In Memory of Dad: How to Honor Your Late Father on Father’s Day

Elderly Man's Hands

Grief is not a linear journey. In the days and years following the loss of your dad or another male role model, certain things may make your heart ache in ways it hasn’t for a long time. It might be something small like seeing his favorite road-trip snack at a convenience store or something big like the nationwide celebration of Father’s Day. Though you are no longer able to physically be in his presence, there are ways to keep his memory alive as well as find comfort and contentment. This Father’s Day, consider honoring your deceased father, grandfather, husband or an important father figure in one of these ways. 

Father and Son Fishing on a Dock

Start Your Own Tradition

Did your father love to eat cold Chinese takeout while watching low-budget movies? Was there a particular trail he loved to hike? Did he go fly fishing every chance he had? Think about the things he loved doing and, rather than just reminiscing, start a new tradition in his honor. It could be as simple as changing the menu when your family gathers on Father’s Day. Instead of having standard BBQ fare, order some Kung Pao chicken and play a movie trivia game. Or adopt a trail and reunite on the regular to keep a portion of it clean for others to enjoy. You could also enter a fishing tournament in his honor each year.  

Create an Online Tribute

Whether it’s your first Father's Day without Dad or another of many, creating a free Life Story on is very cathartic. It enables you to share who he truly was with current and future generations. Use as many words as you wish to tell his whole story. Did he continue to eat Cap’n Crunch for breakfast every morning, even when he was 65 years old? Include details like this. Was he known for his cringe-worthy puns? Showcase his best (or worst) one with colored callout in a larger font. Or use that feature to highlight a meaningful mantra or favorite quality. Upload photos that show the personal interests, family roles and unique experiences that shaped his life. Post a link to the Life Story on social media and invite others who knew him to reminisce in the online guest book or post photos and memories to the interactive timeline. A Life Story on provides a permanent place for others to come together and remember him. 

Complete His Bucket List

Keep his memory close by doing things you know he wanted to do but never got the chance to — even if those goals and dreams weren’t written down. Every June, honor your late father by doing something he couldn’t. Maybe he wanted to see the Golden Gate Bridge in person or complete a marathon. Ask a few friends and family members to run one with you in his honor. (Even better if the route takes you across the iconic bridge.) Completing his bucket list is also a reminder to live every day to the fullest.

Family Doing Volunteer Charity Work

Make a Charitable Donation

Instead of putting an expensive floral arrangement on his headstone, consider getting a smaller bouquet and donating the difference to a charity that aligns with his values. If he was passionate about continuing education, you might give money to a scholarship fund at his alma mater. Fisherman? Provide some rods and reels to a children’s charity and tie the donation into other parts of this list by making it a yearly tradition. You could also include a link to the charity on his Life Story so others can easily contribute. Or, donate your time and expertise instead of money. If he loved to build things and taught you the art of construction, consider honoring your father by volunteering with a non-profit that builds houses for low-income families.   

Whether he was your father or your father figure, these are just a few ideas on how to uniquely honor and celebrate an influential man in your life.

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