Celebrating Father's Day without my dad

Lottie’s dad died when she was three years old. Now she’s thirteen, we asked her about her experience of Father’s Day over the years and what advice she’d give to other young people grieving the loss of a parent.

What I've realised from... my experience is that not many people are very good at saying things to people who have lost their parents because if they haven't gone through it they don't really know what to say.

Lottie and her mum were supported by Winston's Wish, a charity which supports bereaved children. Suzannah Phillips, Head of Clinical Governance and Professional Development for Winston’s Wish, says “If it’s your first Father’s Day without your dad then you might find yourself feeling upset and tearful and it may seem that other people don’t know what to say at first. For other children and young people, it might be a chance to remember and celebrate their dad’s life... As Lottie says in the video, it’s OK to be sad on Father’s Day and it’s also OK to want to be happy and celebrate too. Although you will always miss that special person it’s important to know that you can go on to live a positive life after the death of a loved one.”

If you need support

You should always tell someone about the things you’re worried about. You can tell a friend, parent, guardian, teacher or another trusted adult. If you're struggling with your mental health, going to your GP can be a good place to start to find help. Your GP can let you know what support is available to you, suggest different types of treatment and offer regular check-ups to see how you’re doing.

If you're in need of in-the-moment support you can contact Shout 85258. It's a free, 24/7 text messenger support service for anyone in the UK. Text the word “SHOUT” to 85258 to start a conversation.

There are more links to helpful organisations on BBC Action Line.

You can find support with bereavement here

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