Mother’s Day is a time to let your mum know just how much you appreciate all she does for you… unless you have lost your mum and then it’s a difficult reminder that she is no longer with you.
Any ‘special’ day can be incredibly difficult when you have suffered a bereavement; birthdays and anniversaries bring very personal memories. But a wider public celebration like ‘Mother’s Day’ can be a particular challenge for anyone who’s mum has died.
Inboxes full of special offer emails, billboards inviting you to treat your mum to a takeaway lunch, posters in shops reminding you to buy that special ‘Mother’s Day’ gift. All of these are poignant reminders of your loss.
While nothing can take away the grief of losing your mother, here are some ideas that may help navigate Mother’s Day.
Talk about your mother
Sharing stories of your mum with friends and family is a wonderful way to remember her on Mother’s Day and “by reminiscing, you’re showing how important she was, and still is, in your life,” says Lianna Champ, author of ‘How to Grieve Like A Champ’.
Spend time with loved ones – don’t be afraid to suggest a phone or Skype call so that you can share some stories.
Buy something for her
Your relationship with your mother doesn’t stop when she dies, it changes. Buying a Mother’s Day reminder for your mother might be a way to remind you that the relationship carries on. Buy flowers for a favourite vase, or a plant that can become a focus for memories of your mum every time you water it.
Create a new tradition
You can carry out a simple memorial act this Mother’s Day and into the future. You could light a candle at home, or visit a place that you loved going with your mother. If it’s convenient, you can even make a special trip to her final resting place and leave some flowers.
Create new memories
Looking back is natural when you have suffered a loss and linking your past, present and future with your mum is a positive way to mark Mother’s Day. Cook the meal you loved her cooking, or take your family to a sentimental place.
Grieve your own way
Whether you want to spend the day reminiscing with family and friends or whether you just want to spend the day quietly alone, it’s important to remember that there is no right way to grieve. Do what makes you feel best.
If your family is struggling to share your grief and it is difficult to talk with them about your mother on Mother’s Day, you can visit our list of Bereavement Support Organisations to speak with someone online, over the phone or make use of helpful online tools.