How To Deal With The Empty Chair On Father’s Day?

Call me old school and I won’t debate you. I think fathers matter. My father not being there left me more than alone. 

The Empty Chair free image pixabay
Free image courtesy of pixabay

The wonderful accessories that sometimes adorn the unfortunate and make up for losses didn’t make it to my house either. Poor, literally, with scalable adversity my path was set before I graduated puberty. Fillers are abundant just not adequate to foundationalize security.

There’s no beef jerky and tears on the menu; I become an adult some time ago. I’m a man acquainted with grief. Emotions don’t rattle my cage. I like being touched and being in touch with other people’s pain. The fences we climb and the valleys we traverse makes each and every victory indescribably nutritious.

Emotional and intellectual defilement are holes we can’t see through. The walk away dad, or the present but unavailable dad, marks his offspring with manufactured dysfunction. Layering authenticity with lies and innuendo. Forfeiting precious time allotted for love and replacing it with peeling off the sticky and trying to survive.

It’s not about the kids. It’s never about the kids. But because the level of deprivation defies logic the innocent internalize the unconscionable. And we act out the feelings we can’t shake. Forming core beliefs that create the habits of our lives.

Some things are wrong and will never be right. It’s the effects we want to affect. Some get to involve their fathers in their reconciliation, others must become one on their own. Dealing with the empty chair involves the truth! We deserved better. We’re worthy of love and respect. We don’t have to live our whole lives looking through the kaleidoscope of parental breakdown.

I celebrate every father who has been there; loved, cherished, guided, protected, and provided for his children. You don’t get enough recognition or admiration. And though you may not seek it, you’re due honor and high praise. Celebrating fatherhood, for me, is an accomplishment to appreciate.

For those who experienced that coveted relationship with their fathers and have to endure the hollowness of their passing, I trust you can live from the memories in your heart. For the father who has to deal with outliving a child I can only embrace your trauma from the empathy of my imagination. I pray for your peace.

My daughter asked if I wanted to go to breakfast on Father’s Day or if I would rather she cook breakfast for me. Just having kids, and a grandson that want to acknowledge me is more than I need. I didn’t get to take my father to breakfast or enjoy a single Father’s Day with him. I’m thankful to have overcome the ramifications of a father who was never there. I’m doing fine. The empty chair has been filled! 

How are you doing this Father’s Day?


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  1. Rick, so sad you experienced a fatherless upbringing. However, I am elated you have the awareness needed to give of yourself to others.

    Father’s Day for me brings a heavy heart. My father passed December of 2014. I was fortunate to have him in my life. I myself am very present in my own children’s life. I know they appreciate it. Thanks for this post. I salute you my friend.

    1. It’s always nice to hear about great relationships between a father and his kids. I am sorry for the loss of your father. Sounds like you have a heart full of memories to bring you comfort. You have much to celebrate!