This Sunday is a day I am anticipating with mixed emotions. I am incredibly sad and full of overwhelming grief. Not only is it Mother’s Day, it falls on May 14th. This is my first Mother’s Day without my mom. The 4-month anniversary of her death is May 14th. Talk about a double whammy, huh? It feels like both a split second and a lifetime since her passing. There are days when I wake up and I don’t remember that she is gone. As her daughter, I cannot understand how I live on in a world where she does not. As a mother, my heart breaks knowing that my children will one day deal with pain this great.
Our relationship was not always the best. And that’s okay. Life and relationships are complicated. We alternated through periods of closeness and periods of separation. But at the end of every day, she was still my mom. The only one I’ll ever have. Her passing hit me like a train. I never anticipated waking up to that news. It seemed like something that happened to other people. Not me, not our family.
When you’re motherless on Mother’s Day, it is incredibly difficult for others to know how you are feeling and to know what to say. I do not want people to tiptoe around me on this day, or to not talk about my mother. Please mention her and speak her name. Please let me know that you are thinking of me and of her. I want to remember her and think of her on this day. Yes, it will be painful for me. But grief is never easy, and there are always days that are harder than others. Pretending I don’t have these feelings will not help my grieving process.
Mother’s Day is the first major event where I would really expect to hear from my mom and to talk to her. Sometimes we didn’t see each other for a couple of months at a time, so I do not always feel the reality of her passing. But on this day, I would have sent her a text and received one back. I would have sent her a card. Even during our not-so-good times.
Someone who has not lost their mother cannot understand the myriad of feelings that come with her passing. As I think of my mother on this, my first motherless Mother’s Day, my first thoughts are almost never of the bad times, or anger, or the things that tore us apart. When she comes to mind, it is almost always good memories, and mostly just a feeling of her love.
If you are facing your first Mother’s Day without your mom, please know that you are not alone. I am right there with you. Be kind to yourself. Do not feel like there are certain things you “have” to do. Listen to your feelings and approach the day one hour at a time. Your feelings and actions are valid and appropriate. Though I am not sure any Mother’s Day will be easier with time, I do know that this first one is going to be quite hard to get through. I will be showered with love from my daughters and my boyfriend and I am hoping that will help me get through the day. I also hope to have a few moments to myself. I want to use these moments to quietly reflect on my mom, and her life, and express every emotion I am feeling about this day.
This is what I want to share with you. No matter your relationship with your mother, if you are lucky enough to have her still of this world, do not miss the opportunity to say the words you need to. Whether those are words to mend a broken relationship, or words that simply express your feelings, good or bad, you need to say them now. While you still have the chance. As many times as it has been said, things left unspoken truly are difficult to deal with after someone passes.
When You’re Motherless on Mother’s Day
My Battle Plan:
- Lots of deep breaths
- Taking the day one hour at a time
- Time with my children, my boyfriend, and my grandma
- Being kind to myself
- Allowing myself to feel what I am feeling
- Accepting my feelings as valid
- Acknowledging that I am still grieving, and that is okay
- Honoring my mom
I also wanted to include some additional articles on the same subject:
Mother’s Day for the motherless: Thoughts of late mom weigh heavy on this Neshaminy senior by Carly Flaig
A Letter to the Motherless on Mother’s Day by Jenna Rose Lowthert
What It Feels Like to Be Motherless on Mother’s Day by Christie Lynn
Please feel free to share your thoughts and tell me about your mom! I’d also love links to any additional articles/posts in the comments below.