(Family Features) Father’s Day is an opportunity for families to gather together to celebrate the dads, grandfathers, uncles and other influential men in their lives and remember those who have died.
This practice can help people become more connected to one another, and it’s important to nurture those relationships, especially around important holidays, and spend quality time with loved ones.
Keeping Memories Alive
For those who want to honor the memory of a father or father figure who touched their lives, influential grief and resilience writer and author of the groundbreaking book “Passed and Present: Keeping Memories of Loved Ones Alive ,” Allison Gilbert, offers the following ideas on how to keep memories of loved ones alive:
- Put the social in social media. Share photos of your loved ones online and invite friends and family members to do the same. Use the opportunity to share treasured stories, too.
- Bring up your dad in conversation. Say his name out loud and share stories. Absence and presence can coexist but only if you make the effort.
- Celebrate the hardest days. On Father’s Day, eat his favorite ice cream or enjoy his favorite meal.
Importance of Family History
More than half of families feel it is important to gather family history from older generations, according to findings from the National Funeral Directors Association’s (NFDA) 2017 Consumer Awareness and Preferences Study. Resources like the Funeral and Memorial Information Council’s “Have the Talk of a Lifetime” program can help you take the time to start a conversation with the father figure in your life, collect family history, hear more about his past experiences and ensure his legacy will go on, even when he’s no longer with you.
How to Start the Conversation
While these conversations are extremely valuable, they can sometimes be challenging to broach with your loved one. To help jump-start a dialogue, NFDA created “Have the Talk of a Lifetime”conversation cards. The cards offer fun and thought-provoking questions, such as:
- Is there a story friends and family always tell about you?
- What personal events have most shaped your life?
- How do you want to be remembered?
Consider audio or video recording your conversation or writing down the information so you have a record of the memories you can treasure for years to come. These meaningful conversations with loved ones can create a treasure-trove of stories for future generations to cherish and can help you meaningfully celebrate his life when the time comes.
For more information about the “Have the Talk of a Lifetime” program and conversation cards, visit talkofalifetime.org.