I’ve spoken to many fathers during my time here at the Catholic Cemeteries Association. I’ve also spoken to countless children who have lost their fathers. While everyone I talk to is unique in their stage of life and grief, I have noticed one commonality– an intense, unwavering love. Whether their relationship was biological or not, whether their earthly relationship was ended on good terms or bad, there is a permanent connection between a father and their child. One that cannot be broken, even in death.
Fatherhood can be a hard thing to define, and I realize that some father/child relationships can be complicated. However, I believe fatherhood in its purest form is the willingness to sacrifice everything for their family. We see this willingness exampled by God the Father, who gave us His only Son so that we might be saved. We also see this in Jesus Christ Himself, who gave His life for the betterment of the world. Our earthly fathers give us just a small glimpse of this heavenly love and sacrifice. For those who may not have found this type of love in their earthly father, there is great comfort to be found in the presence of our Heavenly Father and the moving force He continually plays in our lives.
Whether you are a father missing a dearly departed child, or a child mourning the loss of your father, I encourage you to look to God the Father for hope. The life of Jesus Christ encourages us that we all have the opportunity to be reunited with our loved ones in Heaven one day. Until then, we can rest knowing that God is caring for our loved ones in His all-encompassing embrace. As we celebrate Father’s Day this month, remember that the love between a father and child is not broken in death—it is transformed into something beyond the scope of this world.
-Andrej Lah, Director of the Catholic Cemeteries Association