Cat Ferrer-Jempson is one of our Fundraisers. Here she shares her thoughts around navigating Father’s Day after the loss of her Dad.
“Ever since I lost my Dad, Arturo, to angiosarcoma in August 2020, Father’s Day has been an odd one to navigate
Before his diagnosis in March 2020, without fail every Father’s Day my mum, sister and I would always take him out for lunch and he’d always order a bottle of red wine for the table. My mum doesn’t drink and my sister always took the role of designated driver, so it would always be me and dad sharing it together.
We were one of the same – my sister takes after my mum and I am so much like my dad. I was lucky to have such a close relationship with him, our personalities and opinions were so similar, so much so that we would also often clash!
Now seeing Father’s Day adverts on TV, seeing cards in the shops and receiving Father’s Day opt-out emails hits different. For me, it is a sharp pang to the heart – a feeling I don’t think I’ll ever be able to shake
The pain of losing Dad was nothing like I’ve ever felt before. A part of me went with him the day he died. I felt cheated, angry at the universe and resentful of others that still had their Dads.
However, two years on and as I continue to move through my own grief journey, I still use Father’s Day to celebrate him
Much like his birthday, this day will always remain about him even though he isn’t physically here with us anymore. Dad gets a card, we light a candle, eat his favourite foods and listen to his favourite music (Bee Gees of course being his number one favourite band). Not forgetting that my mum, sister and I still go out for lunch where we talk about our favourite memories of him.
People don’t tend to want to mention your loss in fear of upsetting you – I get it
Grief can be awkward and uncomfortable but we haven’t forgotten that our person has gone
You haven’t reminded me that he’s died, you’ve reminded me that he’s lived. It’s our responsibility to keep their memories alive by talking about them, I can talk about Dad until the cows come home!
I can now talk comfortably about death and my grief surrounding my dad, so much so that I volunteer as a support group facilitator for a grief charity. It’s so important for people to share, remember their people, and remind them that they are not alone.
So this Father’s Day, check in on those who have lost their dads or father figures in their life, tell them that you are thinking of them, it means the world to us. People deal with their losses differently but ask them about their dad – you might get shut down, or you might just make their day.
For those whose fathers are somewhere else out there – tell the world their name this Father’s Day. Always keep talking about them, they deserve to be remembered.”