and have a sense of independence. It's crazy how life works in mysterious ways. Through my father's death, my mother had no choice but to be strong, which gave me a strong woman to admire. This, in turn, led me to become the strong woman I am today. I knew there were things she couldn't do for me as a single parent, which made me step up and have to do them for myself. If it wasn't for me being raised in a single parent home, I would be a totally different person. I'm not saying that person who I would have been if I had a father necessarily had to be bad, but I'm more than happy with the outcome of my growth and strength due to his absence. You should feel the same. There's beauty in our struggles and every obstacle in our life is a lesson. Even if the obstacle is not having a father. Find strength in your weak moments and let it build you.
In the end, we can't control what life throws at us. The best thing we can do is find the silver lining and take happiness in our own hands. Celebrate this day with good memories and don't dwell in sorrow. With that being said,
Happy Father's Day Olu! We will always love you.