After losing a parent, Mother’s and Father’s Days can be tough. There are reminders everywhere. You might have been doing just fine in coping with the loss and then- BAM! This seemingly manufactured holiday shows up to stir the grief pot. It’s really easy to become cynical, and to spiral into depression. It is possible, however, to still make these holidays special and to use them for a greater good. Here are 5 ways to celebrate Mother’s Day when you no longer have a mom.
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 under-appreciated. 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 to 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 her, 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?