Celebrating Mother’s Day after Loss

Mother’s Day can be a celebrated day for some and a challenging day for others. For those whose mother has passed away, one may feel grief and sadness over their loss. Mother’s Day is a reminder of what used to be and what no longer is. It can bring with it an array of emotions.

Though even in the midst of pain, one can find reasons to rejoice. It reminds me of looking at the sky after a storm. I love when it is completely cloudy, and I see a ray of sunshine poking through the clouds. In the same way, though Mother’s Day feels “cloudy”, I believe you can find hope and happiness amidst the heartache.

How do you find ways to enjoy a day that can be filled with so much dread? Here are a few ideas for celebrating.

  1. Remember your mother.Talk to family and friends about what you mother meant to you. Spend time writing either in your journal or composing a poem or song about her life. Though it may be a somber time, it does not have to be. You can talk to siblings about the happy times you had with mom, or even tell funny stories about experiences you had with her.
  2. Do an activity.Mother’s Day is a day you can participate in activities that your mother loved. You can do activities that she did alone or activities that you enjoyed together. You can think of her as you engage in these special events. For example, you could take a walk at her favorite location, read a book she loved, or volunteer at her favorite charity. Or you can do things you did together such as watch a special movie that you shared or eat at y’all’s favorite “go to” restaurant.
  3. Spend time with family.You can relax or eat dinner with your own family such as your father, siblings, or other family members. For those who are now mothers, spend time with your children. Talk to your children about how special your mother was and the difference she made in your life. You can take them to the park or sit under an oak tree with a helping of ice cream. Cherish the moments you have with your children.

Whatever your situation, find a way to honor your mother’s life. Even in sorrow, we can still experience joy and peace. Though the storm has come and gone, there is still a ray of love and hope. Make this mother’s day a time to celebrate and remember the life of your mother.

Whitney Owens, LPC, MA