Thoughts on Mother’s Day

Even though Mother’s Day has come and gone for this year, it’s not too late to discuss one aspect of this holiday that can be particularly difficult for some: how to “celebrate” if you’ve lost your mother.

It doesn’t matter how old you are, it’s never easy to lose a parent; specifically your mother. That said, Mother’s Day doesn’t have to be a sad day. It can be a wonderful time to reflect on happy memories. In fact, you don’t even need one day to do that – you can do this any day you want.

Here are 10 ways to celebrate your mother this spring, even when she’s gone:

  1. Plant something – Whether you put some flowers at her burial site, or plant a tree in your yard, this can be a nice way to pay tribute her. This is especially meaningful if your mother was fond of gardening.
  2. Look through old photo albums – Sure, this will likely cause a few tears, but hopefully these will be happy tears, as these images will evoke fond memories.
  3. Spend time with surviving family – If you have a living parent, spend time with them, as they might be missing her as well. If you have siblings, children, cousins, aunts, uncles, or friends that feel like family, make a concerted effort to see them. They can be a great comfort when you’re feeling lonely.
  4. Write down your feelings – Journalling can be a very therapeutic activity. There might be things you’re feeling that you can’t express out loud, but you might feel better if you write them down.
  5. Practise Self-care – When you put so much energy into external things in your life you can forget to take care of yourself sometimes. Self-care isn’t about being selfish, it’s about doing nice things for yourself to feel better. When you’re sad, stressed, or anxious, it can be very calming to treat yourself. When you’re feeling alone and missing your mom, it might help to run a warm bath, or read a good book.
  6.  Take up a hobby your mom loved – Whether she painted watercolours, ran marathons, mastered the art of French cooking, or ballroom danced, choose something you know gave her great joy and try it for yourself.
  7. Volunteer – Choose a cause that your mother was passion it about and volunteer your time. It could be helping out at a local animal shelter, or assisting at a children’s after-school program.
  8. Visit a mother-figure – As they say, it takes a village to raise a child. Throughout your life you probably adopted a few other mothers – your friends’ moms, neighbours, co-workers, mentors – they can be there to lean on when you’re missing your own mother.
  9. Start a new tradition – You don’t have to forget your mom, but sometimes it’s nice to start your own traditions with your family.
  10. Talk to someoneChapel Ridge Funeral Home and Cremation can help you with your grief. They can recommend some local bereavement groups in the York Region and the GTA if you feel you are having a hard time healing on your own. There are lots of groups and centres available where you can talk in a judgement-free environment.