For many families who have lost a father, and for fathers who have lost a loved one, visiting our cemeteries and memorial parks is an important part of commemorating Father's Day.
But as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, this Father's Day falls within the period of stage four restrictions in Victoria. To help our communities stay safe this Father's Day, we've put together some suggestions on how to honour dad at home.
Have flowers delivered direct to his memorial
If you're unable to visit Dad or Granddad's memorial this year, we can help by delivering fresh (or artificial) flowers to his resting place on your behalf.
All flower deliveries are booked online and confirmed over the phone. Once we've delivered your flowers, we'll send you a photo of the bouquet placed at your loved one's resting place. Our contactless flower delivery service is currently available at Altona Memorial Park, Fawkner Memorial Park, Northern Memorial Park, Keilor Cemetery, Lilydale Lawn Cemetery, Lilydale Memorial Park, and Preston Cemetery.
Write a letter or a card
There may be some things you'd like to say to your father, or things you wish you'd had a chance to say when he was around. Express yourself by putting pen to paper and let your thoughts flow in honour and remembrance of your father. You may also consider publishing a notice in the newspaper in memory of your father, or keeping a journal.
Create your own meaningful ceremony
Rituals and ceremonies can be deeply personal and very sentimental. They play an important part in the healing process after experiencing the loss of a loved one.
Many cultures have their own customs, rituals and traditions that you can take inspiration from. For example, the Jewish faith celebrates the departed by lighting a candle at significant events in honour of those who have passed away.
You may wish to create a quiet and meditative space in which to observe a quiet moment of reflection. By decorating a particular space with meaningful objects such as candles, photos, or objects that belonged to your father, you can create a safe sanctuary in which to reflect, remember and celebrate his life.
Connect with family online
Hosting an online event with your family and friends in honour of your father's memory is a great way to celebrate Father’s Day. It’s also an easy and effective way of sharing stories and memories, and bringing the family closer together in this period of social distancing and self isolation. This might be a chance to quietly reflect and share memories, or it might be a big celebration - it all depends on the family.
Organise your family photos
While we're all getting used to spending a lot more time at home, there's no time like the present to take a stroll down memory lane and revisit the visual records of your father's life. Organising your family photos into albums, or revisiting old photo albums can be a great way to explore stories, memories and shared experiences with your loved ones.
If your photo albums are already organised, perhaps it's time to have them digitised, or even turned into a digital photo book. The process of selecting, handling and talking about the people and places recorded in old photos can be a heart-warming way of reconnecting with those we have lost.
Share special moments and memories online
Social media provides extraordinary reach for you to share your thoughts, feelings and memories. Why not put it to good use by sharing special moments and memories of your father with your friends and family online? You may like to create a Facebook memorial page where family and friends can leave tributes and comments, or create a private message group with your family to stay connected and share personal memories.
Do his favourite things
Some families like to honour those who have passed away by doing the things they loved while they were alive. You might choose to spend time as a family watching his favourite movie, or on your own reading his favourite book. You could cook his favourite meal and share it with your loved ones, or even create a playlist of his favourite songs.
Plan ahead for brighter days
Remember, this pandemic won't last forever, and it’s always healthy to have something to look forward to. You may wish to use this time to organise a meaningful event or activity with your family in remembrance of your father once restrictions have been lifted. This might be a family get-together, a football game, a live concert, or even a small ceremony at the cemetery.
Reach out for support
You're not alone. There are a number of different online support networks that bring people together with shared experiences. Some groups you may want to consider include:
We've put together a range of resources to help those dealing with loss and grief during these uncertain times.