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This room is for those who have lost a spouse and need support or who can provide support to those who have.

Saint Paula is the patron saint of widows and Saint Stephen is the patron saint of deacons
Learn More: Saint Stephen and Saint Paula

My children range in age from 14 to 23. I dread next weekend! My oldest girl is down in Florida by herself. Think I will take a trip to visit her. Anyone have any Godly advice to share to help my children cope a bit better?
Jun 9th 2013 new
This is a really tough one because it is hard to fix the hurts in our children when we can't fix the hurts in our hearts. I have five children and I am facing my third father's day without my Phil who was a wonderful father (and that is the singular best aspect that I loved in him besides his faith). Four of my five children are in the same profession as their father--the military. Phil had told our children that the AF was the safe country club branch and that he was safe after 26 years in. He was assassinated less than three weeks after our daughter left Afghanistan by someone he liked, trusted, and should have been able to rely on. My children still do not know the details because they are too incomprehensible to share.

Of my five children, the oldest, an AF pediatrician, has become the family patriarch. I don't really want that because he is my baby still. My second, 29, is a married father who is in the Army. He struggles with anger. My daughter, 27, an AF com officer who will be returning to USAFA to teach like her dad, will not mention her dad or allow any posts about her dad because she does not want anyone to think she is getting something from her dad's death. My fourth son, non-military, 23, has totally withdrawn from our family. My fifth child, 21, a recent USAFA graduate, turned down a Rhodes Scholarship because all he can think about is being in the field and stopping the violence. He also would not come home for two years because it hurt too much. He loves me, but it was hard to see me without his dad with whom he was incredibly close.

If my children lived at home, I could control things like family counseling. I cannot do it this way, so I pray, I love, and I keep reaching out. I let them talk about their dad and I listen. I try to bring up fun memories, but I try to take my cues from them. It is not easy because we all grieve differently. I am standing with you, praying, hoping, and believing. I gotcha!
Jun 10th 2013 new
Activities together is a great idea.Is there an uncle or male cousin who would be able to join you'll?
Jun 10th 2013 new
(quote) Linda-756196 said: This is a really tough one because it is hard to fix the hurts in our children when we can't fix the hurts in our hearts. I have five children and I am facing my third father's day without my Phil who was a wonderful father (and that is the singular best aspect that I loved in him besides his faith). Four of my five children are in the same profession as their father--the military. Phil had told our children that the AF was the safe country club branch and that he was safe after 26 years in. He was assassinated less than three weeks after our daughter left Afghanistan by someone he liked, trusted, and should have been able to rely on. My children still do not know the details because they are too incomprehensible to share.

Of my five children, the oldest, an AF pediatrician, has become the family patriarch. I don't really want that because he is my baby still. My second, 29, is a married father who is in the Army. He struggles with anger. My daughter, 27, an AF com officer who will be returning to USAFA to teach like her dad, will not mention her dad or allow any posts about her dad because she does not want anyone to think she is getting something from her dad's death. My fourth son, non-military, 23, has totally withdrawn from our family. My fifth child, 21, a recent USAFA graduate, turned down a Rhodes Scholarship because all he can think about is being in the field and stopping the violence. He also would not come home for two years because it hurt too much. He loves me, but it was hard to see me without his dad with whom he was incredibly close.

If my children lived at home, I could control things like family counseling. I cannot do it this way, so I pray, I love, and I keep reaching out. I let them talk about their dad and I listen. I try to bring up fun memories, but I try to take my cues from them. It is not easy because we all grieve differently. I am standing with you, praying, hoping, and believing. I gotcha!
hug hug Praying theheart
Jun 11th 2013 new
First of all, my condolences, Terry. It is so difficult to lose our beloved mate, and then to see our children in anguish. hug

My girls were 8 and 11 when their dad died in March of that year. As Father's Day approached, we talked a little about what we would do for it, and the options boiled down to spending it with one of their grandpas, or doing something that we had done in the past with their dad. I very much was broken-hearted, and I wanted to take flowers to the cemetery, which meant that we would be in the same town as their paternal grandfather. And yet, I didn't want to leave my father out, either (he lives in my town). We decided to go down the night before and have breakfast with my father-in-law, then go by the cemetery, and then go to a beachside town a couple of hours away, which is where we used to have our family vacations. We spent the day doing all the things their dad used to do with them--riding the amusement rides, playing in the surf and walking on the beach looking for shells, and having an ice cream cone at his favorite place. The girls wrote love letters to him in the sand, and then watched as the tide washed them away--pretty symbolic. It was a bittersweet day, and we laughed AND cried, feeling the emptiness and awkwardness of being "three" instead of "four".... Praying Praying I saw my dad the next day, and he held me as I wept...I felt so guilty that I still had my daddy, and the girls didn't.... sad

Guess you have to do whatever makes you feel best, but realize that you and your children will probably have mixed emotions. Sending you prayers of comfort.

Jun 11th 2013 new
Praying hug Linda, for all that you have been through the past couple of years, including in Boston, I know that Phil is with you and each of your kids. My prayers and hugs go to you all.
Jun 19th 2013 new
I wonder which is harder, being in that situation when your kids are teens, like yours, or when they are still in grade school (as mine were) and the teacher/Scout leader is having them make a Father's Day craft? scratchchin

I honestly don't remember what we did the first year...but I suspect it was something totally off the wall, like cleaning the garage or going to a remote beach; I am sure, in any case, that it involved going nowhere near where "intact" families would be gathered.

My kids never said anything about it.

hug
Jun 19th 2013 new
Terry, first I want to say I am so sorry for your loss and have said a prayer for you and your children. You yourself are so young to be going through the loss of a spouse and my thoughts are with you.

I just faced my first Father's Day without my father. I am a bit older than your oldest child and I am not a mother and cannot advise on your younger children, but in terms of your older adult children - personally I felt I needed to be free to get through the day as I need to without being told how to grieve. I am not saying that you are doing this - I am just sharing my experience. A lot of people told me I had to visit my father's grave, and I did not agree with them because I knew in my heart my father is not there, only his physical body is there, and I preferred to do something positive on the day to honor his memory. I inherently knew he would have preferred that as well having been so extremely close to my father. I hope this helps and God bless you.
Jun 20th 2013 new
My 15 year old daughter and I attended Mass with her older sister and her family. The two of us went to her daddy's grave and sat on the bench for a while. Renee won't let me comfort her, hold her when we're upset or crying. So, when we got home, I asked her what she wanted me to fix her for breakfast. She wanted dinner instead, so I fixed a steak dinner with all the trimmings, Just like I would have fixed for Paul. We sat and ate together, just the two of us. My married daughters called. They miss their dad terribly, as they were all very close to him. So do the grandkids (we have five children and seven grandchildren). We all live within 7 miles of each other, so I count my blessings for my family, for we need and love each other. The only exception for those living nearby is my unmarried adult son, who lives 1 1/2 hours away. He is having a difficult time without his dad, but his faith has been amazing and he lifts my spirits when I'm down. He was the first to call me Sunday morning to talk about Paul. He said dad is enjoying his heavenly reward and would want us to go on and live life to the fullest, as he had always done. Christopher is wise beyond his 30 years... Renee and I prayed a rosary for her dad on Father's Day, We prayed it daily when Paul was here and I try to keep it up, though it's done mostly alone these days. The grandkids made Father's Day cards and took them to the cemetery. One crazy thing I did was take Renee to a One Direction concert in Louisville. She had a blast!!! I stood there in amazement at the teen hysteria of the thousands of girls screaming their undying love and devotion to this latest popular rock band. I'm just now getting my hearing back! So, our way of coping is to try to stay busy, try to keep smiling through the tears, try to remember that we WILL see him again and that he is watching over us and still loves us all very much. THANK GOD FOR OUR PRECIOUS CATHOLIC FAITH! How do people without it cope?!? May Our Lord Jesus and His Holy Mother Mary bless and comfort all who are grieving the loss of a loved one.
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