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To Sam

Father day

My dad passed away when I was 12 (I'm 15 now) and as you know, fathers day is coming up. Every year I go to his grave and sit down for a while but this year my mum is away on fathers day and I'm staying with my older brother but he doesn't drive and the grave is about an hour and 1/2 walk away and I know my mum won't let me walk there alone and I know my brother won't want to come with me because he doesn't like going there.
Should I just go on my own and not tell my mum? She doesn't have to know and I could just tell my brother I'm meeting a friend.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Special days like Father’s day can be really hard for those who have lost someone, or who perhaps never knew their father. Grieving is something everyone needs to deal with in their own way and there’s no right or wrong way to remember your dad on Father’s day.

Whenever we try and remember someone we’ve lost, it can help to have a routine or ritual that we go through as this can give us some structure and direction to our grief. It can be hard to know how to let these feelings out sometimes and so that routine is a way to help us focus on how we feel.

For you going to the grave itself has been something you have done – and perhaps will continue to do in the future as well – but it’s not the only way to remember your father. Knowing how to grieve on father’s day without that routine is something you will probably have to face eventually as there might be times you can’t get to the grave itself.

I can’t tell you whether you should disobey your mum and go on your own – I could only tell you to do what you think is safe and is best. What I would suggest though is maybe thinking about what you could do differently this time – maybe there are other ways of grieving that you haven’t tried yet. One example might be to write a Father’s day card for your dad and say in it what you’d like to say to your dad. You can always take this with you the next time you’re able to get to the cemetery.

The important thing to remember is that the memories of your father are always going to be with you – wherever you are and that grieving in your own way is what matters. Don’t forget, our ChildLine counsellors are always there if you need to talk it through. You can also look at our message boards where other young people share their similar experiences.

I hope this helps.

Take care,

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