For some, this time of year brings the anticipation of summer: when the rays of the sun feel stronger, days are longer, and school is ending and there are free and easy days ahead. But for those of us who have lost a parent, grandparent, child, or other loved ones, the upcoming Father’s Day holiday often brings renewed feelings of grief and loss. Our pain grows and feels stronger, and our hearts break all over again. The grief we had thought was diminishing a bit, is sharply renewed.
In addition to missing and longing for our loved one, as Father’s Day approaches, we sometimes feel guilty thinking about the arguments we had with the loved one we lost, or the Father’s Days we may have chosen not to be with our parent. When these feelings come up, it is sometimes helpful to remember that relationships are built on the totality years of loving and growing together, and not just a few isolated incidents. We sometimes feel this type of guilt in order to avoid feeling the depth of the pain of the loss. While we at Emma’s Place know Father’s Day may not be easy for you, we’d like to offer some support and help in how to get through the days leading up to Father’s Day and the actual holiday itself.
The first thing we would like to acknowledge is that just as love is different, unique, and individual for each person, so is grief. There are no right or wrong ways to feel when you are grieving. There is no timetable to grief. What may be helpful to one person may not be helpful to another. While we have some suggestions of what has helped those of us at Emma’s Place, please feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know how you’ve gotten through these holidays, and we can include your ideas on our website as well.
Allow yourself to feel whatever you are feeling. If you stay present and grounded in your feelings, your emotions will ebb and flow like a wave. Giving yourself the time and space to consciously feel your emotions is healthier than trying to stuff them inside. When you stuff your emotions, they wind up affecting you in unconscious, unhealthy ways.
• Do not let concerned loved ones talk you into doing anything that doesn’t feel helpful for you. It’s OK to turn down invitations if you would rather spend the day on your own.
• Be extra kind and gentle to yourself. Eat nourishing foods, get enough sleep, give to yourself in big and little ways: use your favorite body lotion, get a massage, treat yourself to your favorite food, reach out to someone who you know will listen with compassion.
• Know you have a right to ask for what you need without feeling guilty about it.
• Maintain a connection with your lost loved one or help a grieving child maintain a connection with a lost loved one by:
o Writing a letter or card to them
o Creating a collage of special photos
o Making a memory box with cherished tokens of times spent with them
o Planting a tree or naming a star in their memory
o Looking for signs that are reminders that they are still with you
o Create a new tradition to honor your lost loved one
• Reach out to Emma’s Place for extra caring and support.
While we know Father’s Day may not be easy, Emma’s Place wishes you peace, comfort, and strength. And perhaps when you least expect it, you may feel your loved one’s warmth in the warm sunshine, or hear their spirit in the bird’s song waking you up on the morning, or see their beauty in a blossoming flower. (S.Cohen)
Emma’s Place is Staten Island’s only not-for-profit, non-denominational Mental Health/Bereavement Counseling and educational program committed to supporting grieving children and families. Located on Staten Island, Emma’s Place provides community-based support services throughout the five boroughs of NYC, offering individuals access and the support they need to discover hope and healing through a much needed Mental Health and grief support services niche. In addition, we provide school-based group and individual counseling throughout NYC public and private schools, presently on Staten Island. We receive ongoing requests for professional development/training for teachers, administrators, community organizations and other licensed mental health providers.
We are a free-standing, independent grief and loss center, supported by the compassion and generosity of community funding. We are dedicated to having the capabilities to support the growing needs of our community. Emma’s Place is the primary resource for local grief and loss education.
“A Walk To Remember”
Clove Lakes Park June 4th 2020
Thanks to everyone who came out on Saturday to join us for “A Walk to Remember”. A special thanks to our generous Sponsors! We had beautiful weather and made some great friends.
“With Love, From Emma’s Place” Adopt a Senior Project
Thanks to everyone who helped!
Special thanks to the “With Love From Emma’s Place” Premier Sponsors:
With additional contributions by:
Flowers By Bernard (Thanks for the beautiful carnations!)
120th Precinct Community Council
Attorney Lawrence Giardina
Maryanne Russo Menoni
Northwell Health / SIUH
New Mural at the Snug Harbor Cottage
Thanks to this generous donation from The Giving Circle!