Father and child

Father’s Day Reflections from a Bereaved Dad

In this blog post, Andrew Yates reflects on how he honors the life of his daughter, Maddie, during milestone moments and holidays, such as Father’s Day. For more from Andrew Yates, read Remembering Baby Maddie and Honoring a Child’s Memory through Foster Parenting. 


Milestone days are really hard for us. For Maddie’s first birthday, we really stressed about how to honor her. We decided to go to the cemetery where she is buried with our family and then to eat lunch. It was a really painful and confusing day for me.  


Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are similarly difficult. We know we are parents and should celebrate the day, but it’s just hard for us. My first Father’s Day after we lost her, I broke down in tears after I didn’t expect to feel anything but started weeping uncontrollably shortly after we left church. 


Later that afternoon I spent the day fishing alone. It was really cathartic to be alone and doing something I enjoy. It was honestly such a confusing and strange way to spend the day, since traditionally a dad would celebrate by being with his family. But that was the right thing for me that year. 


It is still pretty recent for us after losing our daughter, so we really don’t know what milestones will look like in the future, but we will always take time to remember Maddie on special days.  


A note from the Remembering My Child team: At the time of this blog posting, Father’s Day is around the corner. To any bereaved dad reading this blog, please know that you and your child are not forgotten. You are valuable. You are worthy of respect, love, and honor. Happy Father’s Day to you. 

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