Mother’s Day, Minus Mom

Most of you probably know that May 12 is Mother’s Day.  (If you didn’t know, you’re welcome for the reminder.) I’m a little embarrassed to admit that I didn’t know, until my husband reminded me while we were at my in-law’s house this past weekend. Somehow the volumes of junk mail, commercials, and radio ads for discount roses hadn’t tipped me off to the exact date.

When your Mom’s dead, Mother’s Day is a little…different.

It’s not that Mother’s Day is a bad day for me now. In fact, I do take a little pleasure in no longer wrestling with anxiety surrounding the need to find a gift for Mom that somehow expresses my appreciation for her changing my diapers, combing my unmanageable hair, calming my nerves before prom, teaching me the difference between my weight and my worth, and helping me pack to move away to college, then California, then back to Richmond again.

I have to admit, there are times that I feel a bit smug about that. While the rest of the world is making hectic last-minute phone calls in a desperate attempt to get a vase full of wilted, overpriced flowers delivered for exorbitant last minute rush-shipping fees, I am calmly purchasing a card for my mother-in-law while doing my usual weekly Target run.

Don’t get me wrong, it stinks to not have a Mom on Mother’s day, but I’m usually the type to look for the silver lining in situations. I may be stretching a bit to find this particular silver lining, but I feel that I owe it to myself to do that.

It is hard each year to watch the endless commercials, and see the huge rows of Mother’s Day cards in the stores. It is beyond ridiculous to have well-intentioned people ask me what I plan to do with my Mom that day:

“I bet your Mom misses you!”  (Yes, I’m sure she does.)

“Are you going for a visit? I’m sure she’d really love to see you.”  (Actually, I’m pretty sure she’s thrilled that I’m here and not “there” right now.)

“What did you get your Mom for Mother’s Day?” (Umm…nothing.  She’s, well, dead.)

Needless to say, I always squirm, and try to answer these questions as delicately as possible. If it’s a stranger in a grocery store, I generally smile, and lie through my teeth. Why would I ever try to explain Mom’s death to a polite woman trying to buy milk, and leave her wondering what she will do on Mother’s Day when her mom dies, or what her own kids will do when she dies?

When it’s someone I know I will see again, I usually take a deep breath, and try to gently and carefully answer. “We’re getting a necklace for my mother-in-law, and I’m planting some flowers in memory of my Mom. She died a few years ago, and doing something that she loved is a great way for me to feel connected to her. Are you planning anything special that day?”

I’ve found that it’s always a little easier for people to take in the information if I start and end on a positive note, and give them an easy out by asking them a question about their family. And in the end, that’s really what’s important to me – that it’s easier on them.

I’ve already come to terms with the fact that I’m going to have awkward conversations, and speechless moments when I tell an unsuspecting acquaintance about Mom. But the other people, the innocent individuals who are just making conversation, it’s just so hard for them to handle the information I have to hand over to them. (I bet my Mom would have known exactly what to do in these situations, but that’s not something you think to ask before someone dies.)

So, as Mother’s Day comes and goes again this year, I will go through the same series of events I go through every year. I will absent-mindedly watch the jewelry store commercials, and ignore the junk mail flower solicitations. I will purchase cards for my amazing mother-in-law, and the other amazing mother-figures in my life. I will try not to make eye contact in the check-out line of any store, and I will plant something pretty for Mom.

It might not be what most people do on Mother’s day, but it works for me. And really, that’s all we need to do when we’re grieving – find what works for us.

Comment on this article, and tell us what works for you on Mother’s Day, or any holiday without your loved one. Sometimes, sharing and hearing how other people face their holidays can be a great way to find the strength and grace to face your own.

Alisha writes about her personal experiences with loss and healing. You can read more of her work here.

Photo Credit.

65 Comments:

  1. Ann Lynch said on May 4, 2010 at 3:17 pm ... #

    I felt like I had written this myself … thanks!

  2. denise kratman said on May 4, 2010 at 3:30 pm ... #

    I try not to think about the day…get thru it…that is all..

  3. Cindy McDonald said on May 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm ... #

    Hi Alisha,
    As always, you’ve written another heartfelt article that so many of us can relate to.

    Yesterday I was at the grocery store and bought red roses to take to the cemetery to celebrate what would have been my 29th anniversary. As I was walking out, a clerk said, “Oh, gorgeous roses for your mom. How nice!” Like you, it was so much easier to just smile and say yes, than to try to explain the realty to a stranger.

    On Friday, I’ll repeat the exercise to remember Steve on the anniversary of his death. At that point it will only be 2 days before Mother’s Day and I will undoubtedly hear the same sentiment.

    For me, I dread Mother’s Day. Not because I’ve lost my mom, but because it was the day my father and brother-in-law arrived from Australia for Steve’s funeral. I will never forget that day in trying to put on a happy face at brunch, going to the airport, then spending the rest of it completing funeral plans. Mother’s Day will never be the same for me, but not because I lost my mom.

  4. Keith S said on May 4, 2010 at 9:18 pm ... #

    I totally get what you’re saying…

    For many years, I played golf on Mother’s Day. I was single, living 5 hours away from my Dad and stepmother, and oh yes, my mother had died when I was 8.

    I’m married now with three children, and on Mother’s Day I focus my energy towards my wife. There will come a point that day when my thoughts will drift toward my own mother, and so perhaps I will need to take a moment and catch some fresh air. Very quickly it will then be time to get back to whatever the family is doing.

  5. Jackie said on May 4, 2010 at 10:54 pm ... #

    After 3 years I still don’t know how to go about “Mother’s Day”… My Mother was found murdered 3 years ago and with her case still unsolved… every day is a nightmare.. including Mothers Day.. BUT I do visit her grave and talk to her, wish her a happy mother’s day and plant flowers or put a special gift down for her. I also like to do something she loved to do with my sister and nephew, my mothers grandson… sometimes we go to get my moms favorite food… or go to her favorite park..listen to her favorite music.. always keeping her memory close to us. Thats whats most important. My condolences to all those without a Mother to hug on this Mother’s Day xoxo

  6. Linda Coerr said on May 4, 2010 at 11:09 pm ... #

    I want to write about Mother’s Day, minus Dad. My husband passed away last year, so this will be my second Mother’s Day without the father of my child. It’s something I never thought about before I faced this situation myself . . . but when you are alone as the Mom, you have to help your child be aware of the day, make a card or drawing, and see if they want to buy or make a gift for you. I can’t even remember what we did last year, but this year, I am taking my daughter shopping and I’ll wait in a corner of the store while she picks things out and pays for them so she can have a little surprise for me for Mother’s Day. And, she and my niece will make the Mother’s Day poundcake :)

  7. Kristina said on May 6, 2010 at 9:38 pm ... #

    loosing all of my Grand parents was hard… Its really hard not to look at others with their loved ones and get jealous of them for what they have that you never got. sometimes I wonder If They even realize how lucky they are… Alot of times it takes all of my Will power not to cry in public so I usually cry myself to sleep at night thinking of them and how much I miss them. It can be hard to live from day to day but I always like to think of them as my own personal guardian angels. the best thing you can do in life after loosing a loved one is to remember that alot of times they are in a bettter place and to try to move on and keep as many me stories you can of them in your heart for forever. Never forget those good times you had with them because there could be someone out there who didn’t even get that much. so remember that there is always someone less fortunate than you are and as an LDS YW I know that they are watching me and they Love me. whenever I think of them I tell myself that they are proud of me and who I’m becoming. Try to live your life and NEVER forget the ones that you love. :)

  8. Jen said on May 7, 2010 at 10:12 am ... #

    Thank you! This is preparing me for what to expect with my two young sons as we prepare for their first Father’s day without their dad! This will also coincide with the 1 year anniversary of their dad’s death. I read this article with my 9 year old to help facilitate the conversation…

  9. Becca said on May 8, 2010 at 12:44 pm ... #

    Mothers Day sucks, i lost my mom almost Three Years Ago and i hate this day so much, i dread it. life is begining to become unbarable with out my mom i just turned 20 and i am more depressed then ever not to have my mom their are so many things i need her for,,, so many tears that i need to wipe on her i just hate today its life rubing the fact that i dont have a mother in my face all over again GOd i really hate motherssssss dayyyy

  10. Julie said on May 8, 2010 at 9:20 pm ... #

    Becca, I lost my mother when I was a teen as well, it is now ten years later and it doesn’t get easier but there will be a point when you can look back and remember with out being sad. I wrote down everything I remembered about her. Now on Mother’s day every year is different but I try to do something that she would appreciate. My biggest thing to get past is thinking about how things would just be better if she were still here with me. Have a day! Keep busy tomorrow and you are not alone. Hang in there!

  11. janice said on May 8, 2010 at 10:01 pm ... #

    my mom died june 14,1994 she just had her birthday on june 10,1994 and then i got the call that she was dying and to come and talk to her until she crosses over,i got there and i told her it was allright to go really it was not but that cancer had spread in her body and the chemo was making her worse. god i miss my mum so much every day i think of her ad mothers day is like the worst time for me.I am 45 and god i just want to curl up in her arms like i used to and just smell her, my best friend is gone,yes i have 4 kids they are grown and 2 grands but the cord id still attach even in death it not cut. Sometimes it feels like… empty

  12. Byron said on May 9, 2010 at 1:52 am ... #

    my mother died on february 2nd 1998, after 5 years of dialysis and congestive heart failure. even after 12 years, mother’s day is painful. i still think about her when i see snapdragons (her favorite flower)and even though i never let it show outwardly, i feel lonely and adrift on holidays like mothers day. my father died when i was 5, and it ended up being just me and mom on our own. sometimes when im alone, the void left by her passing overwhelms me, and i cry.

  13. Ana said on May 9, 2010 at 4:36 am ... #

    I lost my mom in a car accident 5 years ago and I
    start feeling depressed the friday before Mothers day, it is not like im even conscious of what is happening, I feel a sense of deep sadness within and cant shake it, i mope around the house all weekend and cry then it leaves after the day is over, its bizarre because it forces you to be more aware of your loss. I dont think you should try to stop it just cry get it out and move forward. God Bless.

  14. Mollie said on May 9, 2010 at 7:07 am ... #

    My mom passed away three years ago….on May 14th. Three years ago that was the day after Mother’s Day…so, I’m not a big fan anymore. I guess I just get really depressed and feel like I should start feeling better, but I never do. in fact, I’m more and more depressed as time goes by. My dad re-married, so that’s not something I can talk about with him, and I’m all grown up anyway…so…
    anyway…I was just wondering if anyone else has ways to deal…b/c I find this to be a really hard day to deal with since I associate it with my mother’s death and just an end to so much that never got said…
    :)

  15. Lydia said on May 10, 2010 at 1:16 am ... #

    I swear you must have taken a stroll through my mind and found the exact words that i was looking for when trying to describe to people my feelings toward mother’s day.
    My mother died when i was 14; i am currently 20. In combination to this “day of remembrance”, Mother’s Day was the last day i saw my mother alive. It’s a bitter-sweet day for me that i wish i could feel somewhat more sentimental about, but for me, this day is similar to any other. I love and miss her but am not swayed by the efforts of others to go above and beyond and somehow pull emotions further to the surface which aren’t there naturally. Today is a day that i remember but do not mourn.
    Celebrating a life is exactly that: Celebrating. Ill pick the date for my party when I’m ready!!! Thanks so much for your words of wisdom and insight.

  16. sara s. said on May 11, 2010 at 9:47 pm ... #

    im so srry for all u…..my mom hasnt passed away she lives 500 miles away…my parents got divorced because my dad was emotionally abusive…she eventally sunk into a depression so deep she needed shock therapy…so i grew up without even the hope of them getting back together…i miss her so much but im grateful i can talk to her with just a press of a button

  17. Raji said on May 19, 2010 at 2:26 pm ... #

    I’m glad I’m not the only one who cringes during every commercial and every billboard about Mothers Day. And Alisha, I feel exactly like you, even though we’re put in uncomfortable situations by someone innocently asking about our mom, we are left trying to make sure we don’t make the other person uncomfortable. I mean really, if you spilled your guts out to just anyone, what are they going to say? They’ll feel bad, we’ll feel bad, and it does no good. I lost my mom when I was 10. And I know for a lot of people Mother’s Day is very special and I’m thankful to have many wonderful women in my life who treat me like their own daughter, and I know friends who are mothers and its great for them. But it sucks for us. I for one, am SO glad the day Mother’s Day is over…until the next year that is.

  18. Kathi said on May 24, 2010 at 11:21 am ... #

    Thanks for this article, Alisha. Since my husband died, Father’s Day has been unbearable (especially since my kids don’t have grandfathers either). For the last 4 years, we have tried different things to get through the day–from going to the cemetery, writing messages on balloons and releasing them to leaving town and totally ignoring the day! But we haven’t found quite the right solution for us. Mother’s Day isn’t really any easier, because it’s very hard for the kids to do something for me on Mother’s Day, without adult help. We feel a huge hole in our family on both days, and while I’d really just rather bury my head and ignore them, I will instead continue to search for meaningful ways to observe them.

  19. Kelly said on June 22, 2010 at 2:24 pm ... #

    Wow- Its good to hear from others. I lost my Mom this year on Mother’s Day, so I really am not looking forward to future years. Beacause of situations I have only now began to grieve her passing. She is not coming back.

  20. Beth said on August 11, 2010 at 10:03 am ... #

    The first Mother’s Day without your mother is excruciating! You walk into the Hallmark store (after passing it by so many times) knowing that this year, there will be no card for your own mother.

    To this day, I hate (and that’s putting it mildly) Mother’s Day. It’s because in the years after I had my son, never once did my own mother ever send me a Mother’s Day card. I know, I know, she wasn’t MY mother. But Mother’s Day isn’t just for your OWN mother; in fact neither of my sisters are mothers but they are like mothers to my son, so I send them Mother’s Day cards.

    For those moms out there who are now grandmothers, I have something to tell you. You child needs to know that you are proud of them, and there is no better way than to send them a heartfelt Mother’s or Father’s Day card.

    I desparately wish my own mother had sent me just one Mother’s Day card. It would have been my confirmation that she was proud of me and believed that I was a good mom. Now, five years after mom’s death, Mother’s Day is a day I dread because without that card from my own mom, I am convinced that she was neither proud of me nor did she believe I was a good mother. I live with that every day, and no matter what anyone says, I’m always going to feel like I didn’t measure up.

    Mother’s Day – not a day I look forward to. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned, is that some day my own son may be a father, and I will NEVER neglect to let him know how proud of him I am – all it takes is a card on that one special day – Father’s Day. And I’ll also make sure that I remember his wife – my daughter-in-law – on Mother’s Day. I expect I will love her and accept her just the way she is because my son loves her. I won’t make the mistakes that have left me feeling like in my own mother’s eyes, I wasn’t worthy of a Mother’s day card.

  21. Karen said on August 13, 2010 at 12:31 pm ... #

    My mother is still alive but she has advanced dementia and lives in a nursing home. I’m not sure if she even knows me, she can’t speak coherently and responds to me the same way she responds to everyone. My mother’s spirit is hindered by this disease, so in many ways, barring some kind of miracle, my mother is already gone. The very funny and witty woman that everyone loved is gone. At least if she were in spirit, she could be around me when I needed her, but instead she lives in a body and facility that both resemble a prison. What a terrible way to live out your final days/months/years.

  22. Lou said on August 31, 2010 at 3:59 am ... #

    @ Alisha… Great blog.

    @ Karen… Even if she doesn’t remember you, go to her and love her because if you were dying of a disease, she’d love you unconditionally until her dying day!

  23. sandy said on October 11, 2010 at 2:40 pm ... #

    It is close to 1 yr of my mom’s passing and i still feel that she is still alive and waiting for me to come home. I am in the US but my family is back in India. I cudn’t spend the last days of my mom with her. Your article has expressed all thats have been on my mind……….

  24. Misty said on February 16, 2011 at 9:34 pm ... #

    My mom passed when I was 10, and it’s only three years later now…Dad’s dating. For mother’s day I just try to get through it. Tell my friend’s I’m a procrastinater, just living for the moment. I lie. It’s tough. Definetly not something kids should have to go through. Even when your old, it doesn’t get better. It’s tough to accept the fact that breast cancer, a disease I had never heard of, took away my world. This is the first time I’ve really talked, thank you so much for writing such an inspiring blog! I hope we can all open a new door, and not get over this, but accept it and remember all the happy tims we know we had with our mother’s.

  25. Rosie said on March 14, 2011 at 10:13 am ... #

    I lost my birth mother when I was 13 weeks old, and the adoptive mother that I still deal with every day is a real pill. We have to schedule any time with her because she’s too busy with her life to have us visit. Today, she decided to tell us not to come for lunch tomorrow, when we drive six hours to see her and this was the only time she had made available to us. I feel really sorry for those of you who have lost your dear and loving mothers. I wish I knew what that felt like!

  26. chrissy said on March 14, 2011 at 6:59 pm ... #

    yea mothers day is hard for me too after losing her when i was 12 which was 4 years ago its really hard but i try to keep my head held high even when people tell me i didnt really care for my mom but what i do for mothers day is i go to her grave and cry and talk and sometimes i bring my bfs to meet her and get her opinion :)

  27. Bernie said on April 1, 2011 at 1:22 pm ... #

    My mother died on new years eve 2010…..its mothers day on sunday and i just wish it was over already. I bought my aunt a hangbag for her birthday yesterday and the shop assistant asked if it was for my mother….it was like takin a bullet. I’m overwhelmed in grief and I dont know when the pain will ease. B

  28. Ken said on April 27, 2011 at 11:29 am ... #

    We just buried my mother yesterday, and I just realized that Mother’s day is soon and I had not realized that till now. I looked for something about how people dealt with this and found it here. Thank you, I’m hoping it will help. As bad as I feel about our situation, I can’t imagine how it must be for the young people who have lost their mothers. So, you have reminded me to be thankful for all the time I had with my mother. I also have to say I was especially touched by Chrissy’s note- I think what you are doing is very, very sweet.

  29. Alex said on April 30, 2011 at 9:03 pm ... #

    My mom died on thanksgiving the day after my 12th birthday. The last few years I have been going to a mother daughter banquet at my church with my aunt. I miss my mom very much she has been dead 3 1/2 years. (she died in 2007). I love you mom.

  30. Julia said on May 1, 2011 at 10:45 pm ... #

    Wow all of theese comments on how I Feel!

  31. Ashley said on May 1, 2011 at 10:49 pm ... #

    Hi- I’m 21 and I lost my mom a couple months ago. She had a brain tumor and fought it for 13 months. I held her hand as I watched her struggle, and then slip away and it was the worst thing I could have done- haven’t slept in… well I really have no idea. I live in a very small town and I am ambushed by people and all of the Mother’s Day things everywhere I go- and I just want to say thank you, now I understand that I am not the only one who has to feel such pain- it feels good to know i’m not so alone. I have my family (my father is already dating) and my adorable fiance’ (who tries his hardest to make things better), but they don’t know what it feels like to loose your best friend and your mother at the same time. So, thank you, Alisha, and everyone else who has told their story, it gives me hope that one day I can look back and be thankful for the time I had with her, and no be so upset that she left!

    This upcoming Sunday I am taking a flower arrangement that I had special made with just tulips (momma’s favorite flower) to place by her grave. I hope she can take a few minutes from her day in Heaven to look down on them :)

  32. Madeline said on May 2, 2011 at 2:03 pm ... #

    My mom died almost 2 years ago. I am currently 17, i was 15 when she died. Mothers day is my least favorite day, worse than her birthday, worse than the anniversary of her death. I don’t know what to do while all my friends are appreciating and loving there moms. I just want to cry, i want to see her, and i want to do something to honor her. though i don’t really know what that may be. Last week in target i was reminded of mothers day by one of their endcaps filled with cards for mom’s, as stupid as it may be i bought one?

  33. Madeline said on May 2, 2011 at 2:06 pm ... #

    @ Alisha- I love this blog!

    @Ashley- My mom died of brain cancer too, everything about your comment is exactly like my life.

  34. Kim said on May 5, 2011 at 1:40 pm ... #

    My mother passed away on May 14th, when I was 14 years old… I am not 38.. my father died June 19- also happened to be fathers day that year and was buried on June 25 my parents anniversary… It completely sucks being an “orphan” as someone had labeled me… I still cry- I just allow myself to do whatever feels good on those days- go off the diet- go to a lake- go out to dinner- I take those few days as days to think, cry and grieve- because the other days of the year that is not so possible- I set the limit and I make sure I live up to it—- I also ALWAYS make plans for the day after so I make sure and keep my plan of allowing that day to be whatever I need it to be- while not allowing it to control or destroy my life- death can be difficult- but their pain is over- and I take comfort in that

  35. alison said on May 5, 2011 at 3:31 pm ... #

    i am so glad I found this site. I have been having the most diffcult time this week with mothers day coming up this sunday. My mom died in Aug 2007 after battling alzhemiers for years and my dad died last year. I have two wonderful children but Mother’s day I so dread. This week I have been playing over and over again in my mind the last few weeks of my moms life. I have cried lots this week and dreading my soon first fathers day without my dad. I just have such an empty feeling. Im dating the most awesome guy and he takes such good care of me and my children, but unless you have lost a parent friends, coworkers, boyfriends, husbands and your own children dont seem to really understand the pain we are going through. A part of me just wants to spend mothers day alone, go to a movie and escape the day.

  36. Sam said on May 6, 2011 at 5:04 pm ... #

    This is my first Mother’s Day without my mom. I am an only child and my mom was everything to me…best friend, boss, advisor, dictator, Dr, Nurse, teacher, etc. There is a special relationship between and only child (especially a boy) and a mother that is unlike any other relationship. It is one that transends the normal mommy/child relationship. You are one, and my mama was the best. I read this though and remembered once again that this is a day of celebration for how great my mama was and how I should not cry but yet enjoy the day with my children and wife…as she would have wanted. We chose today to baptize our young son in honor of him as she died two days before we could make it home to see her so she could meet him. I am in the Air Force in Germany and she passed of cancer before we could get back. My older daughters loved their “Nana” more than anything and I hate that my mother never got to meet my son, but he will always know what a great person she was. As this mother’s day comes, I think I will also plant something pretty in her memory. Thanks for writing this. It really helped me out.

  37. Jean said on May 8, 2011 at 10:47 am ... #

    Laughing is the best medicine. My mom was HILARIOUS and always had the crowd laughing. I have to say I giggled a lot when I read your comment about being smug. I TOTALLY am too.

    We all cope in our own ways- some more similar then others. I love this post. Thanks for sharing. :)

  38. Carol said on May 8, 2011 at 10:58 am ... #

    “Time heals all wounds” — it hasn’t helped this day a bit. I thought of 20 things I could do today, to get thru it, and haven’t done any of them, but thank you all for sharing your thoughts. Tomorrow will be a whole year before I will have to face it again.

  39. Jennifer said on May 8, 2011 at 11:22 am ... #

    My mom died when I was 10, 22 years ago. I’ve had a lot of Mother’s Days to deal with, but the past few years have been hard. My friends are becoming mothers, and I hear a lot about Mother’s Day on Facebook. I am not a mom, nor do I have my own mom to celebrate with. Today, I’m too upset to even fathom thanking the other special women in my life. So I will take today for myself, tears and all, and get up tomorrow knowing that the ads and the Facebook posts will be over for another year.

  40. Jessica said on July 26, 2011 at 2:37 am ... #

    I feel a little guilty commenting on this article as I do have a mother who is alive and healthy. I stumbled across this page when I was searching for appropriate things to send to my partner’s mother who has lost her father.

    However, I felt the need to comment because it’s a shame how unaware you are of what can happen to anyone you love at any given moment. I will be the first to admit I have taken for granted the little things my mother has done for me, and not once have I said “Thanks for giving me life”.

    After I read this, I made it known to say how I truly felt. I am thankful for everything my mother has done for me. And as much as I haven’t had to deal with the grief and loss of my mum, I do know that mother’s day is a day for appreciating everything your mum has done for you.

    Whether here on earth, or in a better place, your mother has given you the greatest gift of all: life. That is something to be thankful for. I know that now, and I hope when it’s my mum’s time, I will still remember to celebrate her life on a day such as “Mothers Day”.

  41. margaret scully said on September 2, 2011 at 12:14 pm ... #

    Hi i am new here i know this post is for when you lost your mom on mothers day but i lost my mom on faters day :( dont know where to go to talk about it she hit her head on the bathroom floor she died in the hosptail she was in her 80s she was my best friend we went everywher with each other

  42. pavithra siddeswar said on September 2, 2011 at 12:16 pm ... #

    my fren just lost her mom and am just seeing a reflection of her in this article. brave one alisha.. god bless u:)

  43. Brittainy said on March 14, 2012 at 10:00 pm ... #

    Last mothers day I remember my language arts teacher had us write a poem about our mothers. As if this wasn’t enough she gave our class a lecture about how we shouldn’t take them for granted, we should always say we love them and treasure them because one day they won’t be there anymore. I didn’t need to hear that, it really twisted the knife in my stomach. I didn’t need to be reminded my own mother was gone, I didn’t have that luxury of treasuring her any longer. I guess ten years was supposed to be enough.

  44. helen mockridge said on May 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm ... #

    It’s for angelica or ideas for us but I don’t know her email. She’s taking it hard, this mothers day thing is breaking us all down . Not to mention the fact nada dies this month. And the girls are in so much osin thinking about there daddy. I prayed so hard last night, i hope he diesnt only hear if two it more come together bcus I was alone.

  45. Lisa said on May 11, 2012 at 3:55 pm ... #

    I am 30 now, I lost my parents at 22 and 27. I have a few posts I’ve recently written in honor of those who need support on this mother’s day:

    http://www.losingyourparents.org/2012/04/holidays/missing-your-mom-on-mothers-day-mothers-day-prep-2012-part-one

  46. Terri said on May 11, 2012 at 6:18 pm ... #

    I understand missing your Mom on Mothers day. I understand the akwardness when someone asks what your plans are. I at a loss to understand the hateing of Mothers Day. My Mom passed away two years ago and I miss her everyday. I will miss more on zmothers zday, but being the optimist, looking for the silver lining person that I am. I choose to CELEBRATE. I am going to celebrate the fact that my mom gave birth to me, raised me, taught me and inspired me. I tell myself that even though she she is not with me in person she is with me in spirit and I do share her essence with everyone I meet, because I am who I am in part because of her. Remember the good and celebrate your life because she gave it to you.

  47. Cassandra said on May 12, 2012 at 2:13 pm ... #

    This is my first one. My mom passed 4 months ago the day after Christmas. I feel sick to my stomach and can’t eat a bit today. Thank God for my dad. He really saved me today. I dread tomorrow.

  48. Vicki said on May 16, 2012 at 10:11 pm ... #

    I try to do something that my mother liked to do or would do if she were here. Go out to brunch, work in the garden, hang out with my kids…honor her in any way that I can and do something that she would be proud of. I so badly want to carry on her legacy of love, compassion and joy.

  49. Christina said on January 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm ... #

    Hello..
    Thank you for sharing. My passed in March 2012 and this will be my first Mother’s Day without my MOM!!! I am already very sad about it and don’t know what to do on that day. All your suggestions I will keep in mind when the day comes, but I know it will not be easy.

  50. Jamie said on April 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm ... #

    My mom died Dec.3rd 2012. Her birthday and Mother’s Day are on the same day this year. I planned, back in January, to scatter wildflower seeds where we scattered her ashes. As it nears and I am realizing I don’t feel so calm and collected about it. Like the moment I start to cast the seeds I will just “lose it”.
    My husband and two daughters are coming with me. My dad isn’t sure if he can do it. I am not sure what my brother is doing.
    Not sure where I am going with this.

    I am so happy this web site exists.

  51. Elizabeth said on April 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm ... #

    I lost my mom in 1997 only four months after my father died. I lost my brother to suicide 5 years ago. Needless to say all holidays are tough year after year and it’s difficult not to spoil special days for others. My mother in law is not a fan of mine, nor me hers. I never had children.

    Some years don’t bother me so much while others will invoke deep depression. There are years that I feel the need to celebrate others special day and there are years that I despise everyone else for having what I don’t. Sometimes I ignore Mother’s Day altogether, some years I acknowledge it with a slight sadness but a memorable smile, some years I protest this holiday with venomous attacks on flower and greeting card companies.

    No matter the reason for being without ones mother on Mother’s Day, some years are hard and some not as hard. Grieve in whatever way helps you get through the day, there are no instructions you must follow. If you don’t feel you can be with others, politely tell them you aren’t available and if they don’t understand, it’s ok. They’ll figure it out. Those of us that have little or no family have to take care of ourselves emotionally and unfortunately, it’s slightly more difficult. For those of you whose grief is newer, it never gets easier, I guess it just becomes more bearable and you do learn to work around it. There’s no magic mile marker at which point you’ll be normal again. Your life is forever changed but you CAN still have a good and fulfilling life.

  52. Angela said on May 2, 2013 at 3:05 pm ... #

    Sorry to all who lost their mother .
    Just know their with us in Spirit always !!

  53. Missy said on May 4, 2013 at 8:50 pm ... #

    My mom died July 7th of last year. This is my first Mother’s Day without her and so far everything has been hard. I just got married and have 3 step kids. I already got my very first mother’s day gift. I don’t have kids so that was special. But it just got me to thinking about my mom. what do i do for that day?

  54. Andi said on May 6, 2013 at 9:36 pm ... #

    Advice needed. A friend lost his wife to cancer less than 3 weeks ago and left 2 children, 6 and 11. With Mother’s Day fast approaching, this will be a very difficult time for both kids and their grieving father. The most pressing issue involves this Friday at school when the day will be focused on making gifts for mom. Is it wise to send them or to let them sit this one out? Anyone out there have any experience with this dilemna that can offer any suggestions?

  55. Tim said on May 6, 2013 at 10:28 pm ... #

    My wife lost her mother in november and she is having a hard time, even harder because mother’s day is approaching, she doesn’t want to do anything for mother’s day, which I don’t blame her, I would be the same way. But I just can’t sit back and do nothing, we have a one year old daughter and I would love to do something special to honor her mom, and to make mother’s day a little better for her, any suggestions please???? thanks

  56. Heather said on May 6, 2013 at 11:27 pm ... #

    For the first time in a very long time I’ve finally found an article about mothers day i can relate to. Ans as mothers day approaches I wrestle with it also. wishing i could do something to honor my mom and instead i do something in memory OF. I miss her dearly every day but I know she’s in a better place. this year, i will buy a balloon and write my thoughts to her on it and let it go while I visit her resting place. I love you mom!!

  57. Cathy said on May 9, 2013 at 6:46 pm ... #

    My Mom died in September of 2002. We scattered her ashes off her favorite pier in the Ocean. Every year on Mother’s Day, and on her birthday in June (and the anniversary of her death), I drive to the spot and talk to her .. I find it so relaxing and majestic to be able to “visit” my Mom at the magnificent Ocean!… for me that’s much more serene than at a Grave-site. I am very fortunate that we live within driving distance to the Ocean .. I hope in the future my children will find the same serenity and love when they “visit” me with the Ocean waves.

  58. Patsy said on May 10, 2013 at 2:54 pm ... #

    Mother’s Day alway in the past meant trying to find the perfect gift. This year there will be no gift perfect or otherwise as my mother passed away in February 27, 2013. I know that she is in Heaven with God and many family members but that doesn’t make it any easier for us here on earth. I just found this poem and I would like to share it:

    If Roses Grow In Heaven, Author Unknown

    If Roses grow in Heaven, Lord,
    please pick a bunch for me,
    Place them in my Mother’s arms
    and tell her they’re from me.

    Tell her, I love her and I miss her,
    and when she turns to smile,
    place a kiss upon her cheek
    and hold her for awhile.

    Remembering her is easy,
    I do it every day,
    but there’s an ache within my heart
    that will never go away.

    Love you Mom.

  59. Anonymous said on May 11, 2013 at 2:49 pm ... #

    Each and every post is touching for me. But it was Elizabeth’s post that I identified with. Recently I lost my mother on Nov. 19, 2013 and my dad in 1991 then my only sibling Richie in 2005 from a heart-attack. My only child was killed by a drunk driver April 5, 2010. Gee even, my first husband died a month after my son Joe. When I’m mindful of my physical respiratory issues I try not to cry. After reading and feeling the loss and pain of others I’ve lost control. Today I had a plan but it fell through due to the weather. I’m feeling rather weird and now know it’s because it’s the day before Mother’s Day.
    I felt so bad to have read the post written by Beth in 2010, who never received one card from her mom on Mother’s Day. It’s funny but last year I purchased a couple cards and I’d be glad to send it to you Beth. You are a worthwhile and measure up as a good mother. It’s evident based on your words and love that you feel. I can understand where you’re coming from but I do believe your mother knew you to be a good mother. Happy Mother’s Day you were a loving daughter and you will always measure up! Sending Love, Barbara

  60. Jamie said on May 11, 2013 at 8:39 pm ... #

    i dont know what i will do tomorrow in honor of my Mom. This is my first year without her. I lost my mom in September 2012 and my husband lost his mom in April 2013. It is the first mothers day for us both without the most important women in our lives. We have plans with our children and our grandchildren and i plan on going to my moms grave as well after church. God please get us through. Happy mothers day!

  61. Cari Sim said on May 12, 2013 at 5:03 am ... #

    Thank you for this blog. It’s comforted me on a very difficult day. Not only did I lose my mom, but also my grandma, within one year of each other (grandma died first, then mom), one in May, one in June. It nearly killed. A decade later it’s never easy. I’m not able to have children because I suffer from endometriosis and adenomyosis and as a result have had a complete hysterectomy. It’s never easy. I often think, if I had kids of my own, it would be easier. But that’s likely not true..I’ll never know.

    Another way this issue is very hard for me to cope with is because I’ve moved to the UK. Here, Mother’s Day is tied with Easter somehow and so it is earlier in the year. I now have TWO days when the card shops, the mail circulars and the emails bombing from 1-800-Flowers comes to get me and remind me “do something wonderful for Mom this Mother’s Day”. I get it from the US and UK.

    I am really happy to know it’s not just me that avoids the conversation with strangers. I have equally awkward chats about not having children. I say “I’ve got two amazing nephews, I get to spoil them and live vicariously through my brother” with a big smile…because it’s true. So on Mother’s Day I not only grieve for my grandma and mom, but for my own lack of children.

    I could go on, but really just wanted to say thank you for this. It helped me smile in spite of myself. I needed that.

    For those here that have just recently lost Mom. It does get easier, but it’s a heartache that never quite goes away. I suggest you do something Mom would love. That’s always my plan. I watch a favorite movie of hers, I plant her favorite flowers, I make a tiny donation to the American Heart Association to help cure what she died of and I make a second donation to an animal charity. She’d love that. That is the best way to honor Moms, by making them happy and by doing what they would have done or loved, a little piece of them lives on.

  62. Troy said on May 12, 2013 at 8:01 am ... #

    My mother passed away April 21st 2013. This is the first Mother’s Day without her. I am still in the process of going through her things which is difficult in and of itself. I haven’t any plans for today as of yet but maybe I’ll visit my sister. What I would like most from today would be just to have a normal day without all of the sadness. My wife and I had planned vacation this week. She’s taking her Mother and Aunt on a trip while I planned to stay at home and spend some extra time with my other, Now I find myself alone. Thank You for the article and sharing.

  63. Lori said on May 12, 2013 at 8:51 am ... #

    My mom died less than 3 months ago after a very long illness and this is my first Mothers Day without her. I am getting married in less than 1 month and will acquire a traditional mother-in-law as well as 2 other mothers-in-law: my fiance John’s late wife’s mom and step mom. I love them all — truly — and we sent each of them a card.

    John has 2 sons who are 7 and 10 and I’ve been living with them for over 1 1/2 years. Last year John’s parents sent me a Mother’s Day card (my very first one) and they sent one again this year. Right now, as I write this, John and his youngest son are up to something in the kitchen and I’ve been ordered to stay here in bed. I can’t wait for my surprise!

    I want to thank you for sharing how you handle questions about Mother’s Day. I will remember this when I am asked the question today and in the future.

  64. Girl said on February 20, 2014 at 9:08 pm ... #

    Oh my gosh that was such a refreshing read! My mum died only a few weeks ago and I have been so lost. We all have. I know Mother’s Day is the next celebration and I’m absolutely dreading it… And the awkward conversations I will inevitably find myself in. Thankyou for your addition of dark humour… It actually made me feel a little more human for a change. Everything i have read recently has been laced with misery and depression, so thankyou for injecting ‘life’ back into my somewhat (current) meaningless existence.
    It’s really unbareable to imagine I will never laugh with her again or cuddle with her on the sofa… Even worse that I didn’t get to say a proper goodbye.
    I’m trying to understand how I will move on… In a way I don’t want to. I’m 27, I’m single and I don’t have my mum :-( I know that’s not the way to be thinking… All I can say is, If every cloud does in fact have a silver lining… I shant accept anything but a sky full of tin foil in future! :-)

  65. Carol Hill said on March 25, 2014 at 7:15 am ... #

    I am trying to think of how to support my son and grandson. My daughter-in-law died on remebrance day last year, aged just 40 years old and leaving her loving husband (my lovely son) and a little boy then aged 4. I just don’t know what we can do to get through the day to be honest. He is talking about his mum a lot this week, saying he wishes she was here for a picnic… life is rubbish sometimes

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