As the child of a parent, it can be hard to characterize the specific loss when one loses a parent. With that loss, finding the words to give a fitting tribute is a challenge. However, there are many words and traditions around the world that can ease the pain if you are looking to create a tribute.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- Poem Tributes for Dad
- Post on Facebook or Other Social Media as a Tribute to Dad
- Quotes to Use in a Tribute to Dad
- Traditions to Start to Remember Dad
At its core, paying tribute to your dad can be both a way to connect and move through some of your grief. A tribute can be as simple as writing a poem, dedicating a quote, or hosting a remembrance ceremony.
Paying tribute to your dad after he has died is a way to keep his legacy going. Encourage your family and friends to join in remembering your father and what he stood for.
Tip: If you or someone you know recently lost a father, our post-loss checklist can help sort through the complicated tasks and challenges you might be facing.
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Poem Tributes for Dad
Reading a poem at your dad’s gravesite or in a quiet space at home is a nice way to connect with your dad.
"Only A Dad” by Edgar Guest
This poem addresses the ongoing mundane tasks of a father that are often overlooked. It describes the courage, wisdom, and dedication of a father's love and commitment.
"A Successful Man" by Bessie Anderson Stanley
Stanley’s words paint an elegant picture of what comprises success for a man. Kindness, laughter, love, loyalty, and leaving the world better than he found it. That is the definition of a father.
"For My Dad" by Pat Fleming
A poem about a father that struggled in his upbringing and turned his life around. His resiliency led him down a path of success. His daughter recounts the family he provided for and the laughter they shared.
"Family Tree" by Unknown
This poem describes a father's response to his death and his wish for his family to continue living. It encourages celebrating the good times, continuing to laugh, and continuing the heritage.
Post on Facebook or Other Social Media as a Tribute to Dad
Here are some suggested examples for you to use and modify as needed when posting online. Posting online as a tribute will offer others an opportunity to provide their condolences and share some new memories about your father that you may not have known.
“My dad was an incredible man. He provided for his family and made sure his children had the guidance they needed. I am grateful for my dad and I miss him every day.”
“Today I am remembering my dad and the great memories we shared. He was one of a kind and my best friend. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think of him and smile.”
“My father was my biggest fan and my greatest role model. I could call him at any time and he always has a solution to my problem. Life is different without him, but I am grateful I got to call him my dad.”
“When I remember my dad, I smile each time. He was a jokester and he made us all laugh. He taught me not to take life too seriously. He was always in good spirits, even until the day he died.”
“My dad was my hero. He was the most courageous and resourceful man. I never questioned if he loved or cared for me because he made it so obvious. I still feel him with me each day and I am living life for the both of us now.”
Quotes to Use in a Tribute to Dad
Reflecting on famous quotes is a thoughtful way to connect with your dad. Here are some quotes you may consider posting with his photo on social media or someplace in your home with a custom floating quote frame.
- “A father is neither an anchor to hold us back nor a sail to take us there, but a guiding light whose love shows us the way." — Unknown
- "She did not stand alone, but what stood behind her, the most potent moral force in her life, was the love of her father." — Harper Lee, American novelist
- "Dad, my mind still talks to you. My heart still looks for you. My soul knows you are at peace." — Unknown
- "The quality of a father can be seen in the goals, dreams and aspirations he sets not only for himself, but for his family." — Reed Markham, author
- “Dads are most ordinary men turned by love into heroes, adventurers, story-tellers, and singers of song.” –Pam Brown, author
- “‘Father’ is the noblest title a man can be given. It is more than a biological role. It signifies a patriarch, a leader, an exemplar, a confidant, a teacher, a hero, a friend.” – Robert L. Backman, lawyer
- “He was a father. That’s what a father does. Eases the burdens of those he loves. Saves the ones he loves from painful last images that might endure for a lifetime.” – George Saunders, writer
Traditions to Start to Remember Dad
There are many ways to honor your dad's life. You may decide to host an annual event or a one-time remembrance ceremony. No matter how you celebrate, the most important thing is that you are taking time to pay tribute to your dad.
Write a letter
Is there something special you want to say to your dad? Write him a letter and let him know how much he meant to you. Though he is not here to read it, writing the words can be very healing.
The memories of your dad live on and writing him a letter of gratitude can be a thoughtful way to pay tribute.
Host a barbecue and encourage your family members to bring your dad’s favorite side dishes. This non-formal event will gather your family together to celebrate your dad.
Play some yard games and tell favorite stories about your dad. Nothing would make your dad prouder than seeing his family together and smiling.
A remembrance ceremony is a special way to celebrate the life of your dad for one year or more after your dad's death. You can host this in a park or at your home.
Invite family and friends, cook his favorite food, and invite people to share memories. Lighting a candle to represent your dad's presence is a nice addition. You can even customize a commemorative candle for the occasion.
Visit his grave or memorial site
Make a standing date to visit your dad's grave or memorial site. Bring some balloons or things that he loved to place on the grave. You may decide to invite a family or go alone.
You can bring a letter to read or spend time in quiet meditation. If you are musical, you might play a song at the grave for your dad.
Make a donation
If your dad had a cause he cared about, you can donate his honor. If he died of a specific disease or illness, you may also want to contribute to a research fund. Be sure to let the organization know your donation is in honor of your father.
This is a thoughtful way to remember your dad and you are helping people in the process.
If your dad was a lover of the outdoors, camping is a great way to keep his memory alive.
Make it a family gathering and set a chair for him at the campsite. Roast marshmallows and share what you loved most about dad.
Write a short story or book
Writing down stories and memories is cathartic and it gives your dad a written legacy. You can write a short story of a manuscript about the life of your dad and what it was like having him in your life.
Some adult children have written about their journey with their dad in his end stages of life. Grab a pen and paper and let the words flow. You can keep this private, submit it to a writing contest, or pitch a literary agent.
Make a music playlist
Music is a great way to communicate feelings and emotions. Curating a playlist is a wonderful way to connect with memories of your dad through song.
Turn up the tunes and let yourself surrender the music and the feelings that arise.
Frame a photo
Print some of your favorite photos of your dad and find a spot in your home to hang them. You could create a special corner in your house dedicated to photos hung on the wall or in a frame. We like the Golden State Art photo frame collection for a wall display.
You can retreat here whenever you are feeling down or want to see your dad's smiling face.
The Greatest Tribute to Dad is You
Paying tribute to your dad doesn't have to be an elaborate event. From poems to online memorial sites to new traditions, there are plenty of options when deciding the best way to remember him.
A tribute is an opportunity for you to remember your dad and celebrate your love for him. Your dad was likely one of your biggest teachers and he helped shaped you into who you are today. Thank him when you start your day and invite his presence with you wherever you go.
Though he may seem far away, he is a part of you. Your dad is alive in your heart and mind. Pay tribute and smile because you are a piece of his living legacy.
If you're looking for more ways to remember dad, read our guides on how to celebrate your first Father's Day without dad and how to spend your dad's death anniversary.