Mother’s Day can be a tough day without your mother. I am seventy years old and this will be the first Mother’s Day without my mom. I am grateful to have had her for so many years, but it feels like there is a hole in my heart.
So being a writer, researcher and storyteller, what did I naturally do? I queried my audience - which I fondly refer to as my “Preserve Your Bloom” gang - for any suggestions on how to deal with my loss. And how to get through that dreaded holiday: Mother’s Day. The floodgates opened and the comments poured in.
Here are just some of the many received that I want to share to help others grieving the loss of their mom.
All of the "firsts" will be difficult, but your memories will help sustain you. I try to wear or use something special from my mom. I will always miss her and still find myself wanting to tell or ask her something even after all these years.
Think of your mother dancing with her loved ones and feel her love continuing to surround you.
Embrace the chaos! It is life!! How did you have five boys? I always say that having four children taught me how completely out of control I am.
We are fortunate to have had our parents for as long as we did, but it is never enough at any age. Just hold on to the sweet memories that we have.
The only promise of childhood is that it will end. The only promise of old age is that it, too, will end.
Grieve for your loss. And then carry on her legacy to your grandchildren - especially the beloved granddaughters in your life.
It is hard. Even now, twelve years later, I feel sad when I can’t buy a Mother’s Day card. But our moms are always with us.
I wear a piece of jewelry, a scarf, or carry a purse belonging to my mother and one or both grandmothers. I do this for every special occasion, so they can celebrate with me. And I let others with me know, so they can remember these wonderful women too.
I try to use some pot or pan or serving piece at each holiday, as well as on Mother’s Day. I look to my daughters and granddaughters and know my mom is somehow with me - bringing us all together.
Laugh about all the fun and loving moments you shared together.
Listen to upbeat music in the car. It’s a good place to cry.
Pictures! I love looking back at photos!
Be with family. Your mom is in heaven with people that she has missed. She is happy and safe. You can honor your mom by living your life to the fullest and continuing to make a difference for others.
Maybe cook something she really liked or go somewhere that she enjoyed. Keeping her memory alive is the best way to honor her!
In her honor, do a good deed for an organization she patronized.
Tap into the bottomless well of love she left in your heart. A mother’s love is infinite, alive and eternal.
I pick something to eat that she would have ordered that day....for my mom it was flan.
My family calls each other and thinks of a favorite time we had with her and reminisce about what she would think about how the grandkids have grown. How proud she would be of them! And we tell them that!
If you have home videos of her, play them. When my mother died, I loved seeing how she nurtured and played with me when I was a baby and toddler.
There is no solution to your Mother’s Day dilemma, as you will always miss your mother - every Mother’s Day, every birthday, and every holiday. Who you are, where you came from and the love she gave you will forever be indelibly imprinted into your mind and heart.
Remember this is your day as you are a mom and a grandma too. Even with this loss, we owe it to our families to show how joyful we are on this day.
Allow yourself to be sad- but walk through it. It will not make you feel any better to have a cloud above your head rather than sunshine- so you might as well see the sunshine. And get outside!
Thank you for asking us this difficult question which felt like a big group hug of love from all your friends and their mothers. She is with you - as mine is with me. She is a part of your soul.
For all of us who have lost our mothers, I share in your pain. For those who still have them, cherish the time.
I thank you all for your heartfelt responses and will indeed be spending Mother’s Day with a lighter heart and a more grateful soul - all due to your wise counsel.
Iris Ruth Pastor is the author of The Secret Life of a Weight-Obsessed Woman available for on Amazon. She has published more than 700 columns in various outlets, including the Huffington Post, where she was named a “Must Read Blogger.” Her new memoir, The Secret Life of a Weight-Obsessed Woman, emphasizes that change and renewal are possible at any age and any stage.
Speaking throughout the country on a broad range of topics centered on “Preserving Your Bloom,” Pastor offers insights on self-care as the key to happiness.
For more information, visit www.irisruthpastor.com, sign-up for her weekly newsletter, and connect with Pastor on Twitter @IrisRuthPastor, Instagram@IrisRuthPastor and Facebook.