I wondered what I might write today on Father’s Day. It’s not like Mother’s Day. If you forget Mother’s Day, you’ll never live it down. But for some reason, Father’s are more forgiving if you don’t attend their day. Just acknowledging it, often is enough to satisfy a good man.
But what I’m reminded of today are the many men who are grieving either their spouse and are left to raise children alone, or the Dad who have lost children along the way. I’m also thinking about the many children whose Dads are no longer alive to celebrate this day with them.
I recently met a man whose child died in a pool drowning at the age of 5. His son would have been around 40 now and he told me the story as if it happened a few months back. He faced pained with sorrow. I could tell he missed him to this day and thought often how life would have been so different had this young son grown up to be a man and enjoyed many happy memories with his Dad. But that didn’t happen.
I also met many men whose younger wives died or were killed and they were left to raise their children on their own. Men don’t do grief in the same way women do grief. They struggle with it and beat themselves up because they think they were unable to protect or fix their wives’ problems. But they are not supermen, although they haven’t figured that out. Some things can’t be fixed and some people cannot be protected from the evils and pains of the world no matter how much we’d wish we could do so.
There are no many men who have little ones at home with no mother. They struggle to play the role of Dad and Mom. They need to learn so many new skills they never thought they’d need because their wives had naturally handled more tasks so they could simply go to work and build a career and financially take care of their family.
But once a Mom is no longer alive, everything changes and the burden of multitasking is extremely difficult for men. So when a man finds himself in a position of Mom, Dad, sole financial breadwinner, teacher, coach, chauffeur, cook, cleaner, etc. he is overwhelmed.
So today I applaud all the men, especially my friend Mark, who raises his three young ones with such devotion. It isn’t easy but his dedication amazes me.
And lastly, I remember all the boys and girls, men and women whose Dads are no longer around to celebrate this day. There is so much to miss. So much to remember. And sometimes, there are melancholy moments for all the years they didn’t have with their Dad, especially if he died young.