A dead dad is sad. But at least you know. Not having one and never having known him can be really hard. Or, not hard at all. It depends.
I recall when at primary school my teacher set the class to draw Father’s Day cards, and how she knew her children well enough to put two of us aside, doing other things. Because we didn’t have fathers.
In Dimity Powell’s and Nicky Johnston’s picture book This Is My Dad, Leo’s teacher seems oblivious when she introduces a Tell Us About Your Dad Day. Leo doesn’t know what to do. And at home, his mum is rather busy, so he can’t ask her about it.
But he comes up with a solution. For his presentation at school, Leo tells the class about his mum. Because to him, she is his dad.
It’s so simple. But it’s also really difficult, until you work out who does what and why. In my case I worked something else out, and once I’d done it, all the pieces fell into place. The important thing is to have someone. It doesn’t matter who they are, as long as they are somebody to you.