Advice For Facing Mother’s Day After Losing Your Mom
Given the pain women often endure silently — and the mental health issues like depression that can come from that — I’m not into the superwoman trope. Yes, I’ve been fortunate enough to live many of my dreams, and I’m blessed to have just landed an amazing job. But life is not nearly as perfect as everyone portrays on Instagram. There are times when you need your friends, and I found myself in that position at the start of Mother’s Day weekend. I’m still very much mourning the major loss of my grandmother, who was like a mother to me. I usually can try to muster up positive words on my own, but on Friday, I needed the support and love of my friends and family to face this holiday. And then I realized, if I feel this way, other people are surely feeling it too. So I turned to my village for advice on how to get through Mother’s Day after losing a mother (or a mother figure). And I learned so much more than I expected to. More importantly, I truly felt grateful to be surrounded by love. Read on for some helpful words of advice if you’re facing a holiday after losing a loved one.
Ty, Gorgeous in Grey
“Break up with the Internet for one day. Mother’s Day (on the Internet) is a dangerous overload of inspirational messages and memories for someone who is grieving. If you must, post your obligatory Mother’s Day message and then log off. Use this time to invest in the relationships that you still have here.
Use Mother’s Day to honor your loved ones. Take one memory or tradition from your loved one and incorporate it into a new more modern tradition that you can do with your family. This will be hard but ultimate will allow you to forge new bonds with your family.”
Danielle, Victory Church
“Time doesn’t heal but it allows you to find different ways to cope to make it easier. One of the big things to help you cope if you’re a believer is that you’ll see your loved one again, and that they don’t have to deal with the pain or the stress of life anymore. Think if your loved one was here, what would they say? They would want you to continue to live life, and enjoy it, and do the things that bring joy and love to your family. That’s one of the biggest legacies your grandmother has left behind: to love everyone. You have so many other mother figures in your life, and you should cherish them and give them their flowers while they’re here.
Kevin (my cousin)
“I know these are very difficult times for you. I would say always keep in mind that as her granddaughter/ daughter you are an extension of her so in that she is still here because YOU are still here. You have every memory, every lesson and ALL the love SHE gave to you still very much alive within you. You have to let it shine everyday! The strength she possessed, her beauty inside and out, her wisdom, everything she ever taught you, all the reasons you miss her, those are actually the gifts she gave you that can never be taken away. You honor her when you go out into the world knowing that you are the woman SHE raised, shaped and molded. You are her legacy that must carry on. She wouldn’t want that legacy to be of pain and grief, while it is hard because those feelings of missing her are so strong, she would want to know that you are being everything she invested into you to be and you have to be everyday. You are a living tribute to her if that makes sense. Give yourself time, time may not always heal all but it does get easier. This is what helped me through when I lost my mom.”
Nicky (my cousin)
“One thing I like to do is have a good cry. It makes you feel a bit better, it doesn’t ease the pain but it will release the tension that you have. I’m going to think about all the wonderful things that I am and the positive woman that I’ve turned out to be because of those women who are no longer here.”
Kofi (family friend)
“First – what you are feeling is normal and it is apart of the grieving process so don’t fight it. My mother used to say you never get over losing a parent, you just learn how to live with it. Second, in time it gets easier, but there will always be moments of sadness. I encourage you to allow yourself these moments of sadness it is a reminder of the impact the person had on our lives. It happens for me not so much on holidays but moments with my children or the last episode of Oprah or the Selma movie. Some people make new memories on the holidays which are difficult for them in order to reframe it – such as vacations, special lunches, etc.”
I hope this helps you as much as it helped me. Sending lots of love to everyone who is dealing with grief or the loss of a loved one today.