When You Dread Father’s Day

by | Jun 12, 2018 | Battles, Father's Day, Grief | 20 comments

When Father’s Day is difficult, what do you do? My friend Yvonne Ortega shares some suggestions to remove the dread of Father’s Day.

Her excellent book, Moving from Broken to Beautiful Through Grief, offers more tips to help people navigate the stormy waters of grief. Now, here’s Yvonne—

Father’s Day will be difficult for me this year. My father passed away two months ago. What about you? Perhaps your father also died. A friend of mine lost her father and her stepfather. Father’s Day will be difficult for her too.

Maybe your father or stepfather is ill and could die at any moment. You may be planning the viewing, church service, and burial or cremation.

Perhaps your father physically, emotionally, or sexually abused you. Maybe your father divorced your mother when you when you were a child and disappeared. Father’s Day will be difficult for you too.

Your father may have been addicted to alcohol or other drugs, and you suffered because of the chaos in the home. You may have no interest in Father’s Day.

Commercials abound on radio, TV, and the newspaper to remind you to buy your dad a Father’s Day card or that suggest the perfect cologne, fishing gear, or electronics to buy him. You may want to turn off the radio and TV or toss the newspaper.

Those commercials bring pain, not help.

Church may also bring pain because of the pastor’s message about fathers and the people saying “Happy Father’s Day” to the men of the church.

As for lunch or dinner, again, TV, radio, and newspaper commercials will flood you with brunch or buffet specials for Father’s Day.

You may want to do what I plan to do. I will eat at home or order a take-out meal. I don’t want to watch families eat together and their dad open his gifts. That would make Father’s Day more difficult for me.

Another suggestion would be to invite a friend or two to your home to eat a potluck meal or to order take-out.

You may prefer a quiet day at home to journal, listen to music, or watch a movie. You may also see the day as an opportunity to work on your goals for the next six months.

Whatever you decide, remember that our heavenly Father God loves you with an unconditional love. He doesn’t have office hours and longs to hear from you. He will never turn you away.

Tell God how you feel and allow him to bring you comfort and peace.

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance” (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4)

Prayer: God, Father’s Day will be difficult for me. Please help me plan the day and get through it. Amen.

What will you do on Father’s Day?

When Father's Day is difficult, tell God how you feel and allow him to bring you comfort and peace. #comfort, #Devotional Share on X

Click here to comment.

Moving From Broken to Beautiful Through Grief

Practical examples and suggestions to help you move from the heartache of grief to the beauty of comfort, peace, and purpose in your new normal.

Yvonne Ortega says, “Hope and healing are more than theories from a textbook. I survived divorce, single parenting, breast cancer, four car accidents in seven years, and multiple family losses in 2009, including the loss of my only child.


You too can move from broken to beautiful.”

Learn more about Yvonne at her website.


Used by permission of Yvonne Ortega.

Sometimes I link up with these great sites:

Tea &Word Tuesday, #Kelly Balarie & Friends#Recharge Wednesday, #Coffee for Your Heart, #TuneinThursaday, #HeartEncouragment #Dance with Jesus, #Grace and Truth,

We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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  1. Ann Musico

    A beautiful and sensitive post. While I will miss my dad and father in law very much, I am grateful to be able to celebrate my husband as the wonderful dad he is and my son Matt for the awesome dad he is now. I know my father is smiling down on them all.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Ann, I hope you enjoy a wonderful Father’s Day with your husband and son!

    • Yvonne

      Dear Ann, I’m so sorry for the loss of your dad and your father-in-law. May God comfort you.
      You are blessed to have a husband who is a wonderful father and a son who is also. That is something to celebrate.
      Love & Prayers,
      Yvonne Ortega

  2. ~Karrilee~

    Ah yes… I know over the past several years, there has been an increase in sensitivity towards Mother’s Day and acknowledging how it may be hard on many – whether due to their relationship with their own Mom or wanting to be a Mom themselves, etc. I love this post in how it broadens our awareness to include Father’s Day as well! Thanks for the reminder! Praying for all who experience grief, loneliness, and hurts and agreeing with you in prayer that their Good, Good Father in Heaven will comfort and hold them close!

    • Debbie Wilson

      Karrilee, I too appreciate Yvonne’s thoughts and sensitivity. How wonderful to have a gracious Heavenly Father to comfort us.

    • Yvonne

      Thank you for your kind words, encouragement and support. Thank you for agreeing with me in prayer for all of us who have lost their father/stepfather and for those who suffered hurts at the hands of their father.

      Love & Prayers,
      Yvonne Ortega

  3. Pam Ecrement

    No matter how long my father has been at home with the Lord, I am especially poignant about him every Father’s Day. He was 84 when he died in 1995, but from my perspective his life had been far too short. His quiet, gentle faith and dry sense of humor made him a joy to be with and I never tired of hearing the stories of his “growing up years” after I was wise enough as an adult to begin asking them.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Pam, that is beautiful. How precious to have those memories.

      • Yvonne

        Oh, dear Pam, I’m so sorry for your loss. Your father must have been a fantastic man. May God bless you with lots of comfort this Father’s Day.

        Love & Prayers,
        Yvonne Ortega

  4. Karen Woodall

    I realized that these simple-seeming celebrations bring a multitude of emotions this past Mother’s Day when I couldn’t stop thinking about a friend who had lost her oldest son in a car accident. Her difficult struggle with MOther’s Day reminded me to be aware and sensitive to the varied experiences others may be going through. Thanks for the reminder to be full of grace and compassion.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Oh Karen, that is really tough. Thank you for sharing.

    • Yvonne

      Oh Karen, I’m so sorry about your friend’s loss of her son. How tragic. Please extend my condolences to her. Yes, birthdays, anniversaries, holidays, and other special occasions can trigger all kinds of pain. May we all be full of grace and compassion.

      Love & Prayers,

  5. Rebecca Jones

    Father’s Day just never was as big a deal unless there were cook outs with my family. My decision was to choose to celebrate a Heavenly Father’s Day.

    • Debbie Wilson

      Rebecca, how beautiful. We have a wonderful Heavenly Father to celebrate!

    • Yvonne

      Rebecca, I love that idea. Thank you for sharing that with us.

      Love & Prayers,

  6. Michele Morin

    Debbie, thank you for sharing Yvonne’s strong and beautiful voice here. The image that always comes to my mind with Father’s Day was shared some time ago by Leslie Leyland Fields when she addressed all of those “who come away sad from the greeting card store.” Father’s Day can be rough holiday, and it’s important that we get behind those who are hurting.

    • Debbie Wilson

      What a great visual. Who can’t picture someone leaving the greeting card section sad? Thank you, Michele. I always love your thoughts.

  7. Yvonne

    Dear Michele, thank you for sharing that image with us. When Daddy was alive, I used to send him two or three cards a week. At this time, I don’t want to go to the greeting card section. Thank you for getting behind those of us who are hurting this Father’s Day.

    Love & Prayers,

  8. Ray

    I’m a 55-year old man.
    My father died of prolonged illness in ’94,
    leaving wife & adult children.
    My brother died of prolonged illness in ’00,
    leaving wife & baby son.
    There was no “reason” – positive or otherwise
    – for their deaths.
    They just died – leaving permanent grief &
    tragedy for family.

    I am not a father and will never be one.
    Religion has no relevance.
    And many Hallmark holidays are equally irrelevant
    and endlessly annoying.

    I am twice married.
    Current wife’s father died 4 years ago.
    How she & her family deal with loss & grief
    are their personal/private choices, not mine.
    Those choices don’t interest me.
    Wife is supportive, but it sometimes crosses
    into the taboo territory of “strongly suggesting”
    how I should deal with my losses.
    Grief is very personal & private.
    No one can mandate how others handle it.

    For these Hallmark holidays, I avoid TV
    and social media – for obvious reasons.
    The best part of Fathers Day is 12:01 A.M.
    the following day.

  9. Debbie Wilson

    Ray, I’m very sorry for your losses. I agree that religion doesn’t heal our broken hearts. But through a personal relationship with Jesus we can know our heavenly Father’s love and comfort. All the best to you.

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