Motherless on Mother’s Day

by Jen in holiday,mother's day,parenting

My mother passed away six years ago. As I write that number…six…I cannot believe it has been that long. I have lived through six years being motherless on Mother’s Day.motherless on mother's day

This time of year brings a great big bag of mixed emotions for me. On one hand I find myself wanting to be hyper creative. Looking for ways to help others celebrate all that being a mother means. At this time of the year I seek out ways to celebrate my being a mother, with my children. However, even with this inner desire to take part in Mother’s Day, I simply want to curl up in a ball and wake up when the Mother’s Day extravaganza has passed. It’s a real conundrum. I haven’t quite figured out how to navigate through this time of year.

I suppose what makes all of this a little more challenging is that my mother passed away on May 22nd…only a few weeks after Mother’s Day, six years ago. That final Mother’s Day was tough. We knew the gifts we were giving her would never be used. The fancy chair we bought her would never be opened…returned to the store wrapped in it’s original box. Shortly after that last Mother’s Day my mom slipped away from us all, into a week long sleep that ended with her passing away peacefully…leaving us behind…wondering how to get through any day, let alone another Mother’s Day.motherless on mother's day daffodil

So, how do you celebrate Mother’s Day when you no longer have a mother? Well, my sister and I figured out pretty quickly what you don’t do. You most definitely do not go to the flower shop on Mother’s Day to pick up flowers to place at your mother’s grave. Nope. That was a big, big mistake. Everyone is happily picking out flowers for their mothers…their alive mothers. That was pretty tragic. We promised ourselves we would never do that again.

So, how do you celebrate Mother’s Day when you no longer have a mother? I’m not sure. I know from my experience that I have to give myself some time to cry. I’ve always believed that when you feel overcome with the desire to cry – you have to let yourself cry. There is nothing more painful than beating back the desire to cry. It physically hurts to hold that emotion inside. So, I choose to release, give in and let the tears flow. The weeks leading up to Mother’s Day are filled with a lot of tears…which is okay.motherless on mother's day

In my experience, at this point in my life, I do not like to be surrounded by people who are with their mother’s on Mother’s Day. Does that sound mean? It really hurts to see other people happily sharing a laugh with their mom. I hope that doesn’t make me sound terrible. I just don’t want to see that, up close. I can’t see it. It hurts my heart too much. I long for those moments every single day…I just can’t even…

So, how do I celebrate Mother’s Day now that I no longer have a mother? Well, at this point I try and remember funnier and happier times with my mom. I keep away from card shops and fancy shop window displays. I try and focus on all the silly things I used to do with my mom. I take my time to live in that emotion and then I remember that I am a mother now. My children need to celebrate their mother. Sometimes I forget that I’m a mother…do you know what I mean? I let my girls and my husband have their Mother’s Day. 

In time, who knows how my feelings about Mother’s Day will change. Maybe with more distance this time of the year won’t be quite this painful. Honestly…I don’t think time can heal everything…I really don’t. Figuring out how to navigate my way through another motherless Mother’s Day will be my personal challenge and I suppose that’s just the way it has to be. For now, I’ll take comfort in the embrace of the ones I love and who love me.

Have you lost your mother? How do you celebrate Mother’s Day without your mother?

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