Mother’s Day can be a hard holiday to handle when you’ve lost your mom. If it’s a recent loss, the omnipresent messages of Mother’s Day may feel like too much to bear. If more time has passed, Mother’s Day may inspire you to do something special to honor the memory of the woman who’s always in your heart. Regardless of the amount of time that has passed, there are several ways you can manage your grief while remembering Mom this Mother’s day. Here are five to consider:
1. Buy a Card
It’s hard to escape Mother’s Day cards for sale in the month of May. If the card display makes you emotional, go ahead and buy a card that captures your feelings or your relationship with your mother. Thoughtful, serious or funny, the card you choose can help put your emotions and thoughts into words. Tap into those memories, and write a note in the card. You can bring the card to your mother’s gravesite or keep it in a special place at home.
2. Set a Place
On Mother’s Day, set an extra place at the dinner table for Mom. You might include your mother’s photograph at the place setting as well. Keeping her seat at the table can help you feel she’s still included in the family meal. Along with this idea, each family member can share a special memory of Mom or Grandma before beginning the meal. Preparing your mother’s favorite meal or a special recipe she taught you is another way to embrace happy memories of Mom on Mother’s Day, rather than focusing on her absence.
3. Bring Flowers
Bringing flowers to your mother’s gravesite on Mother’s Day is a lovely way to pay tribute to your mom. When so many others are rushing about to buy last-minute gifts, cook meals or make one or more visits to parents and in-laws, visit your mother’s gravesite instead for some moments of quiet reflection. A fresh arrangement of her favorite flowers can add some color and a touch of spring. If Mom’s gravesite is in another area, ask the cemetery about placing a floral arrangement for you.
4. Visit another Mother
Mother’s Day might feel lonely if you can’t visit or call your own mother. Consider visiting a senior in a nursing home or senior center who might not otherwise have any visitors on Mother’s Day. If appropriate and permitted by the facility, younger children can also enjoy the visit. Instead of feeling alone with your memories on Mother’s Day, use the day to bring joy to another mother’s afternoon.
5. Donate Your Time
They say charity begins at home, and many moms leave a legacy of giving. Keep her legacy alive by volunteering with a meaningful local organization on Mother’s Day. Serving meals at your local food pantry, planting new flowers or vegetables at a community garden, or reading to children through a hospital program are examples of volunteer opportunities that might reflect your mother’s interests while allowing you to spend an otherwise tough day in service to others.
Missing Mom on Mother’s Day is natural. And how you choose to spend Mother’s Day when Mom is gone may vary from year to year. However you decide to spend the day, grief experts agree that it’s most important to listen to your heart and allow yourself to do as much or as little as you are able to do. Giving yourself permission to grieve for or honor Mom in whatever way you need is essential to managing your own grief and well-being while remembering her this Mother’s Day.