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Father’s Day: Forever Changed By Grief

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Last Updated on January 22, 2024 by Allison Lancaster

This Sunday is Father’s Day. While many of us are out rushing around finding the perfect card or gift for dad, there are so many that are at home with broken hearts. I can’t help but think of these people as each holiday approaches. There are so many people around that world that are hurting today because of the impending Father’s Day holiday.

Many who have lost their dads.

Many who have lost a child. 

Many who have a dad but aren’t sure where or who he is.

Many who have a strained relationship with their dads.

I could go on forever with a list of the ways people are hurting this holiday, and for that matter, every other holiday. 

Our family has experienced this sort of grief and pain first hand. Each Father’s Day since 2012, has been very different for our family. In 2012, we lost my uncle very unexpectedly. He wasn’t what some people think of when they think of an uncle, he was and is more than that to us. My Uncle Barry was someone who had been a permanent fixture in my life since I was born.

Many of my childhood memories growing up involved weekends together as a family with our Uncle Barry, Aunt Chestalene and my cousin, Brian.

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Brian and I are 2 months and 3 days apart. We have been inseparable since birth. We are truly best friends. We’ve traveled together. We’ve laughed until we’ve cried together. Growing up, my brother, Brian and I were the “three musketeers”. In 2012, our lives were changed forever and we mourned deeply together. 

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Due to the selfish decisions of a woman who chose to drive impaired, my uncle was taken from us. A man who spent 36 years as a State Trooper was taken from this earth because of bad decisions. The last time that I saw him was at my wedding, a few months before the day I received the horrible phone call. My family will never be the same. Father’s Day will never be the same. Christmas will never be the same. Family dinners will never be the same.

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My aunt is without the love of her life.

My three cousins are without their dad.

His grandkids are without their grandpa, and some he didn’t even get to meet. 

We are without our Uncle.

My son will never know the wisdom that he had to share and the funny jokes that he carried with him everywhere. 

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Of course we still have family dinners, but there is always something missing. The “Three Musketeers” still spend as much time together as we can get, but we are more grown up now. We have experienced this loss together that has changed us forever. We have hope and know that we will meet him again someday, but the pain is still very real.

In 2015, we lost my grandfather and again, mourned the loss of another close family member. Father’s Day again is forever changed.

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This Father’s Day, I hope that if you are blessed enough to have your father around, that you spend time with him or call him. If you know of someone who is hurting this Father’s Day, reach out and let them know that you care and are praying for them.

When you are fretting about purchasing the perfect gift this weekend, remember that some people would love to purchase a gift for their dad just one more time.

When you are trying to get that perfect family photo, remember that some people don’t have that opportunity.

Cherish each moment with those you love. 

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Father's Day: Forever Changed By Grief

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