Father’s Day and other special days of the year may bring back personal memories of a late father. Whether he died years ago or recently, suddenly or over a long period of time, those recollections may be channeled into ways to preserve special memories for oneself and others as well as generations in the future. Find practical ways to continue a special dad’s legacy through preserving memories and providing service to others.
Special Memories of a Father
Whether the special man was a biological father, step-father, foster dad, grandfather who served as a father figure, or a friend who stepped in to be like a dad, remembering a father can be a deeply personal experience that some may wish to keep private while others may wish to share with those around them.
Many fondest memories of a dad may be of simple times spent together. Perhaps it was time spent together roofing a house or under the hood of a car. Maybe a fishing trip, camping trip, mowing the yard, or a simple hug that stands out as an ordinary time that has become special in hindsight. Even a message on the answering machine or personal email might become precious after a father’s passing.
Times that might not have been funny at the time might bring a smile to one’s face later. Perhaps a father’s pet peeve such as a string trimmer that never wanted to start or the car that always broke down somehow became humorous as the story was retold. Maybe a certain expressions or even bad habits might become dear as one recollects how those memories served to shape one’s own view of a father.
A father’s personality may be particularly memorable and might have helped to shape the mannerisms of his children. For example, some fathers might have always been very calm in the face of any adversity while others might have worked diligently with a strong work ethic. Perhaps the dad was able to problem-solve any given situation or find a way to save money when the needs seemed to overwhelm the budget.
Memories of a father might be preserved through many media, such as:
- recording thoughts on paper
- making a traditional or digital scrapbook
- typing memories into a computerized document
- creating a blog or web site in memory of a father
- saving and labeling pictures of a dad
- recording memories on tape, CD, or video
- reminiscing about a father – readers may wish to read about ideas for a reminiscing session related to fathers
- reading books about fathers to children in the family
- visiting places of significance to a late father
How to Turn a Father’s Memory into a Lasting Legacy
Honoring a father’s memory by passing on his legacy to others may provide a way to not only continue his memory but also to help a person to work through the grief of loss in a productive way. Each father is different and unique, and ways to honor a late dad can be just as special. Some examples of ways to pass on a father’s memory to others might include:
- donating money to a cause the father considered worthwhile
- creating a scholarship in a father’s memory
- providing a community service using skills a father passed down
- capturing others’ memories of a special father for others to enjoy
- finding ways to honor other veterans if the father served in the military
- visiting with friends, family members, or others who had connections with the father
- donating a deceased father’s organs or tissues to someone in need
- speaking with family members about one’s own wishes for end of life care
- donating money toward research to help others with health issues that affected the father
Even shortcomings of a strained relationship between a father and his child or children might be useful for those who wish to work toward a improved relationships. For example, people might learn new ways of handling stress, how to more effectively apologize and/or ask for forgiveness, or learn more effective communication skills. Perhaps family fights or schedules that always seem too busy for family time might be replaced with healthier relationships and schedules.
Unique Ways to Honor a Late Father
Although a father’s death can be quite difficult, people can find ways to honor a father and to help others to see him as a unique a special man. Recording memories in private or to share with others may have a healing quality. Service projects and other special activities may help to memorialize a father and provide a way to honor causes and a special man that was called a father.
Readers may also wish to read How to Honor a Mother Who is Deceased.
Readers are welcome to give examples of how they have honored their own father in the comment section below.