My Mum died when I was 21 & I have since been on what I can only describe as a roller coaster ride on this day – Mother’s Day. Some have been spent under the duvet in floods of tears, others at home listening to Barbra Streisand on repeat (her favourite singer) others, holding it together when I first become a Mum in a confused, emotional state of wanting to enjoy ‘the moment’ of being a Mother myself, yet my heartbreaking as Mum wasn’t here to see me be a Mum.
More recently, as the years have gone by, I have been more at peace & chosen to celebrate her life & my life as a Mum. It’s still hard, I’m not going to lie when I think things have settled, I hear a song, smell a smell & I am right back there. Our minds are so incredibly powerful! But I now find ways to help myself to enjoy the day in the way that works best for me.
I would like to extend a virtual hug to those who to have lost their Mums & say – let today be whatever you want/need it to be, do what you need to do to make it as peaceful as you can. There are no rules, no guidebook to managing our grief. We need to find our own way. Especially as today we are distant from more people, the loneliness & pain could be intensified for some.
I thought I’d take a deep breath & share with you some very personal ways that have helped me, as you too may be in a world of pain or know someone who is – so perhaps it may help you/them a little especially at the moment when we are literally being forced to stop & be at home:
– Cry. A lot. I mean proper just let it all out & sob your heart out. Resisting the tears is much harder. We need to feel the sadness, notice it & just allow it to be.
– Lay flowers at the cemetery or plant something in your own garden. I did this last year & now sit (when it’s sunny) next to the rose bush with a cup of tea (or wine!) & tell her all about my day at random times during the year. I find this easier than going to the cemetery in some ways.
– Spend time talking to others with others who knew your Mum, talk about her life & celebrate who she was. Remember others will miss your Mum as well & so together its lovely to feel that connection through each other’s memories.
– Tell others about your Mum. I often talk to my children about my Mum & even though they have never met her, they call her Nanny Sue like they had. This, on one hand, makes me smile but breaks my heart in others. We look through old photo’s together & I tell them about her favourite music, what she liked to wear & stories of how she used to embarrass my brother & I with her singing!
– Listen to her favourite music. This can bring about strong emotions but also a lovely connection to those we have lost. Barbara Streisand, the soundtrack to Phantom of the Opera, Madonna, all remind me of my Mum. I sometimes do this whilst running or pottering around the house, it’s one of the most comforting things I can do when I miss her.
– Bake a cake. Or something that she loved to cook. This is a win-win for everyone 😊
– Write to your Mum. This is so great for healing. Someone recently suggested writing a letter to my Mum each year on Mother’s Day & keeping it in a special folder or box. I love this idea, a way to clear your head & also a reminder of your own life over the years.
I am certainly going to be honouring my Mum today & myself as a Mum. Part of that day will be time for myself to reflect on what was & what has been. I won’t dwell too much; I just know that I am happy & that she was & still is part of that happiness within me.
Wherever you are, whoever you are with….Happy Mother’s Day to all xxx
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