Honoring the Deceased Father on Father’s Day
Oprah gave a heart opening address at her mentor and friend Maya Angelou’s memorial service where she referred to Maya as her “Spiritual Mama.” The love for her friend was palpable in her energy field of grief (note to self: grief is evidence of having loved).
I administered two memorial services for my father. A private graveside one for my family and a public one for the greater community. In both I cried like a baby throughout the service as periods punctuate sentences throughout a paragraph. Fine for awhile and then a flood.
If I were to describe my relationship to my father, I would say he was my “Earthly Father.” He had mastered a level of operating in the world, which I counted upon. When I was buying a new car, I’d call him for advise. When it came to buying homes, I’d bring him along. When there were uncomfortable situations at work, he’d talk them through with me. When I thought I was better than someone else in some way, he would laugh with me as he’d point out I too had their faults and would gently remind me of when I displayed them.
My father died in 2009; today is my sixth Father’s Day without him. The first Father’s Day I was emotionally raw and tenderloin tender. Today I have shards of envy that others get to take their dads out for breakfast and demonstrably spoil him. As my dad isn’t in a physical body, I will seek ways throughout the day to honor the impact of who I’ve become because he was my dad.
In the past I have:
Written letters to my dad, as though he were physically here, and then placed them upon my altar.
Posted pictures of me and my dad on Facebook and written about my love for him.
Donated money to causes he believed in while he was alive, or to people, places, or things that have reminded me of him. One year I gave to a men’s retraining program. Another year I gave to street kids. Yet another, to a youth football organization.
Called up friends and family members and told stories about my dad while listening to the stories of others.
Sent Father’s Day cards and gifts to fathers who have the same qualities I honored in my dad.
This year looks like it is going to be quieter and more internal. In meditation today I connected with the masculine energy field and sat in it. I will attend church and listen to a father talk about being a father. I don’t know how the rest of the day will unfold. This year I leave it to the spontaneous Grace of God which has ways to surprise and tickle me.
Happy Father’s Day,