It is important to continue to integrate your late spouse into the lives of your children. They will and should always be a part of your lives.
One of the things that I have always been committed to was being open with my daughter about her father, who he was, his likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, I really want her to know him more than she did as an 8 year old. As she grows and matures, so should her understanding of her father. This way he can continue to contribute to the beautiful woman she is becoming.
My late husband, Bryan, was a very intelligent, well-spoken person, with more patience than most. He was an avid reader, studying classics and poetry because they gave him joy. Where math, and science, and all things rational are more my forte, he enjoyed the creativity of writing and the art of words. He, himself, wrote short stories, poems, and even a novel. He spent a majority of his working life in restaurant kitchens as a kitchen manager, a GM, an executive chef, etc. In the final couple of years he had gone back to school to follow a life long passion and complete his teaching degree. He wanted to share his passion for writing and love of literature with younger generations. (FYI – Our daughter is a healthy balance of both of us.)
In order to incorporate her fathers talents and passions into her upbringing, which are far from my strengths, I have saved key items from his past. I have saved excerpts of his writing, his favorite books, clothing, and other small items that meant something to him, and now can mean something to her.
Bryan was very outspoken, outrageous, and did not refrain from offering his opinion, without regard for offending people with his views (political, spiritual, or otherwise). He wasn’t a perfect man, husband, nor father. He certainly had his faults, and I would never canonize him, not even to our daughter. Bryan’s flaws are every bit as important as his admirable traits. There is a lesson to be learned from everything. I want our daughter to know her father. The good, the bad, the indifferent, the ambivalent, the humanity.
I am including a video that my daughter posted on TikTok, just to give you an idea of the relationship she and her father still have today. (WARNING: grab a tisue) Even now, 8 years later, my late husband has words of wisdom to impart onto our daughter.