From early April, it seems like the card and gift business is about how to make Mom feel special on her big day. Children are asked to make cards or friends on Facebook begin sharing old photos early and often.
If you are a mother who is grieving for a child who has died, or if you are a child who is grieving for his or her mother, the conversations and feelings around Mother’s Day can be overwhelming. First and foremost, it’s important to actually pause and recognize that Mother’s Day can bring up a variety of different feelings if you are grieving the death of someone important to you. Some of those feelings will conflict directly with feelings you had just minutes ago—and that’s okay.
No matter how long it has been since the person in your life died, or what your relationship was like with her or him when she or he was alive, it is normal to have many conflicting feelings around your loss. It may be that you grieve not only the loss of that person’s physical presence in your life, but also the loss of the family as it was and future you envisioned for yourself. You may grieve saying things that were never able to be said, or hearing and seeing things that are not going to happen.
Allow yourself the time and space to acknowledge whatever feelings you may have, and remember that experiencing happiness and moving forward in your life in no way diminishes the love you have for that person.
Everyone experiences grief in a unique way. Some will choose to be surrounded by their families, and others will need to find a little more space and time to themselves. There is no time frame for grief, and there is no “right way” to remember someone who has died. Each person in a family may need to do something different.
Sometimes the anticipation of the day can be harder than the day itself. It is often helpful to plan ahead for how you want to spend the day. Everyone’s grief is unique, and there is no right or wrong way to do this. Different family members may want to do something things individually and/or something together.
We encourage you to make time for self-care as you need it. We encourage you to make a plan to honor the person in your life who died, such as watching one of their favorite movies, eating their favorite foods, or visiting a familiar place. We encourage you to start a new tradition with your family if that feels more comfortable to you. Above all, we encourage you to stay flexible enough to change your plans if they don’t feel right to you or your family on the actual day.
For those who are grieving, Mother’s Day can be a difficult time, but we at TCR are here to remind you: you are not alone.
If you would like to share memories or ideas for remembering your special person, you’re invited to connect with us on Facebook.