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6 Ways to help a grieving friend on Father’s Day

6 Ways to help a grieving friend on Father’s Day

6 ways to help a grieving friend on Father’s Day

Here are 6 ways to help a grieving friend on Father's Day that could make a very big difference. 

I know that Father's Day can be extremely hard when your Dad is no longer here. Here is a list of 6 things that you can do to help a grieving friend on Father's Day, or on any day really. 

In order to write this piece, I asked my community on Instagram for their input. I wanted to include real life advice and not things I’d found in a google search.

I was overwhelmed by the response and openness from so many. Thank you.

Here are 6 things that can help a grieving friend this Father’s Day…

1. Don't be afraid to mention their Dad by name

When Father’s Day comes around, don’t avoid mentioning their Dad or saying his name.

A Hospice Nurse that would like to remain anonymous said ‘The last thing someone grieving wants is for their loved one to be forgotten, which is often a fear the grieving person has. Say their name and talk about them.’

Amy McKeown said ‘I know everyone is different but I just wanted to talk about my dad, to anyone that would listen! I was and still am desperate to keep his memory alive. I don’t want people to stop talking about him. One of my closest friends, still to this day, talks about him and that really helps me’

And if you’re not sure whether this is the right thing to do, just ask them if it’s OK first.

Two people sitting next to each other, offering comfort. one with head on other person's shoulder

2. Help them out on Father's Day - Bring food, do chores, pick up the kids (without them asking you to)

A lot of people replied to say the meals that were dropped off or left on the doorstep helped. That a message saying the kids are being picked up from school was a godsend. But that if they’d been asked ‘Can I do anything to help?’ they would have said no.

Rachel said ‘The practical help is the most useful – bring food, come round and do chores, pick up the kids/run errands, message to say ‘I’m in the area on errands, can I pop in and say hi? (be prepared for them to say no)’. 

Lyndsey Slater said ‘I found friends just did things for me without asking. Instead of asking if I wanted help cooking or with the kids, where my answer was always ‘no I’m fine’ (clearly wasn’t). They just made a meal dropped it round, just knocked and took the kids to the park. It’s made things so much easier and you don’t feel a burden on people’. 


3. Sit with them on Father's Day

Don’t ever underestimate just physically being there for someone. If you knew their Dad, just having your presence around might be exactly what helps.

Iona Fusco said ‘My beautiful friend would just come and sit with me, we didn’t talk just sit. She would turn up, not call first and just sit there. I cannot tell you how much this helped me.’ 

4. Send them a message of love, or even better, a message about their Dad

The worst thing someone can say is nothing’. 

Whether it’s a text, a card, a voice note, a letter… messages of love about their Dad really do make a difference. And they don’t have to be just for when the person passed away. Even if you send a card years later, it will be appreciated. Is there someone that might appreciate a message this Father’s Day?

Kath said ‘All that helped me get through it was messages of love. Even a simple message such as 'thinking of you' went a long way. A friend even asked me for my dad’s full name so that he could do a remembrance offering at our local parish. Something so simple goes a long way. I even got messages from my dad’s school mates about memories of the times they had with him and sent me songs that reminded them of him which was a lovely tribute’. 


5. Support them to grieve however they want to, especially on days like Father's Day

There is no right or wrong way to grieve. There is no time limit. There is no plan to follow, or steps to go through to make it out the other side. Be there to support them. And check in on the support they might need as time goes on as well – as grief never ends, it is something that becomes a part of the person. They might have lost their Dad years ago and find Father's Day gets harder each year.

Vicky Heater said ‘Every grief journey is different for everyone, even if you’ve lost the same person. There is no timeline. No right or wrong way. Find out what works for them and support it.’ 

Jayne said ‘Understand that grief is different for everyone of us, your experience won’t be mine. You only get to say goodbye to someone once, you have to allow a person to do what they think is appropriate regardless of what you would do. As long as it’s not illegal or dangerous just support it, that’s why they need your support. Nobody can change it but love and support can help more than you’ll know’. 

6. Give them something in memory of them for Father's Day

I didn’t know whether to include this one or not. However, when I asked for help with this piece on Instagram I was struck by how many people mentioned our pieces as a source of comfort during their grief. 

I've been a specialist in memorial gifts for a number of years now. Our in memory keepsakes are our best sellers and what we’re know for. I've built on the collection, with input from our community, and received thousands of reviews telling us how much our memorial keepsakes mean. 

Jill Oram said ‘I found your website and you created a key ring with my Dads photo in it. I've carried it every day since.’ 

Gill Nun  said ‘I love your memorial pieces and I’m so pleased that I found you! Your little pieces help us with our memories’. 


If you have a friend or family member who is going through a tough time, consider sending them one of our pieces. It doesn't have to be sent right away – perhaps it’s something they might really love to receive at a time when others might have stopped mentioning their loved one, as a reminder that you will always remember them too.  


Grieving is so personal and everyone has the right to grieve in their own way. Father's Day can be so hard and if we can do something, no matter how small, to bring comfort then we scan make a difference. And if this list helps in any way then I’m pleased it’s here.

Thank you so much to those who contributed. Your heartfelt replies mean so very much.

Here are some trustworthy websites if you, or someone you know, is looking for support:

At a Loss
The UK's signposting website for the bereaved. They can help you find bereavement services and counselling. 


Cruse Bereavement Support

0808 808 1677
Information and support after a bereavement.


Dying Matters
Coalition of individual and organisational members across England and Wales, aiming to help people talk more openly about dying, death and bereavement, and to make plans for the end of life.


The Good Grief Trust
Charity run by the bereaved, helping all those suffering grief in the UK. Can help you find reassurance, advice and support. They have a detailed page of coronavirus bereavement advice.


Hub of Hope
UK-wide mental health service database. Lets you search for local, national, peer, community, charity, private and NHS mental health support. You can filter results to find specific kinds of support.



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