GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — For many people that are mourning the loss of their dad or an important father figure in their life, Father’s Day can be tough.

Counselors suggest making sure you have coping strategies in place and asking yourself a few questions:

“So maybe what is your day going to look like? Or if you start out with your plan but things aren’t going well, you’re not feeling like things are changing and you’re not up for what you did have planned, what else can you do?” Ashley Huisman from Emmanuel Hospice in Grand Rapids said. “What type of traditions do you usually do that make you feel connected to your loved ones? What are some new ones that you can try or something that maybe you feel like you could do in honor of your loved one that day? So having one, two, maybe even three plans of something that you can do on that day to make sure that you feel like you’re in a safe place.”

Huisman recommended that those grieving this Father’s Day take inventory of their emotions and what they need, make plans to establish a sense of peace, find ways to stay connected with the person they are grieving and connect with someone to confide in like a family member, friend of counselor.

To help community members find support with others who understand their loss, Emmanuel Hospice will offer a free Remembering our Fathers grief support session from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday at Porter Hills in Grand Rapids. The in-person event is open to anyone regardless of whether they have a prior connection with the nonprofit or hospice care. For more information or to RSVP, community members can call 616.719.0919 or email