Father’s Day After a Daughter Has Died

Father’s Day in our house is a mixed blessing.  Even though some of our six children and 13 grandchildren will come to celebrate, my husband, Ray, is still very conscious of the empty chair that would have been occupied by our daughter, Cyndi, who died tragically almost 18 years ago.

The hole is Ray’s heart comes up in conversations only once in a while these days.  His eyes grow sad but there are no obvious tears. Just a quiet faraway look in his eyes.  All of our conversations are divided into two sections of our 61-year marriage:  BC or before Cyndi’s death and AC after Cyndi’s death.  The heaviness in our conversations about Cyndi’s death often come up like a sudden summer storm on a sunny day.

Everything Changed After the Death

Recently we were discussing what we had hoped to do when Ray retired 22 years ago.  He mentioned that he would have liked to keep our beach house after he retired.

“I wanted to spend Spring and Fall there,” he mused.

I reacted firmly that that would not have been my choice, that I wanted to travel.  The whole time we were raising our six children we were never able to leave home for more than a weekend without one or another of the children having a problem.  I couldn’t wait until the children were older and we could visit Europe, Hawaii and Lake Louise in Canada.

Just that little bit of remembrance brought up how everything in our life changed when Cyndi died.  Grief takes a terrible toll on your memories.

A Sweet Surprise

This year, to our surprise, our grandson, Cyndi’s son, called to ask if he could visit on Father’s Day.  It will be the first time he has ever come on to see us on Father’s Day, and one of the few visits we have had with him since his mother died.

His own father did not allow Cyndi’s boys to see us while he was alive, but since that time he had come to see us often.  This year he called to ask if he could bring his girlfriend for the weekend.

“She is special!”  he beams. We could feel the excitement in his voice. It feels like a rainbow after a storm. In unison we say “Yes.”

Ray and I are thrilled that this young lady inspired our grandson to drive several hours to visit with us on Father’s Day.  They have no idea that they given my husband the smile that was always reserved for Cyndi. However,  I am certain that Cyndi knows from her vision above.

Our grandson will sit in her chair at our dining room table,  and I can’t wait to see the joy in my husband’s face on Father’s Day this year.

Read more from Lo Anne: Healing Relationships After Death – Open to Hope

Check out her book at Celestial Conversations: Healing Relationships After Death: Mayer, Lo Anne: 9781939129017: Amazon.com: Books

Lo Anne Mayer

Lo Anne Mayer, author of Celestial Conversations: Healing Relationships After Death, and co-founder of the International Grief Council, offers motivational talks, workshops, and retreats on transpersonal journaling. She resides in New Jersey but travels throughout the US to share her message of forgiveness and unconditional love. http://www.internationalgriefcouncil.org/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lb0BSUC-sn8

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