The last 2 years I’ve struggled with Mother’s day. This is my third one without Mom, who passed away from a glioblastoma multiforme brain tumor in October 2014. The last two years I struggled because my kids were so excited to celebrate Mother’s day and give me gifts and show me love, but I felt so sad and heartbroken not having my own mother with me to do the same. Being motherless and also a mother is so hard to balance.
Celebrating a Motherless Mother’s Day
I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately and thinking there are some things that one can do on Mother’s day to celebrate their loved one that’s passed. Since we moved into our new house at the end of last fall, I haven’t seen everything we have in our yard. Recently I noticed we have a lilac bush – white, just like the one I grew up with. Ours bloomed every year around mother’s day and every time I would pick lilacs for my mom. It’s kind of a sign, isn’t it? I feel like it’s my mom telling me she is here with me.
I think it’s important to find ways to celebrate our mothers who have passed away. It’s easy to fall into the sadness, but they really wouldn’t want that for us, would they? We wouldn’t want that for our kids. Here are some things you might find comfort in doing while honoring your mother at the same time.
Motherless Mother’s Day Ideas
Reach out to other mother figures
I have a few mother figures in my life that I am so fortunate to know. They aren’t my mom, of course, but they are there for me. I love them dearly and will celebrate them both this year. I want them to know how much they mean to me now that my mom is gone. One of them is my aunt, my mom’s sister. The other is my former neighbor, who helps guide me and my kids.
Plant a tree or flowers in honor of mom.
This is definitely something to do with kids. My mom had such a green thumb and there are specific things we could plant in her honor. I know my kids would love to have a “Nana tree” in our yard. And in absence of a place to visit her, this would be the perfect spot to go and “visit” with her. You could also get a plaque made with an inscription or buy one of those plaster kits at the craft store and have your kids make something to put at the tree.
Do something that your mom used to do.
One of my favorite memories of my mom when I was a kid is of her making homemade fudge and putting it in the door of the refrigerator. My mom was NOT a baker. A cook, yes, but she did not love to bake. So the fudge is something I will remember because she used to make it once a year.
Go someplace your mother liked to be.
My mom loved the ocean. She loved it so much that’s the only place she felt peace, and the two places she used to vacation were both on the ocean. I can remember the first time I went to the ocean after she passed, I could hear her. She was whispering to me in the wind and the waves and the seagulls glowing in the night sky, telling me everything would be okay.
Do an activity in honor of or donate money to her favorite charity.
My mom was involved in a few charities growing up. She taught me the importance of getting involved and volunteering so that people who need help will be able to receive it. She loved the Rotary Club most of all and devoted so much of her time and energy to that organization, making some of her best friends there.
Photo credit: Stijn Dijkstra