The Father
of All Holidays

Father’s Day can really suck for those of us without dads, and for dads without their children. But it doesn’t mean we have to suck it up in silence while the rest of the world throws a BBQ.

This Father’s Day we’re sharing stories from across The Dinner Party community. We’re saying names, remembering our favorite memories, reflecting on what we’ve learned, and being honest about what’s been helpful - and what’s been harmful - in #lifeafterloss.

Read on, and introduce us to your person by tagging us on social media. And remember. You’ve Got This

 
 
Angeli | San Francisco, CA    What is your dad’s name?  Anant   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss how playful my dad was. He was a business executive who ran multiple companies, but he always found time to come up with a ridiculous new nickname for his kids or send us meticulously narrated stories of our family dog chasing a lizard in the yard. I miss his love of learning. While other kids in our neighborhood were learning to play soccer or baseball, he deconstructed a radio for my sister and I and taught us how to put the entire thing back together again. I miss how he annoyed my mom and gave us something to talk about when I call her every week.  I don't miss his alcoholism. I don't miss how it transformed him into this shell of a human, someone I didn't recognize and who literally shrank as he lost weight. I don't miss how his disease stole him from us far too soon. But over the last year, I've realized I'm also grateful that he was with us for as long as he was.   What do you wish people would ask you about your dad?  I wish they would ask about him. Ask about my memories of him, ask what he was like, ask how I continue to stay connected with him after his passing, ask about the little things he did to annoy me, ask about the incredibly complicated feelings of relief and guilt I had when he died. I wish they would ask me about my experience of being in the hospital with him because I'm still not over it, and it's been a year. All I want to do is talk about him, and it feels like sometimes people are nervous to ask.

Angeli | San Francisco, CA

What is your dad’s name? Anant

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss how playful my dad was. He was a business executive who ran multiple companies, but he always found time to come up with a ridiculous new nickname for his kids or send us meticulously narrated stories of our family dog chasing a lizard in the yard. I miss his love of learning. While other kids in our neighborhood were learning to play soccer or baseball, he deconstructed a radio for my sister and I and taught us how to put the entire thing back together again. I miss how he annoyed my mom and gave us something to talk about when I call her every week.

I don't miss his alcoholism. I don't miss how it transformed him into this shell of a human, someone I didn't recognize and who literally shrank as he lost weight. I don't miss how his disease stole him from us far too soon. But over the last year, I've realized I'm also grateful that he was with us for as long as he was.

What do you wish people would ask you about your dad? I wish they would ask about him. Ask about my memories of him, ask what he was like, ask how I continue to stay connected with him after his passing, ask about the little things he did to annoy me, ask about the incredibly complicated feelings of relief and guilt I had when he died. I wish they would ask me about my experience of being in the hospital with him because I'm still not over it, and it's been a year. All I want to do is talk about him, and it feels like sometimes people are nervous to ask.

Emmalee | Bangor, ME    What is your dad’s name?  Herbert   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  One of my favorite memories with my dad was when my first child was born. He held him close, began to cry and said, "Emmie, he looks just like you. It brings back some many memories to when you were this little." It was the time I really sad his heart on the outside.   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss hearing my dad's voice the most. He called me his little "ferd" and neither of us knew why. But it was always my favorite and I'd do anything to hear him call me that again.

Emmalee | Bangor, ME

What is your dad’s name? Herbert

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? One of my favorite memories with my dad was when my first child was born. He held him close, began to cry and said, "Emmie, he looks just like you. It brings back some many memories to when you were this little." It was the time I really sad his heart on the outside.

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss hearing my dad's voice the most. He called me his little "ferd" and neither of us knew why. But it was always my favorite and I'd do anything to hear him call me that again.

Heather | Austin, TX    What is your dad’s name?  Ned   What’s do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss my father's love. I miss the way he pushed me to be great but seemingly held no expectations around my greatness either. What he didn't understand about me, we didn't need to discuss. He loved me wholly.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  Not many know what to do when their friend loses someone close. And I'm not sure many of us are even aware of what we are capable of doing for others in those times. On the day I lost my father, one of my most introverted friends suddenly became a stand-up comedian. Her comedy wasn't forced, but genuine. We sat on a balcony with another friend of mine and we all fell out in laughter. I was in a mode of devastation – nothing much more – but laughing still.

Heather | Austin, TX

What is your dad’s name? Ned

What’s do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss my father's love. I miss the way he pushed me to be great but seemingly held no expectations around my greatness either. What he didn't understand about me, we didn't need to discuss. He loved me wholly.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? Not many know what to do when their friend loses someone close. And I'm not sure many of us are even aware of what we are capable of doing for others in those times. On the day I lost my father, one of my most introverted friends suddenly became a stand-up comedian. Her comedy wasn't forced, but genuine. We sat on a balcony with another friend of mine and we all fell out in laughter. I was in a mode of devastation – nothing much more – but laughing still.

 
Phillip | Forest Hills, NY    What is your dad’s name?  Sheldon   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  Taking him to Fenway Park for what would turn out to be his last trip there as he was a big Boston Red Sox fan, as I am now.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  A friend of mine living across the country showed up to his funeral unexpectedly and gave me a big hug after the ceremony.

Phillip | Forest Hills, NY

What is your dad’s name? Sheldon

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? Taking him to Fenway Park for what would turn out to be his last trip there as he was a big Boston Red Sox fan, as I am now.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? A friend of mine living across the country showed up to his funeral unexpectedly and gave me a big hug after the ceremony.

Andre | Smyrna, TN    What is your child’s name?  Dreyton   What’s your favorite memory of your child?  He would always put my arm around his shoulder and say I love you Daddy.   What do you miss (or not miss) about your child?  I miss his smile, I miss his laughter, I just miss everything about him.

Andre | Smyrna, TN

What is your child’s name? Dreyton

What’s your favorite memory of your child? He would always put my arm around his shoulder and say I love you Daddy.

What do you miss (or not miss) about your child? I miss his smile, I miss his laughter, I just miss everything about him.

Zach | San Diego, CA    What is your dad’s name?  David   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  I have two. One from my childhood and one from adulthood. I will respectively be concise with both. When I was a child my parents wanted to do special trips with each parent that entailed 300 miles in distance and $300 to spend. I was about 13 years old and I chose to go to Philadelphia from New York with my dad where we got to experience baseball and Independence Hall. It's something I plan to carry on with my daughter. As an adult I have one very memorable moment. After my father survived stage 4 prostate cancer we became very very close over the last decade. Just a few months before I married my wife my parents came out to visit San Diego from upstate New York I took them on a hike to Torrey Pines and asked my father to be the best man of my wedding. It was a tearful moment that my mom continues to tell me was the most amazing moment of this life, an honor he never held before.

Zach | San Diego, CA

What is your dad’s name? David

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? I have two. One from my childhood and one from adulthood. I will respectively be concise with both. When I was a child my parents wanted to do special trips with each parent that entailed 300 miles in distance and $300 to spend. I was about 13 years old and I chose to go to Philadelphia from New York with my dad where we got to experience baseball and Independence Hall. It's something I plan to carry on with my daughter. As an adult I have one very memorable moment. After my father survived stage 4 prostate cancer we became very very close over the last decade. Just a few months before I married my wife my parents came out to visit San Diego from upstate New York I took them on a hike to Torrey Pines and asked my father to be the best man of my wedding. It was a tearful moment that my mom continues to tell me was the most amazing moment of this life, an honor he never held before.

 
Jonelle | Washington D.C.    What is your dad’s name?  John   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  An image comes to mind often these days that captures the essence of my dad: he had a silly dance move that was a mix of air guitar – but chilled out like a bass guitar, not the arm-waving-in-a-big-circle-electric-guitar kind – and knees bouncing forward and back to the rhythm of the song. When he did this I would roll my eyes and laugh at how ridiculous he was, and I never thought I'd miss it or cherish that memory of him the way I do now.   What do you wish people would ask you about your dad?  I wish people would ask me how I'm feeling about him, or what he was like, or my favorite memories of him. I think most people fear making me revisit something painful, but having opportunities to remember him helps keep him feeling near instead of far, and helps me feel like others haven't forgotten this still huge thing in my life, which was not only losing him but having him in my life.

Jonelle | Washington D.C.

What is your dad’s name? John

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? An image comes to mind often these days that captures the essence of my dad: he had a silly dance move that was a mix of air guitar – but chilled out like a bass guitar, not the arm-waving-in-a-big-circle-electric-guitar kind – and knees bouncing forward and back to the rhythm of the song. When he did this I would roll my eyes and laugh at how ridiculous he was, and I never thought I'd miss it or cherish that memory of him the way I do now.

What do you wish people would ask you about your dad? I wish people would ask me how I'm feeling about him, or what he was like, or my favorite memories of him. I think most people fear making me revisit something painful, but having opportunities to remember him helps keep him feeling near instead of far, and helps me feel like others haven't forgotten this still huge thing in my life, which was not only losing him but having him in my life.

Haley | Denver, CO    What is your dad’s name?  Barrett   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  It is so impossible to pick a favorite memory, but here is one. My dad used to lull us to sleep with tales of Ursula, the pink-bellied speckled trout of Algonquin Park, whose adventures and misadventures around the lakes and trails we called home were the life lessons that my dad taught us in fable form. (He also reassured us that we didn’t have to worry about catching Ursula—she’s too smart). Armed with our Ursula knowledge and past canoe trips with our parents present, my dad sent us on our first canoe trip alone when we were 12, 11, 9, and 6 years old respectively. My mom was of course away for the weekend. I remember being a little bit nervous, but he had the utmost confidence in us. As amazing as it was to bond as a unit and figure out our roles in the backcountry (including figuring out what to do when our bear pack with all of our food got stuck on a knot in the wood as we were trying to let it down), one of the best parts of our first “Kids’ Trip” was the thrill of coming back to the cabin to our dad to fill him in on all the stories of our trip and give him our fish count.

Haley | Denver, CO

What is your dad’s name? Barrett

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? It is so impossible to pick a favorite memory, but here is one. My dad used to lull us to sleep with tales of Ursula, the pink-bellied speckled trout of Algonquin Park, whose adventures and misadventures around the lakes and trails we called home were the life lessons that my dad taught us in fable form. (He also
reassured us that we didn’t have to worry about catching Ursula—she’s too smart). Armed with our Ursula knowledge and past canoe trips with our parents present, my dad sent us on our first canoe trip alone when we were 12, 11, 9, and 6 years old respectively. My mom was of course away for the weekend. I remember being a little bit nervous, but he had the utmost confidence in us. As amazing as it was to bond as a unit and figure out our roles in the backcountry (including figuring out what to do when our bear pack with all of our food got stuck on a knot in the wood as we were trying to let it down), one of the best parts of our first “Kids’ Trip” was the thrill of coming back to the cabin to our dad to fill him in on all the stories of our trip and give him our fish count.

Shayne | Los Angeles, CA    What is your dad’s name?  Rene Jr.   What is your favorite memory of your dad?  I don’t know if this is my favorite memory, but it’s the first one that comes to mind: There was one time when my dad had picked me up to take his house for a visit. It was kind of late at night (I think. I was a little kid, so “late” is probably relative), and he played the song “Hotel California” over and over again for the entire 2+ hour drive. Occasionally he would switch between the live and studio versions, but it was just that one song on repeat. I was literally hearing the song in my sleep, but I didn’t mind because it reminded me of something that my dad and I shared. I’m also a music lover, and I can get stuck on particular songs, where I’ll just play the song ad nauseam, driving everyone around me a little crazy before I finally move on.  As someone who’s studied and works in music, people sometimes ask me if music runs in my family. I haven’t really known a ton of musicians in my family, so I used to always say “no”, but my father was most definitely a music man. It was only after his death that I truly realized that this is something I inherited from him.

Shayne | Los Angeles, CA

What is your dad’s name? Rene Jr.

What is your favorite memory of your dad? I don’t know if this is my favorite memory, but it’s the first one that comes to mind:
There was one time when my dad had picked me up to take his house for a visit. It was kind of late at night (I think. I was a little kid, so “late” is probably relative), and he played the song “Hotel California” over and over again for the entire 2+ hour drive. Occasionally he would switch between the live and studio versions, but it was just that one song on repeat. I was literally hearing the song in my sleep, but I didn’t mind because it reminded me of something that my dad and I shared. I’m also a music lover, and I can get stuck on particular songs, where I’ll just play the song ad nauseam, driving everyone around me a little crazy before I finally move on.

As someone who’s studied and works in music, people sometimes ask me if music runs in my family. I haven’t really known a ton of musicians in my family, so I used to always say “no”, but my father was most definitely a music man. It was only after his death that I truly realized that this is something I inherited from him.

 
Anonymous | Vancouver    What is your dad’s name?  Paul   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  I spent most of my childhood with him as he worked from home and my mom worked long hours, in a city 45 minutes away. We would have a lot of fun together when he was able to step away from his work, but this one memory, however small it may be, resonates with me so much, perhaps because he only did this with me and not my other 2 older siblings. Every morning he would get me a mini sized carton of chocolate milk (healthy, I know) and instead of opening it from the spout, he'd stab it with a pen and feed my straw through the front for me to drink. It was I guess, part of our daily routine.

Anonymous | Vancouver

What is your dad’s name? Paul

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? I spent most of my childhood with him as he worked from home and my mom worked long hours, in a city 45 minutes away. We would have a lot of fun together when he was able to step away from his work, but this one memory, however small it may be, resonates with me so much, perhaps because he only did this with me and not my other 2 older siblings. Every morning he would get me a mini sized carton of chocolate milk (healthy, I know) and instead of opening it from the spout, he'd stab it with a pen and feed my straw through the front for me to drink. It was I guess, part of our daily routine.

Sarah | Providence, RI    What is your dad’s name?  Jim   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  His sense of humor! He was definitely king of "dad jokes."   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  Letting me know that grief comes in waves and can sneak up on you in moments you may not realize. I was really sad on my birthday this year and that wasn't something I was expecting.

Sarah | Providence, RI

What is your dad’s name? Jim

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? His sense of humor! He was definitely king of "dad jokes."

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? Letting me know that grief comes in waves and can sneak up on you in moments you may not realize. I was really sad on my birthday this year and that wasn't something I was expecting.

Jamie | New York, NY    What is your dad’s name?  James   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss his voice, his huge smile, his big warm hugs, his contagious laugh, his advice & guidance, his support, his presence beyond all else, I miss watching tv with him, having coffee with him in the morning, our car rides (where I got my good taste of music), our late night trips to McDonald’s drive-thru, I miss calling him several times per day whether something good bad or completely random happened or just to say hi & share something funny. I miss so much, everything about him.   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  We would vacation at the Jersey Shore most summers during my childhood. A couple of years ago, we took a father-daughter trip there. I cry just thinking back to it, we had the best time. We hit the arcades, the beach, the aquarium, Jimbo’s, the chair lift ride & the pool. It was so nice to vacation with my dad & get to spend quality time together. I was at an age where I could genuinely appreciate that. I’ll remember that trip forever & will forever love Seaside Heights for the memories I’ve had there with my dad.

Jamie | New York, NY

What is your dad’s name? James

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss his voice, his huge smile, his big warm hugs, his contagious laugh, his advice & guidance, his support, his presence beyond all else, I miss watching tv with him, having coffee with him in the morning, our car rides (where I got my good taste of music), our late night trips to McDonald’s drive-thru, I miss calling him several times per day whether something good bad or completely random happened or just to say hi & share something funny. I miss so much, everything about him.

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? We would vacation at the Jersey Shore most summers during my childhood. A couple of years ago, we took a father-daughter trip there. I cry just thinking back to it, we had the best time. We hit the arcades, the beach, the aquarium, Jimbo’s, the chair lift ride & the pool. It was so nice to vacation with my dad & get to spend quality time together. I was at an age where I could genuinely appreciate that. I’ll remember that trip forever & will forever love Seaside Heights for the memories I’ve had there with my dad.

 
Ciara | Boston, MA    What is your dad’s name?  Chuck   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  Our daily phone calls. I lived in San Diego for a few years during and after college and I would call my dad every day on my commute to work. It was really special that he always made time for us to talk even when he was starting to get sicker. He never wanted me to know how much he was struggling and it made a really big difference for me when he did pass away.  He also had a really unique nickname for me for as long as I can remember and it’s been horrible that Smunchkin died with him. My mom tried to call me Smunch for a few days after he died but it just didn’t feel right to either of us. I always loved when he’d call and say “Oh hi, Smunch!” and it’s been really hard to accept that a beloved nickname died too.

Ciara | Boston, MA

What is your dad’s name? Chuck

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? Our daily phone calls. I lived in San Diego for a few years during and after college and I would call my dad every day on my commute to work. It was really special that he always made time for us to talk even when he was starting to get sicker. He never wanted me to know how much he was struggling and it made a really big difference for me when he did pass away.

He also had a really unique nickname for me for as long as I can remember and it’s been horrible that Smunchkin died with him. My mom tried to call me Smunch for a few days after he died but it just didn’t feel right to either of us. I always loved when he’d call and say “Oh hi, Smunch!” and it’s been really hard to accept that a beloved nickname died too.

Amanda | Boston, MA    What is your dad’s name?  Ed   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  I have a lot of favorite memories. He was truly a great human and amazing Dad. He made sure any time together was one for the books, even in the smallest of ways. When I read this question I initially started to think of specific moments or trips or life events to talk about. But, as I shuffled through all the memories in my mind, it hit me. My absolute favorite memories are as simple as making mickey mouse pancakes together on Sunday and how he would dance in his weird Dad way and when he would burst into song at random around the house... "It was a bloody mary morning". I can still hear it. He had a zest for life and lived it to the fullest.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  Had patience and gave me room to grieve. I feel lucky to have a few close friends to show support. Particularly, right after he died and I was back home in Arizona my best friend flew in and answered the phone at 6am when I randomly called her and asked if she would just come and sit with me by the lake near our house. She came immediately and just sat with me in silence, let me cry and reminisced and we talked about him and our memories. It was so helpful to be able to just let it out and to have someone talk about him with me instead of tiptoeing around me.

Amanda | Boston, MA

What is your dad’s name? Ed

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? I have a lot of favorite memories. He was truly a great human and amazing Dad. He made sure any time together was one for the books, even in the smallest of ways. When I read this question I initially started to think of specific moments or trips or life events to talk about. But, as I shuffled through all the memories in my mind, it hit me. My absolute favorite memories are as simple as making mickey mouse pancakes together on Sunday and how he would dance in his weird Dad way and when he would burst into song at random around the house... "It was a bloody mary morning". I can still hear it. He had a zest for life and lived it to the fullest.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? Had patience and gave me room to grieve. I feel lucky to have a few close friends to show support. Particularly, right after he died and I was back home in Arizona my best friend flew in and answered the phone at 6am when I randomly called her and asked if she would just come and sit with me by the lake near our house. She came immediately and just sat with me in silence, let me cry and reminisced and we talked about him and our memories. It was so helpful to be able to just let it out and to have someone talk about him with me instead of tiptoeing around me.

Melissa | Newmarket, NH    What is your dad’s name?  Michael   What do you wish people would ask you about your dad?  I wish they’d ask more about him rather than focus on how he died. He died by suicide and I hate how there is still so much stigma behind it. They focus on that and sometimes react negatively to me telling them. He was a good person and his manner of death does not define who he was as a person. He was a good dad.   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  We used to go to the movies every weekend. We started going when I was around 7 years old and we kept the ritual going until his passing last year. I’m currently 28.

Melissa | Newmarket, NH

What is your dad’s name? Michael

What do you wish people would ask you about your dad? I wish they’d ask more about him rather than focus on how he died. He died by suicide and I hate how there is still so much stigma behind it. They focus on that and sometimes react negatively to me telling them. He was a good person and his manner of death does not define who he was as a person. He was a good dad.

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? We used to go to the movies every weekend. We started going when I was around 7 years old and we kept the ritual going until his passing last year. I’m currently 28.

 
Bridget | San Diego, CA    What is your dad’s name?  James   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  My favorite memory of my dad was probably two years before his death. I was in my senior year of college and was stressed about not knowing what career path I wanted to go down, especially while being surrounded by friends who seemed like they had it all figured out. My dad, at 71 years old and a successful lawyer, looked at me and said, "Nobody knows what they want to do with the rest of their life. I still haven't figured it out yet." And that was the end of the conversation. It's a conversation that I think about so often when I'm stressed. Such a sweet memory of how amazing my father was at always knowing the right things to say.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  One of my great friends sent me knock-knock jokes for a very long time. They were the worst jokes I've ever heard. At the same time, they were the best jokes and exactly what I needed in the months after my dad's death.

Bridget | San Diego, CA

What is your dad’s name? James

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? My favorite memory of my dad was probably two years before his death. I was in my senior year of college and was stressed about not knowing what career path I wanted to go down, especially while being surrounded by friends who seemed like they had it all figured out. My dad, at 71 years old and a successful lawyer, looked at me and said, "Nobody knows what they want to do with the rest of their life. I still haven't figured it out yet." And that was the end of the conversation. It's a conversation that I think about so often when I'm stressed. Such a sweet memory of how amazing my father was at always knowing the right things to say.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? One of my great friends sent me knock-knock jokes for a very long time. They were the worst jokes I've ever heard. At the same time, they were the best jokes and exactly what I needed in the months after my dad's death.

Gillian | Berkeley, CA    What is your dad’s name?  David   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  It is so hard to pinpoint a favorite memory, but my dad was very adventurous and we spent a lot of time outdoors together. We would go on hikes (my dad, sister, sometimes my mom and sometimes my grandfather) and we would be hiking along, and my dad would go out of sight. We would spot him some minutes later, having scrambled up a distant rock, waving at us. He was always kind of stubborn about his adventures. He wouldn’t listen to my grandma’s orders to come home before dark when we would visit my grandparents. He would drive way out of the way to see an interesting natural artifact.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  Someone who lost her father at a younger age told me in the days after he died, that she would still be around to check in on me even after the initial rush of condolences and sympathy died down.

Gillian | Berkeley, CA

What is your dad’s name? David

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? It is so hard to pinpoint a favorite memory, but my dad was very adventurous and we spent a lot of time outdoors together. We would go on hikes (my dad, sister, sometimes my mom and sometimes my grandfather) and we would be hiking along, and my dad would go out of sight. We would spot him some minutes later, having scrambled up a distant rock, waving at us. He was always kind of stubborn about his adventures. He wouldn’t listen to my grandma’s orders to come home before dark when we would visit my grandparents. He would drive way out of the way to see an interesting natural artifact.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? Someone who lost her father at a younger age told me in the days after he died, that she would still be around to check in on me even after the initial rush of condolences and sympathy died down.

Meta | Minneapolis, MN    What is your dad’s name?  Jim   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss him calling me on his way home from work to say hi. I also miss going on boat rides with him.   What is Father’s Day like for you now?  It is bittersweet. My first Father’s Day without my dad was my husbands first Father’s Day as a dad. I love being able to focus on my husband that day but deeply miss my own dad.

Meta | Minneapolis, MN

What is your dad’s name? Jim

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss him calling me on his way home from work to say hi. I also miss going on boat rides with him.

What is Father’s Day like for you now? It is bittersweet. My first Father’s Day without my dad was my husbands first Father’s Day as a dad. I love being able to focus on my husband that day but deeply miss my own dad.

 
Lisa | Chelmsford, MA    What is your dad’s name?  Sterling   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  Spending time with me is what Dad always did. As a little girl I just wanted to be around him. I’d mow the lawn with him, go with him to Star City IGA, sit on the steps at camp while he grilled supper, and in later years sit on the porch at my own house while he did a crossword and I read a book. I just wanted to be near him. And that's what I miss most, his quiet presence. His work ethic, his desire and ability to find the common ground that breeds compromise, his optimism, and his infectious belly laugh were the best parts of him, and I miss him every day because he taught me how to be a good citizen.   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  When I was 22 I was a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding. It was time in my life when I didn't feel great about my body and had extra weight on. Ordering the chosen bridesmaid dress was a nightmare for me when my size wasn't in stock. Dad made several calls to the company for me to take the stress off me, and did everything in his power to not make me feel defined by a dress or a size. The dress never did fit quite right (in fact, Men's Warehouse practically sewed me in it the day of the wedding when we were in a pinch). When the wedding as all over and I was home visiting later that year he goes, "You know what, I think we should burn that stupid dress." And we did. And it felt glorious!

Lisa | Chelmsford, MA

What is your dad’s name? Sterling

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? Spending time with me is what Dad always did. As a little girl I just wanted to be around him. I’d mow the lawn with him, go with him to Star City IGA, sit on the steps at camp while he grilled supper, and in later years sit on the porch at my own house while he did a crossword and I read a book. I just wanted to be near him. And that's what I miss most, his quiet presence. His work ethic, his desire and ability to find the common ground that breeds compromise, his optimism, and his infectious belly laugh were the best parts of him, and I miss him every day because he taught me how to be a good citizen.

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? When I was 22 I was a bridesmaid in my brother's wedding. It was time in my life when I didn't feel great about my body and had extra weight on. Ordering the chosen bridesmaid dress was a nightmare for me when my size wasn't in stock. Dad made several calls to the company for me to take the stress off me, and did everything in his power to not make me feel defined by a dress or a size. The dress never did fit quite right (in fact, Men's Warehouse practically sewed me in it the day of the wedding when we were in a pinch). When the wedding as all over and I was home visiting later that year he goes, "You know what, I think we should burn that stupid dress." And we did. And it felt glorious!

Christie | Orlando, FL    What is your dad’s name?  Gregory   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  My dad used to sing a song, whenever I missed his calls he’d leave it as a voicemail. It was just some silly song with my name in it, but he made it up when I was a kid and I can still hear the words today.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  Listened. Cried with me. Nothing anyone said really made it better but feeling like they understood my pain a little did sort of help.

Christie | Orlando, FL

What is your dad’s name? Gregory

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? My dad used to sing a song, whenever I missed his calls he’d leave it as a voicemail. It was just some silly song with my name in it, but he made it up when I was a kid and I can still hear the words today.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? Listened. Cried with me. Nothing anyone said really made it better but feeling like they understood my pain a little did sort of help.

Katie | Vancouver, WA    What is your dad’s name?  John   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  I was usually practicing piano when my dad would come home from work, plop down in his recliner, close his eyes and in between songs say, "MORE!". He's always told me that when I played piano it almost made him feel like he was levitating because he loved it so much. Another favorite memory I have is when my car would be parked just slightly differently than I had left it, with a FULL tank of gas (he always got so terse with me about letting my tank get to close to empty). He was the only person with the extra key. He was always giving to me in sneaky ways and trying to disguise it was him. He never wanted the attention for the giving, he just wanted me to receive.   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss his voicemails: "The message is I LOVE YOU! Buh bye." I miss how he would pick up any coin he found on the ground. Once he found a quarter and it was glued to the floor of the mall. He didn't let that stop him, he got out his pocket knife and pried that puppy up and proudly plopped it in his pocket. I miss having coffee with him on the front porch and talking about *everything*. I miss buying him Tillamook extra sharp cheddar cheese baby loafs. I miss the way he dissected a plate of spaghetti like he was a brain surgeon. I miss seeing him shuffle around in his solid red Nike Air Jordan High tops (they're mine now and I wear them with pride but it's not the same). I could keep going but I'll stop myself now.

Katie | Vancouver, WA

What is your dad’s name? John

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? I was usually practicing piano when my dad would come home from work, plop down in his recliner, close his eyes and in between songs say, "MORE!". He's always told me that when I played piano it almost made him feel like he was levitating because he loved it so much. Another favorite memory I have is when my car would be parked just slightly differently than I had left it, with a FULL tank of gas (he always got so terse with me about letting my tank get to close to empty). He was the only person with the extra key. He was always giving to me in sneaky ways and trying to disguise it was him. He never wanted the attention for the giving, he just wanted me to receive.

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss his voicemails: "The message is I LOVE YOU! Buh bye." I miss how he would pick up any coin he found on the ground. Once he found a quarter and it was glued to the floor of the mall. He didn't let that stop him, he got out his pocket knife and pried that puppy up and proudly plopped it in his pocket. I miss having coffee with him on the front porch and talking about *everything*. I miss buying him Tillamook extra sharp cheddar cheese baby loafs. I miss the way he dissected a plate of spaghetti like he was a brain surgeon. I miss seeing him shuffle around in his solid red Nike Air Jordan High tops (they're mine now and I wear them with pride but it's not the same). I could keep going but I'll stop myself now.

 
Jess | Boston, MA    What is your dad’s name?  Bob   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  Singing Beastie Boys "No Sleep for Brooklyn" in the truck to me, and purposefully mispronouncing it "No Sleep for Broccoli" so my sister and I would laugh.   What do you wish people would ask you about you dad?  I wish people would ask about what he taught me, or what he liked doing.

Jess | Boston, MA

What is your dad’s name? Bob

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? Singing Beastie Boys "No Sleep for Brooklyn" in the truck to me, and purposefully mispronouncing it "No Sleep for Broccoli" so my sister and I would laugh.

What do you wish people would ask you about you dad? I wish people would ask about what he taught me, or what he liked doing.

Bryna | Plano, TX    What is your dad’s name?  Robert   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  I have great memories of my dad at Christmas. For those couple days a year, we would be able to forget that he was sick and we would have fun opening presents, eating good food, and playing with my new toys. He was always in the background with the video camera, but he was there and felt all the joy that I did on those days.   What do you wish people would ask you about you dad?  I wish that people would ask about him more and just bring him up. I also wish that I could learn more about him since he died when I was still young.

Bryna | Plano, TX

What is your dad’s name? Robert

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? I have great memories of my dad at Christmas. For those couple days a year, we would be able to forget that he was sick and we would have fun opening presents, eating good food, and playing with my new toys. He was always in the background with the video camera, but he was there and felt all the joy that I did on those days.

What do you wish people would ask you about you dad? I wish that people would ask about him more and just bring him up. I also wish that I could learn more about him since he died when I was still young.

Megan | Vermont    What is your dad’s name?  Bobby   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  Anything that involves us laughing together, which covers a lot of memories. On a more serious note: the sensitive, encouraging approach he always took to giving me advice.   Is there anything else that you want to share?  I want to share that my sister and I see a butterfly as a symbol for our dad. We lost him to very early onset Alzheimer’s, which has been compared to a butterfly. I had a rare instance where I was crying at work, and all of a sudden a huge group of butterflies were at my window at work. I just stared laughing and said “ok ok I get it !!” My dads heart was broken any time he saw me cry.

Megan | Vermont

What is your dad’s name? Bobby

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? Anything that involves us laughing together, which covers a lot of memories. On a more serious note: the sensitive, encouraging approach he always took to giving me advice.

Is there anything else that you want to share? I want to share that my sister and I see a butterfly as a symbol for our dad. We lost him to very early onset Alzheimer’s, which has been compared to a butterfly. I had a rare instance where I was crying at work, and all of a sudden a huge group of butterflies were at my window at work. I just stared laughing and said “ok ok I get it !!” My dads heart was broken any time he saw me cry.

 
Sasha | New York City, NY    What is your dad’s name?  Neville   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss everything. His smile, his laugh, the smell of his cologne, his jokes (he had an awesome wicked sense of humor), and his eyes. My daddy had had the prettiest eyes, and they made him the envy of his brothers and sisters. When he passed away, we still talked about how beautiful and unique they were. When, I was smaller, I used to ask how come I never got his eyes ... or his eyelashes! I have to wear mascara, ugh! lol   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  My friend Nicole, who is also my sorority sister, lets me email her multiple times a day, every day, and she responds. We talk about everything. But, she lets me talk about my daddy in circles until I feel like it. A few of my friends, and my apartment building as well, sent me flowers to my apartment. I'm from Miami, and I live in NYC, so getting flowers in NYC after returning from Miami was nice. It actually helped me. My father had a garden, and my grandma taught him how to garden, so flowers reminded me of him. The friends who sent flowers, week after week, it gave me something to smile about.

Sasha | New York City, NY

What is your dad’s name? Neville

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss everything. His smile, his laugh, the smell of his cologne, his jokes (he had an awesome wicked sense of humor), and his eyes. My daddy had had the prettiest eyes, and they made him the envy of his brothers and sisters. When he passed away, we still talked about how beautiful and unique they were. When, I was smaller, I used to ask how come I never got his eyes ... or his eyelashes! I have to wear mascara, ugh! lol

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? My friend Nicole, who is also my sorority sister, lets me email her multiple times a day, every day, and she responds. We talk about everything. But, she lets me talk about my daddy in circles until I feel like it. A few of my friends, and my apartment building as well, sent me flowers to my apartment. I'm from Miami, and I live in NYC, so getting flowers in NYC after returning from Miami was nice. It actually helped me. My father had a garden, and my grandma taught him how to garden, so flowers reminded me of him. The friends who sent flowers, week after week, it gave me something to smile about.

Rory | North Carolina    What is your dad’s name?  Kim   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss just being able to call him with stuff. I've had so many times over the last two and a half years that I've done something exciting that would thrill him--and I can't. I bought a bass guitar a few weeks ago that I've been wanting since I was 12--Dad knew all about it and would've loved to get one for me if he'd've been able to afford it. I had an "I gotta call Dad" moment leaving the store.   Is there anything else that you want to share?  One of my favorite things my dad ever said: "Nothing is normal. And if it is, run."

Rory | North Carolina

What is your dad’s name? Kim

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss just being able to call him with stuff. I've had so many times over the last two and a half years that I've done something exciting that would thrill him--and I can't. I bought a bass guitar a few weeks ago that I've been wanting since I was 12--Dad knew all about it and would've loved to get one for me if he'd've been able to afford it. I had an "I gotta call Dad" moment leaving the store.

Is there anything else that you want to share? One of my favorite things my dad ever said: "Nothing is normal. And if it is, run."

Ida | Chicago, IL    What is your dad’s name?  Ron   What’s your favorite memory of you dad?  Riding in the car with him. That was just “our time.” We’d bond and talk about everything and nothing   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  Just being able to talk to him. I know that sounds simple, but we were so close, that if we didn’t see each other, we talked multiple times a day.

Ida | Chicago, IL

What is your dad’s name? Ron

What’s your favorite memory of you dad? Riding in the car with him. That was just “our time.” We’d bond and talk about everything and nothing

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? Just being able to talk to him. I know that sounds simple, but we were so close, that if we didn’t see each other, we talked multiple times a day.

 
Jennifer | San Marcos    What is your dad’s name?  Sam   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss all the things that used to annoy me about him. His loud footsteps down the hall, his reckless driving, his nail biting. I would do anything to have even those things back.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  My aunt got me a key chain engraved with the last words in the last poem my father wrote to me when I went off to college: "I am close and in your heart, know I am near even when we are apart". She also made me pillows made of his shirts and pajamas. These remind me of his presence always.

Jennifer | San Marcos

What is your dad’s name? Sam

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss all the things that used to annoy me about him. His loud footsteps down the hall, his reckless driving, his nail biting. I would do anything to have even those things back.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? My aunt got me a key chain engraved with the last words in the last poem my father wrote to me when I went off to college: "I am close and in your heart, know I am near even when we are apart". She also made me pillows made of his shirts and pajamas. These remind me of his presence always.

Sara | Boston, MA    What is your dad’s name?  Bob   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss his voice, laugh, and smile. He would light up the room no matter what the occasion was. His presence made everything (including trips to the bank) fun.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  A few friends made dinner, brought wine, and their kids crafted cards when I returned back from my hometown. It was extremely thoughtful and helped get my mind off the pain and encouraged me to focus on the positive.

Sara | Boston, MA

What is your dad’s name? Bob

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss his voice, laugh, and smile. He would light up the room no matter what the occasion was. His presence made everything (including trips to the bank) fun.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? A few friends made dinner, brought wine, and their kids crafted cards when I returned back from my hometown. It was extremely thoughtful and helped get my mind off the pain and encouraged me to focus on the positive.

Brooke | Beaverton, OR    What is your dad’s name?  Cass   What’s your favorite memory of you dad?  My favorite memories with my dad are the times we were in the car together, as simple as it was. My dad would just let loose and rock out to some fun music; AC/DC, Talking Heads, No Doubt, Men at Work & so much more...I remember him vividly drumming on the steering wheel and singing along. He was so alive and so happy, those moments I'll never forget. It's painful but also brings me so much joy to listen to all the music we shared when I was younger. It's amazing how music can just bring us back into a moment in time and that moment is not lost and is a beautiful memory.   What do you wish people would ask you about your dad?  My dad gave so much love to those around him. He was an extremely giving person and put love above all things.

Brooke | Beaverton, OR

What is your dad’s name? Cass

What’s your favorite memory of you dad? My favorite memories with my dad are the times we were in the car together, as simple as it was. My dad would just let loose and rock out to some fun music; AC/DC, Talking Heads, No Doubt, Men at Work & so much more...I remember him vividly drumming on the steering wheel and singing along. He was so alive and so happy, those moments I'll never forget. It's painful but also brings me so much joy to listen to all the music we shared when I was younger. It's amazing how music can just bring us back into a moment in time and that moment is not lost and is a beautiful memory.

What do you wish people would ask you about your dad? My dad gave so much love to those around him. He was an extremely giving person and put love above all things.

 
Angie | Denver, CO    What is your dad’s name?  Jim   What’s your favorite memory of you dad?  My dad started our restaurant by smoking fish in our backyard and selling it on the side of the road. I would bake brownies to sell so I could save up for a pink rhinestone collar for my cat. We spent most weekends together in remote parts of the county selling fish and brownies until the highway patrol would come by and shut us down. The next weekend we would move somewhere else until 2000 when my mom found a storefront, and we began the journey towards becoming a brick and mortar. The rest is history.   What do miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I really miss the hugs and hearing my dad’s comforting voice. Everyday he would ask me, “have I told you I love you today?” And he would say “today is Tuesday, all day, how would you like your eggs this morning and your little sausages?” His commander in the army would say this to him crew, and it always made me laugh. I would say scrambled with ketchup. My mom and I say this to each other now.

Angie | Denver, CO

What is your dad’s name? Jim

What’s your favorite memory of you dad? My dad started our restaurant by smoking fish in our backyard and selling it on the side of the road. I would bake brownies to sell so I could save up for a pink rhinestone collar for my cat. We spent most weekends together in remote parts of the county selling fish and brownies until the highway patrol would come by and shut us down. The next weekend we would move somewhere else until 2000 when my mom found a storefront, and we began the journey towards becoming a brick and mortar. The rest is history.

What do miss (or not miss) about your dad? I really miss the hugs and hearing my dad’s comforting voice. Everyday he would ask me, “have I told you I love you today?” And he would say “today is Tuesday, all day, how would you like your eggs this morning and your little sausages?” His commander in the army would say this to him crew, and it always made me laugh. I would say scrambled with ketchup. My mom and I say this to each other now.

Colleen | San Rafael, CA    What is your dad’s name?  Paul   What’s your favorite memory of you dad?  I miss playing softball with my dad, when he'd take me to go practice my pitching. I miss being on the mound during a game and seeing him watching right behind the umpire and home plate. I miss listening to "Jump Around" in the car before every game and hearing him sing along "I came to get down!" I miss watching/listening to San Francisco Giants games and getting way too heated together when things were going wrong. I miss hearing him threaten to call Bruce Bochy with the bullpen phone in the dugout.   Is there anything else that you want to share or that you wish we had asked you?  If you know someone who lost their dad, ask them as many questions as you can. Say their name. Tell them every memory that pops into your head, even if to you it is completely insignificant because to us, everything is important. And check in with them on holidays. Getting through the first round of holidays is the worst part, but that doesn't mean all the holidays after that aren't extremely hard.

Colleen | San Rafael, CA

What is your dad’s name? Paul

What’s your favorite memory of you dad? I miss playing softball with my dad, when he'd take me to go practice my pitching. I miss being on the mound during a game and seeing him watching right behind the umpire and home plate. I miss listening to "Jump Around" in the car before every game and hearing him sing along "I came to get down!" I miss watching/listening to San Francisco Giants games and getting way too heated together when things were going wrong. I miss hearing him threaten to call Bruce Bochy with the bullpen phone in the dugout.

Is there anything else that you want to share or that you wish we had asked you? If you know someone who lost their dad, ask them as many questions as you can. Say their name. Tell them every memory that pops into your head, even if to you it is completely insignificant because to us, everything is important. And check in with them on holidays. Getting through the first round of holidays is the worst part, but that doesn't mean all the holidays after that aren't extremely hard.

Kimsey | Nashville, TN    What is your dad’s name?  Kevin   What’s your favorite memory of you dad?  There are so many memories I could share about my dad. One thing that lives in my mind is our daughter dad dates. We would take a ride to Steak N Shake, sit at the bar, order our usual and talk about anything and everything. Sitting there with him is where I learned some of my most important lessons. When I go back home I drive over to that same Steak N Shake and sit at the bar and think of him and what he would say to me at that moment.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  I connected with Alee who was hosting the Nashville table and joined The Dinner Party a month after my dad’s passing. She immediately asked me to join their next meeting and it warmed my heart so much. Meeting other people who have been on the same journey really helps you not feel “alone”.

Kimsey | Nashville, TN

What is your dad’s name? Kevin

What’s your favorite memory of you dad? There are so many memories I could share about my dad. One thing that lives in my mind is our daughter dad dates. We would take a ride to Steak N Shake, sit at the bar, order our usual and talk about anything and everything. Sitting there with him is where I learned some of my most important lessons. When I go back home I drive over to that same Steak N Shake and sit at the bar and think of him and what he would say to me at that moment.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? I connected with Alee who was hosting the Nashville table and joined The Dinner Party a month after my dad’s passing. She immediately asked me to join their next meeting and it warmed my heart so much. Meeting other people who have been on the same journey really helps you not feel “alone”.

 
Janet | Atlanta, GA    What is your dad’s name?  David   What’s your favorite memory of you dad?  When he took my sister and I chasing UFOs 🛸 turns out, they were just spotlights...but he played along.   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  That he encouraged my sister and I to learn everything we could. Even if it went against his beliefs, he taught us to make decisions for ourselves.

Janet | Atlanta, GA

What is your dad’s name? David

What’s your favorite memory of you dad? When he took my sister and I chasing UFOs 🛸 turns out, they were just spotlights...but he played along.

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? That he encouraged my sister and I to learn everything we could. Even if it went against his beliefs, he taught us to make decisions for ourselves.

Samantha | Lancaster, PA    What is your dad’s name?  Daniel   What’s your favorite memory of you dad?  The time he pretended to be an Olympic figure skater in the living room to get us all to laugh. His triple toe loop was on point!   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  Sent me letters in the mail. One friend’s wish was that my “grief be fierce,” and that has stuck with me.

Samantha | Lancaster, PA

What is your dad’s name? Daniel

What’s your favorite memory of you dad? The time he pretended to be an Olympic figure skater in the living room to get us all to laugh. His triple toe loop was on point!

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? Sent me letters in the mail. One friend’s wish was that my “grief be fierce,” and that has stuck with me.

Emma | Atlanta, GA    What is your dad’s name?  Bill   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss (and don't miss) driving him to and from work when I was home from college. It was really inconvenient but it was time with him that I wouldn't trade for the world now that he's gone. Even if it was mostly quietly listening to the radio and he always closed the sunroof as soon as he got in the car. He became the worst back seat driver and was so jumpy.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  When my dad was in hospice, there was a cooler on our front porch. I don't think it was ever empty. So many people loved my dad and knew he would've done the same for them. He didn't really cook much but he had a recipe for Chex Mix that was his signature. A neighbor brought us everything we needed to make it with him but he passed before we could make it. So the morning of his funeral, my siblings and I made his Chex Mix Recipe together.

Emma | Atlanta, GA

What is your dad’s name? Bill

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss (and don't miss) driving him to and from work when I was home from college. It was really inconvenient but it was time with him that I wouldn't trade for the world now that he's gone. Even if it was mostly quietly listening to the radio and he always closed the sunroof as soon as he got in the car. He became the worst back seat driver and was so jumpy.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? When my dad was in hospice, there was a cooler on our front porch. I don't think it was ever empty. So many people loved my dad and knew he would've done the same for them. He didn't really cook much but he had a recipe for Chex Mix that was his signature. A neighbor brought us everything we needed to make it with him but he passed before we could make it. So the morning of his funeral, my siblings and I made his Chex Mix Recipe together.

 
Chloe | Orange County, CA    What is your dad’s name?  Gihad   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  His ability to make a room feel whole. Not one memory can suffice. His endless jokes, advice, smile and joy. The way he called my sisters and I “my girls”.   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss his presence. I miss his eggs and popcorn, his loud phone calls in the morning talking to everyone, his days in the garden, sitting having coffee, sitting at night in the bedroom gossiping with my whole family before bed.

Chloe | Orange County, CA

What is your dad’s name? Gihad

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? His ability to make a room feel whole. Not one memory can suffice. His endless jokes, advice, smile and joy. The way he called my sisters and I “my girls”.

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss his presence. I miss his eggs and popcorn, his loud phone calls in the morning talking to everyone, his days in the garden, sitting having coffee, sitting at night in the bedroom gossiping with my whole family before bed.

Abby | New York City, NY    What is your dad’s name?  Greg   Is there anything else that you want to share or that you wish we had asked you?  Every day without my dad is a day I have to keep going and I hate that for me (and all of us out there grieving). It's been 2.5 years now since November 16, 2016 almost to the day and I still can't believe this is my life. A life where I have one less person who unconditionally loves me, which makes me cry right now typing this. Of course it's depressing, but I want him to know how much I've grown, how far I've come in putting my life slowly back together. I really want him to be proud of me and I'll never quite get that answer even though people love to say how proud he would be (people who just don't know what to say to a grieving child). It's hard because my dad was a loner and I hurt for him more than I hurt for anyone else. I wish he had friends so I could talk to them and grieve with them - I think that would really help. He was so so special and the world didn't give him a fair shot. I just miss him. He is the only person who could help me get through grief and he isn't here.

Abby | New York City, NY

What is your dad’s name? Greg

Is there anything else that you want to share or that you wish we had asked you? Every day without my dad is a day I have to keep going and I hate that for me (and all of us out there grieving). It's been 2.5 years now since November 16, 2016 almost to the day and I still can't believe this is my life. A life where I have one less person who unconditionally loves me, which makes me cry right now typing this. Of course it's depressing, but I want him to know how much I've grown, how far I've come in putting my life slowly back together. I really want him to be proud of me and I'll never quite get that answer even though people love to say how proud he would be (people who just don't know what to say to a grieving child). It's hard because my dad was a loner and I hurt for him more than I hurt for anyone else. I wish he had friends so I could talk to them and grieve with them - I think that would really help. He was so so special and the world didn't give him a fair shot. I just miss him. He is the only person who could help me get through grief and he isn't here.

Marcy | Baltimore, MD    What is your dad’s name?  Gary   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss my academic cheerleader. My dad was not only the smartest person I've ever known, but also was an incredible mentor at work and at home. He helped me and my sister struggle through fractions as preteens, demanded we had a whiteboard in our rooms for hard homework problems, advocated for us in school board meetings, and provided feedback for MANY drafts of resumes and personal statements for college/grad school. A couple months before he passed, I was accepted into a PhD program, and I knew that was going to be the biggest life highlight I was going to be able to share with him. When I later visited the program and didn't get bombarded with eager phone calls from him, wondering how it was going, I knew that his time was getting closer. I finished my Master's degree from home as he left us peacefully. Fast forward 4 years, and, at the end of this month, I'm going to defend my dissertation and (hopefully) become a PhD! While I'll be missing him SO much, I also know that my academic cheerleader is still rooting for me <3

Marcy | Baltimore, MD

What is your dad’s name? Gary

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss my academic cheerleader. My dad was not only the smartest person I've ever known, but also was an incredible mentor at work and at home. He helped me and my sister struggle through fractions as preteens, demanded we had a whiteboard in our rooms for hard homework problems, advocated for us in school board meetings, and provided feedback for MANY drafts of resumes and personal statements for college/grad school. A couple months before he passed, I was accepted into a PhD program, and I knew that was going to be the biggest life highlight I was going to be able to share with him. When I later visited the program and didn't get bombarded with eager phone calls from him, wondering how it was going, I knew that his time was getting closer. I finished my Master's degree from home as he left us peacefully. Fast forward 4 years, and, at the end of this month, I'm going to defend my dissertation and (hopefully) become a PhD! While I'll be missing him SO much, I also know that my academic cheerleader is still rooting for me <3

 
Faith | Indiana    What is your dad’s name?  Todd   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  Sitting on the front porch during the summer afternoons and just hanging out.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  They showed up and helped keep his memory alive by letting me be vulnerable and just talk about him (the good, the bad and the ugly).

Faith | Indiana

What is your dad’s name? Todd

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? Sitting on the front porch during the summer afternoons and just hanging out.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? They showed up and helped keep his memory alive by letting me be vulnerable and just talk about him (the good, the bad and the ugly).

Laura | Philadelphia, PA    What is your dad’s name?  Marc   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  Our coffee talks. Whenever I went home to visit or my parents came to me, my Dad would always say, "Can't wait to get a cup of coffee with you." It was our special time to sit and talk about life, fears, the future, and laugh.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  My sister-in-law's sister is someone who I consider to be family. She heard about my father's death and immediately came to be with my family and helped with things like ordering coffee and breakfast, watching my niece, and offering unlimited hugs. I recently got engaged and we had dinner and she spoke openly with me about my feelings of not having my Dad at my wedding and how we would honor him there. It was so comforting to me to talk about something that had been on my mind for a long time and acknowledge it with love. I think the best thing you can do for someone grieving is just to talk and not assume that just because they don't bring it up it isn't on their minds.

Laura | Philadelphia, PA

What is your dad’s name? Marc

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? Our coffee talks. Whenever I went home to visit or my parents came to me, my Dad would always say, "Can't wait to get a cup of coffee with you." It was our special time to sit and talk about life, fears, the future, and laugh.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? My sister-in-law's sister is someone who I consider to be family. She heard about my father's death and immediately came to be with my family and helped with things like ordering coffee and breakfast, watching my niece, and offering unlimited hugs. I recently got engaged and we had dinner and she spoke openly with me about my feelings of not having my Dad at my wedding and how we would honor him there. It was so comforting to me to talk about something that had been on my mind for a long time and acknowledge it with love. I think the best thing you can do for someone grieving is just to talk and not assume that just because they don't bring it up it isn't on their minds.

K | Philadelphia, PA    What is your dad’s name?  Mark   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  One of my favorite memories is driving in my Dad’s pickup truck in the summertime listening to grunge/alternative music and singing the words together. We would go pick up corn and fruit at our local produce stand and sometimes take a little longer getting home because we would stop for ice cream and totally play it cool when my Mom would ask what took so long.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  When my Mom’s good friends told me that it doesn’t get easier but gets a little more bearable. I can feel whatever I want to feel and not have to apologize for it but I should understand how to talk about it.

K | Philadelphia, PA

What is your dad’s name? Mark

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? One of my favorite memories is driving in my Dad’s pickup truck in the summertime listening to grunge/alternative music and singing the words together. We would go pick up corn and fruit at our local produce stand and sometimes take a little longer getting home because we would stop for ice cream and totally play it cool when my Mom would ask what took so long.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? When my Mom’s good friends told me that it doesn’t get easier but gets a little more bearable. I can feel whatever I want to feel and not have to apologize for it but I should understand how to talk about it.

 
Shelby | New York City, NY    What is your dad’s name?  David   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  My dad was an outdoorsy guy, he loved hiking in the mountains in Colorado (where we’re from). In August 2009 before he passed away in September of that year, he finally won and got me to go out to the mountain with him (I’m not the most outdoorsy person because I hate bugs). But he lead me on his favorite trail, up to a peak that over looked the whole city. We sat there in awe together. I can never forget this memory and when I miss him I go back to that memory in my mind.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  My friend, Taylor, in college would always let me talk about my dad whenever I wanted to, and was always there to comfort me , especially in my first year of grief.

Shelby | New York City, NY

What is your dad’s name? David

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? My dad was an outdoorsy guy, he loved hiking in the mountains in Colorado (where we’re from). In August 2009 before he passed away in September of that year, he finally won and got me to go out to the mountain with him (I’m not the most outdoorsy person because I hate bugs). But he lead me on his favorite trail, up to a peak that over looked the whole city. We sat there in awe together. I can never forget this memory and when I miss him I go back to that memory in my mind.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? My friend, Taylor, in college would always let me talk about my dad whenever I wanted to, and was always there to comfort me , especially in my first year of grief.

Julie | Providence    What is your dad’s name?  Stuart   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  As a kid, playing catch in the front yard and going to the diner for pancakes on Saturday mornings just him and I. As an adult, having a couple beers and talking life or listening to great music on long drives along the river.   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  We were so similar, I always felt like we were two peas in a pod. I miss not having his wisdom, advice and smile for sure.

Julie | Providence

What is your dad’s name? Stuart

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? As a kid, playing catch in the front yard and going to the diner for pancakes on Saturday mornings just him and I. As an adult, having a couple beers and talking life or listening to great music on long drives along the river.

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? We were so similar, I always felt like we were two peas in a pod. I miss not having his wisdom, advice and smile for sure.

Divya | Phoenix, AZ    What is your dad’s name?  Raju   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  Many.  On top of my head/ heart: When I was in high school, he'd drop me off to class on his way to work and before I stepped out of the car, he’d ask "Do you have enough Vitamin M?" Vitamin M was his code for money or allowance. He knew my hesitation in asking for it.   What is Father’s Day like for you now?  Calendar holidays don't matter as much. It's the random days and moments that trigger an intense missing.

Divya | Phoenix, AZ

What is your dad’s name? Raju

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? Many.
On top of my head/ heart: When I was in high school, he'd drop me off to class on his way to work and before I stepped out of the car, he’d ask "Do you have enough Vitamin M?" Vitamin M was his code for money or allowance. He knew my hesitation in asking for it.

What is Father’s Day like for you now? Calendar holidays don't matter as much. It's the random days and moments that trigger an intense missing.

 
Ashleigh | Texas    What is your dad’s name?  Marty   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  My favorite memory of my dad is his laugh and his mischievous side. He would tug on my hair or try to tickle me and pretend it wasn’t him when I turned to look. He also drank Diet Coke all the time and would forget where he put the can until he opened another one.   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss being able to call him on my drives home from work and being able to tell him about my day. We talked at least once a week and now car rides are hard when I’m alone. I also miss his meals. No one makes food that tastes the same like his and it’s really hard on me when I realize that.

Ashleigh | Texas

What is your dad’s name? Marty

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? My favorite memory of my dad is his laugh and his mischievous side. He would tug on my hair or try to tickle me and pretend it wasn’t him when I turned to look. He also drank Diet Coke all the time and would forget where he put the can until he opened another one.

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss being able to call him on my drives home from work and being able to tell him about my day. We talked at least once a week and now car rides are hard when I’m alone. I also miss his meals. No one makes food that tastes the same like his and it’s really hard on me when I realize that.

Ryan | Boise, ID    What is your dad’s name?  Scott   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  My dad always made me laugh. Even just doing stupid random things he just always has a knack for making people bus to out laughing.   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  Having a best friend. We did everything together. We spent hours and hours just hanging out with each other running errands getting the cars washed. He was my best friend.

Ryan | Boise, ID

What is your dad’s name? Scott

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? My dad always made me laugh. Even just doing stupid random things he just always has a knack for making people bus to out laughing.

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? Having a best friend. We did everything together. We spent hours and hours just hanging out with each other running errands getting the cars washed. He was my best friend.

Sanchita | Houston, TX    What is your dad’s name?  Subid   What do you wish people would ask you about your dad?  His incredible story about how he came to the US as an immigrant from India and worked hard every day to send his kids through school. Now I’m a physician and my brother is an attorney. If only he could be with us now.   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  He was my best friend and loved me no matter what. He always had my back, even if I was wrong.

Sanchita | Houston, TX

What is your dad’s name? Subid

What do you wish people would ask you about your dad? His incredible story about how he came to the US as an immigrant from India and worked hard every day to send his kids through school. Now I’m a physician and my brother is an attorney. If only he could be with us now.

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? He was my best friend and loved me no matter what. He always had my back, even if I was wrong.

 
Nicole | Los Angeles, CA    What is your dad’s name?  Eusebio “Joe”   What do you wish people would ask you about your dad?  We used to road trip down to South Padre Island, TX every summer and I always remember listening to Gypsy Kings or Alan Jackson alllll the way there. That music still reminds me of those fun summer trips :)   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  Sharing stories about my dad. How he impacted their life or funny stories they shared with him. It helped me learn a different part of who my dad was. .

Nicole | Los Angeles, CA

What is your dad’s name? Eusebio “Joe”

What do you wish people would ask you about your dad? We used to road trip down to South Padre Island, TX every summer and I always remember listening to Gypsy Kings or Alan Jackson alllll the way there. That music still reminds me of those fun summer trips :)

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? Sharing stories about my dad. How he impacted their life or funny stories they shared with him. It helped me learn a different part of who my dad was. .

Katie | Evanston, IL    What is your dad’s name?  Bill   What is your favorite memory of your dad?  One of my favorite memories of my step-dad is when I was learning how to drive. He would take me out driving in his forest green Subaru Outback and would sit back in the passenger seat and talk about his philosophy on life while I navigated the roads. It was one of the first times I had time with just him since we had become part of a blended family.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  My best friend, who lives out of state, would call me and check-in on me. She'd ask me how I was doing and let me talk about how I was feeling about what I was going through. She wasn't afraid to talk about my step-dad and bring him up in conversation and to this day still does and I'm forever grateful .

Katie | Evanston, IL

What is your dad’s name? Bill

What is your favorite memory of your dad? One of my favorite memories of my step-dad is when I was learning how to drive. He would take me out driving in his forest green Subaru Outback and would sit back in the passenger seat and talk about his philosophy on life while I navigated the roads. It was one of the first times I had time with just him since we had become part of a blended family.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? My best friend, who lives out of state, would call me and check-in on me. She'd ask me how I was doing and let me talk about how I was feeling about what I was going through. She wasn't afraid to talk about my step-dad and bring him up in conversation and to this day still does and I'm forever grateful .

Nate | Charlotte, NC    What is your dad’s name?  Guillermo   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  My father was my rock. He gave the best advice, had an open door policy with all my friends, and was by far the easiest person to talk to in my family. He always celebrated my accomplishments, too. He was in the front row of all my high school plays and was genuinely proud of who I was and that I was his daughter. He always made me feel like one-of-a-kind.   What is your favorite memory of your dad?  My father was always a jokester. He carried a whoopee cushion and asked waitresses for a toothpick even though he never wore his dentures. I used to be embarrassed by his antics when I was younger but I miss how much he always made me laugh. I also loved watching him dance with my mom. They were a sight to see on the dance floor!

Nate | Charlotte, NC

What is your dad’s name? Guillermo

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? My father was my rock. He gave the best advice, had an open door policy with all my friends, and was by far the easiest person to talk to in my family. He always celebrated my accomplishments, too. He was in the front row of all my high school plays and was genuinely proud of who I was and that I was his daughter. He always made me feel like one-of-a-kind.

What is your favorite memory of your dad? My father was always a jokester. He carried a whoopee cushion and asked waitresses for a toothpick even though he never wore his dentures. I used to be embarrassed by his antics when I was younger but I miss how much he always made me laugh. I also loved watching him dance with my mom. They were a sight to see on the dance floor!

 
Jen | Cincinnati, OH    What is your dad’s name?  Joe   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  I miss the way that he called me “Pumpkin” and the way he was able to gauge when something was wrong and willing to give you a big bear hug to help fix it.   What do you wish people would ask you about your dad?  I wish they would ask me how things transpired around his death and ask me what handling life as a Survivor of Suicide is like. Silence, to me, makes it worse.

Jen | Cincinnati, OH

What is your dad’s name? Joe

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? I miss the way that he called me “Pumpkin” and the way he was able to gauge when something was wrong and willing to give you a big bear hug to help fix it.

What do you wish people would ask you about your dad? I wish they would ask me how things transpired around his death and ask me what handling life as a Survivor of Suicide is like. Silence, to me, makes it worse.

Melissa | Philadelphia, PA    What is your dad’s name?  Bert   What is your favorite memory of your dad?  My dad was born and raised in the Netherlands, so once a year when I was growing up my dad, mom, siblings and I would visit his family in Holland and often bike, eat cheese, and indulge in the simple lifestyle of the country. He was the cheapest person I know and because we did this trip to Holland every year we rarely went on any other vacations growing up. Because of this, whenever we were in Holland my dad would always take us to the supermarket and without fail tell us that here- at the Dutch supermarket- we were able to get WHATEVER we wanted. That was what made these visits to my Father's small home town "a vacation" ...endless spending freedom but only at the supermarket

Melissa | Philadelphia, PA

What is your dad’s name? Bert

What is your favorite memory of your dad? My dad was born and raised in the Netherlands, so once a year when I was growing up my dad, mom, siblings and I would visit his family in Holland and often bike, eat cheese, and indulge in the simple lifestyle of the country. He was the cheapest person I know and because we did this trip to Holland every year we rarely went on any other vacations growing up. Because of this, whenever we were in Holland my dad would always take us to the supermarket and without fail tell us that here- at the Dutch supermarket- we were able to get WHATEVER we wanted. That was what made these visits to my Father's small home town "a vacation" ...endless spending freedom but only at the supermarket

Marie | Ohio    What is your dad’s name?  Kim   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  When I was 16, I spent a few weeks in France on a school trip. It was the longest I had ever been away from my Dad at that point. When I got off the plane back home I figured he would be waiting for me in the pick up lane. But he had come inside the airport to meet me right before baggage claim. But I noticed him after I had gotten on the down escalator. So with my carry-on and backpack in tow I turned around and ran up the down escalator and to my Dad. I was so happy to be home.   What do you wish people would ask you about your dad?  I just wish people would be less uncomfortable when I bring him up. Like yes, he is dead. But he was a wonderful Dad and person and I need to be able to talk about him without feeling like I’m making everyone in the room heart sick.

Marie | Ohio

What is your dad’s name? Kim

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? When I was 16, I spent a few weeks in France on a school trip. It was the longest I had ever been away from my Dad at that point. When I got off the plane back home I figured he would be waiting for me in the pick up lane. But he had come inside the airport to meet me right before baggage claim. But I noticed him after I had gotten on the down escalator. So with my carry-on and backpack in tow I turned around and ran up the down escalator and to my Dad. I was so happy to be home.

What do you wish people would ask you about your dad? I just wish people would be less uncomfortable when I bring him up. Like yes, he is dead. But he was a wonderful Dad and person and I need to be able to talk about him without feeling like I’m making everyone in the room heart sick.

 
Susan | Queens, NY    What is your dad’s name?  Roger   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  This man taught me, “It’s important for you to be understood, but it’s more important for you to not be misunderstood.” I think one of us kids quotes this weekly.  This man taught me to be independent and have a common knowledge of how to fix some things. Then if all else fails, WD-40 and duct tape will fix almost anything.  This man taught me to parallel park between a horse trailer and a feed truck out on the Mule Shoe Ranch. Living in NYC, this skill has become priceless.

Susan | Queens, NY

What is your dad’s name? Roger

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? This man taught me, “It’s important for you to be understood, but it’s more important for you to not be misunderstood.” I think one of us kids quotes this weekly.

This man taught me to be independent and have a common knowledge of how to fix some things. Then if all else fails, WD-40 and duct tape will fix almost anything.

This man taught me to parallel park between a horse trailer and a feed truck out on the Mule Shoe Ranch. Living in NYC, this skill has become priceless.

Erica | Athens, OH    What is your dad’s name?  Conley   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  I have many, but as an over all theme, we went to a lot of Dave Matthews Band concerts together. I am so fortunate to have had a relationship with my dad where we could have fun and just be 100% ourselves around each other and these concerts were he definition of that.   What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad?  My two best friends brought beer to the calling hours and we toasted in my dads memory in the parking lot. (My dad likes beer, my friends and I didn’t so we gagged our way through it. It was a nice light moment in an otherwise devastating day).

Erica | Athens, OH

What is your dad’s name? Conley

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? I have many, but as an over all theme, we went to a lot of Dave Matthews Band concerts together. I am so fortunate to have had a relationship with my dad where we could have fun and just be 100% ourselves around each other and these concerts were he definition of that.

What’s something helpful that someone did for you after you lost your dad? My two best friends brought beer to the calling hours and we toasted in my dads memory in the parking lot. (My dad likes beer, my friends and I didn’t so we gagged our way through it. It was a nice light moment in an otherwise devastating day).

Vaishali | Mumbai    What is your dad’s name?  Subhash   What’s your favorite memory of your dad?  He always brings jalebi and laddoos on every academic result.   What do you miss (or not miss) about you dad?  His hugs whenever I feel alone and his motivation when I struggle in life.

Vaishali | Mumbai

What is your dad’s name? Subhash

What’s your favorite memory of your dad? He always brings jalebi and laddoos on every academic result.

What do you miss (or not miss) about you dad? His hugs whenever I feel alone and his motivation when I struggle in life.

 
Elvira | Los Angeles, CA    What is your dad’s name?  Sergio   What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad?  His unconditional support and love.   What do you wish people would ask you about your dad?  About who he was, he was such a diverse man.

Elvira | Los Angeles, CA

What is your dad’s name? Sergio

What do you miss (or not miss) about your dad? His unconditional support and love.

What do you wish people would ask you about your dad? About who he was, he was such a diverse man.

Phoebe | Napa, CA    What is your dad’s name?  Terry   Is there anything else that you want to share or that you wish we had asked you?  My dad was a feminist before being a feminist was the norm, even in California. He was an ally to POC back when being an ally could get you killed. He was an adventurer with a scoundrel's soul, whose youth was spent on questionably legal endeavors all around the world. Joan Baez kissed him once, during the Summer of Love in San Francisco, and if I had a nickel for every time I've heard that story from him, I'd be a very rich woman.  My dad marched with us at the very first women's march, and it was his idea to get us all matching pink armbands, which he wore with pride the entire day. When I came out to him - while he was very sick - he reacted as though I had just remarked on the weather, and he was the first person who comforted me when my first girlfriend dumped me.  This will be my first Father's Day without my dad. I miss him.

Phoebe | Napa, CA

What is your dad’s name? Terry

Is there anything else that you want to share or that you wish we had asked you? My dad was a feminist before being a feminist was the norm, even in California. He was an ally to POC back when being an ally could get you killed. He was an adventurer with a scoundrel's soul, whose youth was spent on questionably legal endeavors all around the world. Joan Baez kissed him once, during the Summer of Love in San Francisco, and if I had a nickel for every time I've heard that story from him, I'd be a very rich woman.

My dad marched with us at the very first women's march, and it was his idea to get us all matching pink armbands, which he wore with pride the entire day. When I came out to him - while he was very sick - he reacted as though I had just remarked on the weather, and he was the first person who comforted me when my first girlfriend dumped me.

This will be my first Father's Day without my dad. I miss him.