Mother’s and Father’s Days can be difficult after the loss of a parent. There are reminders everywhere. You might have been coping admirably with the loss until– BAM! This seemingly manufactured holiday shows up to stir the grief pot. It’s really easy to become cynical and spiral into depression. However, it is still possible to make these holidays special and to use them for the greater good. Here are five ways to celebrate Mother’s Day and honor mom when you no longer have one.
First and foremost, you don’t have to put on a happy face and act like this day isn’t hard for you. Self-care may be just what the doctor ordered. See a therapist or spiritual adviser. Go to a support group. Read, pray, meditate, and spend the day taking care of yourself, if you’re not ready to face the world. Get yourself flowers and watch a feel-good movie (nothing sad). You will never “get over” the loss, but in time, you’ll be able to create a new normal for this day.
Honor Your Mother
What was your mom’s favorite thing to do? Did she have a hobby? What were her favorite foods? Was she an adventurous thrill-seeker? Spend the day doing what she would have done, and you might just see why she loved it so much. If this is all too ambitious, make a donation to a charity she liked in her name.
Spend Time With Other Influential Women in Your Family
Who are the other women who helped shape you? If any of them are still living, consider visiting them and pampering them for the day. Likely, they understand your loss in a more personal way than others could. What about sisters and in-laws? You are surrounded by nurturing women who deserve to be celebrated. It takes a village, after all.
Celebrate All Of the Mothers you Know
Are you friends with any moms? Most mothers are overworked and underappreciated. Bring them coffee, flowers, or a meal. Offer to babysit or meet up with them for a moms’ night out. We don’t often make time to tell our friends they’re doing a great job and to offer support. Use this day to do just that.
Help Children From Low-Income Families Celebrate Their Mothers
There are probably single and/or struggling mothers who could use a little extra love on this day. Where can you find them? Look at your Facebook account, ask other moms you know, talk to the secretary at your church, or go to the nearest Boys & Girls Club. If you ask around, you’ll find a family or families to help. Involve the children in planning a surprise for Mom, whether it’s as simple as a handmade craft that you help them make or as large-scale as a dinner that you host in their honor.
Making other people happy will give you a sense of purpose. And wouldn’t that make your mother proud?
Create a New Tradition
A lot of happy memories are created around holidays and special occasions. If you’re no longer able to participate in the traditions you had with your mom, make some new ones. Get together with friends or other family members who are also going through the same thing. Find a creative way to honor your mother and keep her memory alive.
Share Your Memories
Write down your favorite memories of your mother and share them with others, either online or in person. You can also scrapbook, make a collage, or start a blog dedicated to her memory. This is a great way to connect with others who are also grieving and may be feeling isolated.
Losing a parent is never easy, but it’s important to remember that you’re not alone. There are many people grieving the loss of a mother today. Find comfort in knowing that you’re all going through this together.