Grieving on Mother’s Day

“Grief is love with nowhere to go.” A mom in one of our groups shared this thought recently. I had to write it down because I thought it was one of the best descriptions of grief I have ever heard. On Mother’s Day, both love and emptiness can be felt simultaneously.

On Mother’s Day, we remember many who have held the role of Mother in our lives that are no longer here with us. We can no longer give that love to them, and we can no longer receive that love from them. Mother’s Day is also a day when many mothers grieve children who are no longer with us. No matter the age of the child when she or he died, the hole in your family is there. The family dynamics have changed. Everyone’s role has shifted. The hopes, dreams, and plans have been altered.

As you experience these emotions on Mother’s Day, remember there are many around you who are feeling this same way, wishing there was a place for their love to go. In the midst of your own pain, try to take time to reach out to others and share that love with them. Perhaps a piece of this “love with nowhere to go” can go to them? Do you know a child or friend who has recently experienced the death of a mother figure? Do you know a Mom who has experienced the loss of a child of any age? Reach out to that person. Let them know you are here and have a bit of an understanding of how she or he feels. Consider doing this in memory of the person you miss. It does not have to be big. It could be a card, a phone call, a text – something to show that you care.

And, if you are a person who has recently experienced a death loss, give yourself the time and space you need to remember and to embrace. Give space to talk about it in your family. Talk about the memories of your loved one. Talk about the things you miss about her or him. Talk about funny stories or things she or he taught you. Talk about how you want to continue her or his legacy. Ask your family if there’s a way they want to remember that person. Some ideas include making that person’s favorite dessert, going to eat at her or his favorite restaurant, giving to her or his favorite charity, or visiting the gravesite. The options are endless.

As Mother’s Day approaches, please know that you are not alone in your grief journey.