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Fathers Day without Dad

Updated on June 8, 2010
Copyright Missi Darnell
Copyright Missi Darnell

For most, Father's Day is a day of celebration, a day filled with family fun and honoring Dad. Fishing trips, homemade cards, and Bar-B-Que's. Making his favorite breakfast and delivering it to his bedside announcing "Happy Father's Day, Dad!".

However, for many children Father's Day can be a painful reminder of loss. Each year, thousands of children under the age of eighteen lose their fathers. Their lives become a turmoil of emotions and confusion. My children are part of that statistic now.

Copyright Missi Darnell
Copyright Missi Darnell
Copyright Missi Darnell
Copyright Missi Darnell

I've been dreading this holiday for the passed month, since Mother's Day. When I asked a very wise friend what I should do, this friend said to me simply, you celebrate. He is still their father, they have wonderful memories and stories to share. They can still honor him. It doesn't have to be a dreaded, tear-filled day, make it the day to celebrate his life.

How right you are my friend!

But the question still gnawed at me, How do we do that exactly? If we were to make it his day, as it should be, what would he want?

  • He would want us to be together, the six of us.
  • He would want us to laugh, to smile, to talk about the good times.
  • He would want good food.
  • He would want relaxation.
  • He would want fun.
  • He would want us to be happy!


Copyright Missi Darnell
Copyright Missi Darnell

And yet, the question is still there, How do we do that exactly? When I've asked the children what they would like to do for Father's Day, they do not have an answer either.

I have made home movies since our oldest was a baby. We can order a pizza, unplug the phones and computers, all lay in our Cal King bed and watch every one of them. We'll smile, we'll remember, we'll hear his wonderful laugh again and we'll be happy.

I think, I hope, that each of the kids will like this idea. We will talk about him and what each one admired about him, loved about him or thought was a special moment. It will open a new door of healing for us.

Our youngest daughter wrote him a poem last week, an amazingly beautiful poem! She asked me if she could take it to the cemetary and put it there for him. I tried not to cry at the innocent beauty of that desire. Of course we can, Dad would love that. She asked if we could get a box to put there so that anytime we wanted to write things or make him pictures we could put them in that box for him. What a wonderful idea! Dad would love that, sweetheart.

Though, I don't know how each of my children will feel about visiting his grave, I will let each one decide. They can write their own letters, poems, songs or make a picture. Honor him in their own way, privately.

So my question has been answered, I think he would feel honored and loved and celebrated. I think my children will be happy with our new tradition, thus I will be happy.


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      You have the monopoly on useful inonamatifn-rreo't monopolies illegal? ;)

    • marcus954 profile image


      6 years ago from Fort Lauderdale

      Loved this, great read.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      My god. I miss you

    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 

      7 years ago

      During this time of year, it can be very difficult to keep your chin up. I know it is for me, my father died eight years ago and sometimes I just can't get it out of my head. The best thing to do is accept and move on, but never forget.

      Your hub is beautiful and a very powerful piece. Great job.

    • rebekahELLE profile image


      8 years ago from Tampa Bay

      jwjulie, thank you for posting here and letting us know. the link you have used does not work. I did find this tribute link with Missi's page if anyone would like to go there and leave a comment. It is all I could find when searching for an obit.

      you may also want to contact HubPages staff to let them know. If she was signed up with any affiliate programs, I'm not sure how that works when a death occurs.

      we miss you Missi. rest in peace.

    • jwjulie40 profile image


      8 years ago

      To all our Friends and Family,

      As many of you know at the beginning of this year Kirk Darnell passed away suddenly at the young age of 47 leaving his loving wife Missi and 5 children behind.

      The family was still reeling from this tragedy when on August 30th Missi and her 9 year old daughter Genevieve were struck and killed by a car.

      It is sad for me to be the one to inform owr fellow hubers the the following you need to read as this is missi sad story!!! PLEASE READ!!

      The remaining 4 children have tragically lost both their parents and one of their siblings in 8 short months.

      We are actively raising money to help... (read more)Website:

    • profile image

      Nichole Stone 

      8 years ago

      Missi reading over this is so heartbreaking, to know that you are not here on earth with us anymore. I will miss your smile, your laugh, the way you would always tell everyone how beautiful they were. I will miss you forever, and its not fair that you are not here on earth with us anymore. But I promise to do everything I can to help your children grow up to be amazing, i would never let them make the mistakes that a lot of people have. Even a few stupid choices I make. I love you Missi, and Kirk, and Genevieve. You will forever be in the hearts of everyone who loved you. And I know my mother misses you a lot right now, she's really hurting. Please watch over her. Rest in peace my darling.

    • DjBryle profile image


      8 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      I am teary eyed, I could not imagine living life without my dad and my husband. I admire you for being so courageous, you're one kind of a woman that we can't find every day! I am wishing you and your kids all the best.

    • Missi Darnell profile imageAUTHOR

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      dawnM thank you and I am sorry for the loss of your Dad and your childrens 'poppy'. You are right life keeps moving forward and yes has inspired me as well. I'm glad for you that you have found that inspiration and hope. I wish you well.

    • dawnM profile image

      Dawn Michael 

      8 years ago from THOUSAND OAKS

      So sorry, Ilost my dad last year to cancer, and spent my first fathers day without him crying my eyes out in bed. we miss him so much but I know that if he was here and looking down on me he would tell me to get my butt out bed and stop the crying. My kids miss their poppy so much but life does go on and because of my dad I started writing again so through loss comes inspiration and hope. One day at a time

    • Missi Darnell profile imageAUTHOR

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Tom thank you for reading my hub. I am sorry, I'm assuming you didn't get to spend time with your daughter on fathers day? I can tell you, coming from divorced parents, keep loving her, validating and affirming that love. One day she will be old enough to see the light and make up her own mind. I wish you well.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      8 years ago from home


    • Missi Darnell profile imageAUTHOR

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      _cheryl_, thank you! Your comment is inspires me to grow stronger, affirms that I'm on the right track. Thank you for your kind words for myself and our children.

    • Missi Darnell profile imageAUTHOR

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      hotelsinsolan, exactly what we did and plan to continue to do. Thank you for reading and taking the time to comment.

    • Missi Darnell profile imageAUTHOR

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      DonnaWallace thank you again for your beautiful and kind words. I seem to be finding new strength everyday.

    • _cheryl_ profile image


      8 years ago from California

      Missi, you have a very beautiful family. I love that you've turned this day into a celebration of life remembering someone so very important to all of you. It's difficult for some to even acknowledge a lossed loved one, especially on days like this. I think it's a great idea what you've done. You're doing an awesome job by example showing your kids that he is never forgotten and that it's okay to celebrate the life he shared with you all. I admire your strength, it's very inspiring. God bless you all, and hugs to all your cutie pies!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Mis him but let him down.......

      Celebrate the day in his memory every time.........

    • DonnaWallace profile image

      Donna Wallace 

      8 years ago from North Carolina

      Oh, Missi, you brought tears to my eyes. Bless you and your children for being strong enough to make it through Father's Day, as well as all the other days.

    • Missi Darnell profile imageAUTHOR

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Dardia, thank you so much for your wonderful insight and thank you for reading and commenting. I'm off to read your hub.

    • Missi Darnell profile imageAUTHOR

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      jwjulie, thank you for your comment and support. You are so right. Love you lady.

    • Dardia profile image

      Darlene Yager 

      8 years ago from Michigan

      I have a friend who recently lost her husband and I told her to share her grief with their children not to hide it from them. Also to remember him often. Talk about him frequently, as he will always be in your hearts. It sounds like you are doing the right thing. As you said here;

      "Though, I don't know how each of my children will feel about visiting his grave, I will let each one decide. They can write their own letters, poems, songs or make a picture. Honor him in their own way, privately."

      This is wise because we all grieve in different ways and express ourselves differently as well.

      This I know from experience as I lost my father at 1 1/2 years old and have 9 older brothers and sisters and a younger brother who was still in the womb when my father died. Take a look at my hub, "Strand of Pearls" it is only the beginning of my story but it may be worth sharing with your kids.

      I wish you peace and love!


    • jwjulie40 profile image


      8 years ago

      Oh, Please laught about the good times and all the wonerful things you did and will do with him watching you!! His right there in all your hearts as long as they beat he will be in there!!

    • Missi Darnell profile imageAUTHOR

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      drcrischasse, yes it stinks and just how my kids feel as well. I'm so glad you have your mother as a wonderful support system, I hope that my children will say the same about me. Its hard to know if I am doing enough for them. I hope so. Thank you for commenting.

    • Missi Darnell profile imageAUTHOR

      Missi Darnell 

      8 years ago from Southern California

      Property-Invest, thank you for reading and leaving a comment. Glad you liked the hub.

    • drcrischasse profile image

      Cristopher Chasse 

      8 years ago from Boston

      I so know what you are going through as I have such a renewed appreciation for all who lost loved one's. No words can describe the feeling except these few, "it really stinks"! The only thing for me that gets me through is knowing how wonderful a person my mom was and is to me this very moment.

    • Property-Invest profile image


      8 years ago from London

      Thanks for the super hub. I lost my dad when I was 20 so totally know what you mean.


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