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Let’s celebrate this Father’s Day the fathers we’ve lost

Famous Dads Celebrate Their FIRST Father’s Day!

Over the past week, my inbox has been filled with subject lines like:

Dad would like a gift card
We take care of Father’s Day
Who is your father?
Give daddy the day he deserves
Father’s Day is almost here

I didn’t need the memories. Ever since my father died in 2019, Father’s Day has loomed over me like the dark cloud that sadness so often is. On June 1, I feel it getting closer as I worry about how I will feel, what I will do and what people will say.

Recently a friend asked how he could celebrate Father’s Day with me. Do I want an “I’m thinking of you” text? Do I want them to sit on the couch and watch my father’s favorite movies? Do I want to be left alone?

And while I’ve been leaning towards the latter in recent years—keep myself and stay off Instagram—I’ve reclaimed Father’s Day. I decided that if other people toast their dad at brunch, there’s no reason I can’t do the same.

It’s a holiday after all, whether my father is there or not. On Father’s Day I want to remember him as the person he was and not as a man who died. I want to eat his favorite pickles, smile when I think of the time he bought balloons because I said I scored a goal in lacrosse (spoiler: I didn’t) and cringe at his favorite “joke”: If Mia Hamm got married with the Earl of Sandwich,

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