Life Advice



A Fatherless Father's Day

Annie Lane on

Dear Readers: Happy Father's Day. Below is a beautiful letter written for Father's Day. While there is sadness, there is a wonderful message namely that love is always the answer.

Dear Annie: I am a newly minted member of the group of us who will spend Father's Day without our fathers. Without the phone call. Or the card. Or the flowers or the celebratory meal. No dad jokes or dad hugs or dad reassurances. No one requests membership in this club, but it's one most of us inevitably join.

Dad -- or Papadoodle, as we called him -- was with us on Christmas, in perfect health and perfectly himself: slinging presents, slurping his morning mocha, laughing with his family and at himself. Snorkeling, playing pickleball, talking to our son for hours on the chaise lounge, dressing up for dinner even though he preferred his trademark polo and cargo shorts. Two weeks later, out of the blue, a heart attack brought an untimely demise. One day he was here, and then in an instant, he was gone.

A few nights after, while drifting to sleep in my childhood home, I knew my father was with me. I felt him so deeply, perhaps as profoundly as I've felt anything in my life. He wrapped me in a big warm hug, an embrace teeming with the kind of love only a parent could bestow. And in that moment, he explained the true significance of the parent-child relationship. "It's so simple, don't you get it?" he said. "It's just about love, and that's what I gave you. Can't you see? Nothing else matters if you don't have that." The strength of his love was staggering; it surrounded me and burst from inside my heart.

My dad was a deep thinker, an intellectual, a man with a vocabulary as big as his heart. He taught us to love the outdoors, show everyone kindness and not skip the sunsets. He taught us to follow our passions and to never, ever forget to laugh. But his greatest gift? Deep and unconditional love. There was never a time that I didn't know how loved I was by my father.


So, this Father's Day, as we wrap up a necktie or a new book, let's all remember that the most important thing we can offer anyone is love. It's accessible to us all, and it's what means the most. This Father's Day, I am comforted by the assurance that my beloved Papadoodle, and his undying love and spirit, will be with me forever. -- Love is the Answer

Dear Love: Thank you for your beautiful letter and incredible wisdom it shares. He sounded like an amazing man. What a gift he gave to you to live a life bursting with love.


"How Can I Forgive My Cheating Partner?" is out now! Annie Lane's second anthology -- featuring favorite columns on marriage, infidelity, communication and reconciliation -- is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to




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