Denna Babul is an author and public speaker who tragically lost her father at the age of 13. She later went on to write the poignant book “The Fatherless Daughter Project: Understanding Our Losses and Reclaiming Our Lives”. She’s coming to Campowerment in September 2018 to help women transform a difficult past into a thriving future.

Father’s Day is a day to celebrate the men in your life who have been role models and supporters, either for you or your children. While June is joyous in many ways, it can be a tough month for those who are missing that paternal figure.

Since loosing her own dad, Denna has become the voice of fatherlessness, and specializes in helping women who’ve not had father figures or have lost their dads, reconcile their pasts in order to heal and move forward. Denna, whose dad was mysteriously murdered, has some suggestions for how those without a patriarch can celebrate the holiday without a lot of pain or resentment.

“I was very defined by my father, not by what happened to him, but by what happened to me as a result of what happened to him. I didn’t have a father figure to help me with all the things a young girl needs.

Growing up, I found that whenever I talked to people, whether I was at a funeral or a party, fatherlessness would come up. So many people struggle with it.

So, this month is a tough for many women. For some, they’ve been without their fathers for a while. For others, these might be new emotions— losing your father at any age is traumatic, though there is something particularly unfair about growing up without that strong male role model, or someone who can help you understand male perspective.

At some point, you’ve got to be responsible for your life, and let the anger that comes with abandonment go.

For me, the best way to honor my father, is to do something— to help others who can’t get past the fact their dad is gone. I want to help girls, whether they live in a trailer park or a penthouse, get past that pain.

A lot of women who’ve lost their dad celebrate Father’s Day by honoring their mothers, who maybe shouldered some of that parental responsibility in his place. People who have lost fathers more recently are a bit more raw and might use the holiday as a day of remembrance. Calling your dad’s best friend, spending time with his family, or trying hobbies he enjoyed are all respectable ways to honor his legacy.

If you’re alienated from your father, Fathers Day might be a good time to try and reconnect. Write him a letter. Send it or don’t — just putting your thoughts on paper can help you process confusing feelings. Try to understand that he may not be able to give you what you want, but you, and only you, have the power to overcome the pain.” – Denna Babul, Founder of the Fatherless Daughter Movement