Today is the big day. It’s another year to celebrate Mother’s Day. Gift giving is in the air; while hugs and tears are fast approaching for most. But for some women, this annual holiday is a reminder of grief, cherished memories and emotional dealings of unhealed pain. I am a member of the Motherless Daughters tribe. With each year people will tell me to “cheer up” or remind me that “it could be worse”. Here’s another one: “It will get better with time.” Let me be the first to say that those statements are not helpful. The emotional pain and trauma that some motherless daughters feel is unmatched. Most of us didn’t plan for this. Most of us saw a rapid recovery in sight for our loved one. Most of us became Mothers and envisioned our Mothers as amazing grandparents to our own children.
For me, the bright side has been cherishing the memory of my Mother. I also choose to advocate for other families who viciously fight against Pancreatic Cancer. Helping others has become my way of grieving. Signing up for and donating to the annual PurpleStride Cancer Walk is healing. No, my mother is no longer here but I am able to take a stand against the deadliest form of cancer that took her away.
If you are struggling with your membership to the Motherless Daughters club, here are some new member tips that may help:
Cherish family photos. My Mom was NOT camera shy and it’s so helpful to have tons of family photos to date. I enjoy looking through the photos and explaining the occasion to my daughter. Look at you: cherishing your Mother’s memory while creating new memories with YOUR daughter.
Hang it on the wall. If you haven’t done so already, hang up at least one picture of your loved one in your home. Actually frame it and nail it to the wall. This can aid in adding more comfort to visibly see your loved one each day in your home. One of my favorite Disney movies is Coco. Hanging up the pictures symbolizes having the picture on the “offrienda” as in the movie, LOL.
Play that song. My Mom was known for cutting a good two step and line dance. So enjoy listening to some of her favorite songs and even including the entire family in a strut. Issa bop!
Call a Loved One. Although you cannot physically get your Mother on the phone, calling other loved ones such as aunts, cousins and more; can also aid in your support. Get them on the phone and wish them a Happy Mother’s Day or simply say, I Love You.
Wear It!. You may be lucky enough to have your Mother’s shirt, jewelry or etc. Find comfort in wearing their piece of clothing as you go about your daily celebration. My Mother and I loved jewelry. I often wear some of her jewelry to jazz up an outfit while keeping her close to me.
In the end, there’s no right or wrong way to grieve. The many stages of grief often run in a continuous cycle of hope. Don’t give up. You are not alone. If you don’t find comfort in these simple tips, there’s also no harm in seeking individual counseling. It’s private and may be necessary for your healing. To find a local counselor, click here! Whatever you may decide to do, I want to wish you a Happy Mother’s Day. Cheers!
Writer, C. Scott, is a mother of one; author, social worker, early literacy interventionist and entrepreneur.