Father’s Day

This weekend, Father’s Day falls on my dad’s birthday.

Seven years ago, it was his birthday on the Saturday before Father’s Day, but I couldn’t come home to Wales that weekend because I was on duty at the Summer fete, at the school where I worked.

Twelve days later my dad died.

I can’t tell you how often I’ve wished I’d asked my Headteacher for that weekend off, so I could have spent my dad’s last birthday and Father’s Day with him.

Sadly, we can’t turn back time and do things differently but how can we actually deal with the immense sadness and regret that we experience when someone we love passes away?

Managing our thoughts and feelings is challenging to say the least so I’ve created a MAP to navigate through these difficult life events.

My MAP stands for a Mindful Attitude Perspective and it can help us immensely.

The first of the Mindful Attitudes is ‘Acceptance’ and I applied this to my experience of losing my dad. I chose to accept that it was his time to go. I accepted that I didn’t ask for the weekend off because I was committed to my job and didn’t know it would be his last birthday and Father’s Day. I felt a peaceful acceptance that his quick death prevented him from having to deal with Dementia or a care home. I accepted all my, “I wish I’d…” thoughts as normal and just let them come and go. When I felt, and still feel sadness, and I miss him, I accept my feelings and allow them to stay for as long as they need to.

When we see how it’s our resistance to loss that makes us suffer, we can truly and clearly see how active acceptance is the key to peace of mind.

We all have a different story about our relationship with our dad. I was lucky. I adored mine. He was sensitive, kind, loving and fun. I cherished knowing him for forty-eight years and told him how much I loved him every time we parted.

If you are fortunate enough to still have yours, please stop talking for a while and listen to him, and love him to the best of your ability, even if you don’t get on particularly well.

If your dad has passed away, especially recently, try to practise acceptance and allow the peace that follows it to comfort you.

Let’s all celebrate Father’s Day this Sunday, in honour of all the wonderful dads out there in the world who have brought us so much love and joy.

If you’re interested in my MAP, you’ll enjoy my MAP to JOY course which is all about reducing our suffering and increasing our joy. It is available here:

https://mindfulness-consultant1.teachable.com/p/map-to-joy

Love and joy,

Juliet. 💜🙏

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