Fathers Day Grief Continuing Bond Meditation

Father’s Day Grief: A Guided Meditation To Nurture Your Continuing Bond

By Heather Stang, MA, C-IAYT

Posted: June 14, 2024

Even in his absence, your connection with your father deeply etches itself on your heart. Reflecting on his imprint isn't just an act of nostalgia; it's a testament of enduring love that transcends his physical presence. Embracing this imprint within your grief, you nurture your natural longing for closeness. In this act of remembering, you find soothing connection, carrying forward his legacy within your own life's journey

The profound bond between you and your father transcends the limitations of time and space. Even after his departure from this world, his influence continues to resonate in your life. Among the most beautiful aspects of this connection is the imprint your father left on you - his teachings, values, mannerisms, and dreams become part of the legacy you carry forward.

As you reflect on these imprints, you find solace and a deeper connection, reminding yourself that a part of your father lives on within you. If you had a difficult relationship with your father, you can still reflect on how he left his imprint, and let go of what does not serve you. 

Nurturing Your Father's Influence: Living His Legacy

Being your father's living legacy goes beyond carrying his name or lineage; it delves much deeper. It's about upholding the ethos he embodied, nurturing the qualities he instilled in you, and preserving his memory through your actions and deeds.

His values, wisdom, and love shape your persona and influence your decisions, perspectives, and interactions with the world. Every choice you make, every success you attain, and every act of kindness you extend, contributes to keeping his essence alive, painting you as a living, breathing testament of his life.

Embracing the Complexity of Continuing Bonds

However, just as your father was human, complete with virtues and flaws, so too can his imprint on you include aspects you might want to change or let go. This doesn't diminish the love you hold for him or the positive influences he had on your life. Instead, it marks your personal growth and ability to discern and make choices about the person you want to be.

Simultaneously, you can consciously nurture and cultivate the aspects of your father that you cherish, the traits and teachings that resonate with your values and visions. In this way, remembering your father and reflecting on his imprint isn't solely about mourning his loss, but also about celebrating his life, embracing his influence, and consciously shaping his legacy as it weaves into your own journey.

Your Father's Day Grief Meditation 

Based on the work of C.J. Vickio and Robert Neimeyer, Written by Heather Stang

Get Calm and Centered With Meditation

Position your body in a comfortable posture, whether on a meditation cushion or chair, or if you believe you'll stay alert, lie down on a yoga mat or blanket. Close your eyes and begin to become aware of your breath's natural rhythm, without trying to change it. Take the next four breaths more deeply, filling your body on the inhale and fully releasing on the exhale. When your breath returns to its normal rhythm, place your attention on it as it flows in and out.

When your mind drifts off to thoughts of the past or future, gently guide your awareness back to your breath. In this present moment, scan your body and consciously release any tense areas. This process helps you connect with the physical experiences of your body, breath, and life force. Refocus your awareness back to your breath and any other sensory experiences that emerge.

Remember and visualize your father

Now, imagine your father, if he's the person you're grieving this Father's Day. This could be a recent loss or one that occurred some time ago. Recall his appearance, his face, his eyes, his smile, as if you could see him right now. If this brings up intense feelings, notice the sensations in your body and remember you can find comfort by focusing solely on your breath. As you reflect on your father, consider the various ways he influenced your life.

Transition from meditation to journaling

In your journal, explore the following writing prompts:

  • Recall his unique mannerisms and gestures. How have these influenced yours, if at all?
  • Think about your style of speaking and interacting with others. Is it in any way reminiscent of his?
  • How did your father influence your career choices, hobbies, and leisure activities?
  • What impact did he have on your personality and your life's perspective?
  • How did he help shape your values and beliefs?

Reflect on the impact of this practice

Notice your breath and your body as you take some time to reflect on your experience and then explore the lasting impact of your father:

  • What qualities do you wish to cherish, nurture, and carry forward?
  • Are there any imprints you wish to release, transform entirely, or adjust? 
  • What insight stood out to you most from this meditation?
  • With these realizations, is there a step you'd like to take in your life based on this new understanding?

In the concluding moments, let go of all thought, analysis, and questioning, simply resting in the experience of your life force, your breath, your body. There's nothing to do and nowhere to go, just breathe.

Heather Stang, MA, C-IAYT

About the author

Heather Stang, M.A. is the author of Living with Grief and the guided journal, From Grief To Peace. She is the creator of the Mindfulness & Grief System that is featured in the Handbook of Grief Therapies (2023) and is the founder of Awaken, a mindfulness-based online grief support group. Heather also hosts the Mindfulness & Grief Podcast, and offers mindfulness-based grief support online through her organization, the Mindfulness & Grief Institute. She holds a Masters degree in Thanatology (Death, Dying, and Bereavement) from Hood College in Maryland, and is a certified Yoga Therapist. She currently lives in Falling Waters, WV.

You might also like

Get compassionate live online grief support with author Heather Stang

Meditation | Journaling | Self-care | Sharing