*Disclaimer: This blog is about my own personal growth/process with loss and grief. What works for me may not work for you and that is perfectly fine. Take the time you need to grieve. If you need/want help, don’t be hesitant to seek help, whether it be through individual/family therapy and/or support groups. ☺
Losing a loved one is difficult. It’s even more difficult when holidays pop up and you’re reminded that you can’t celebrate that person like you used to. It can truly shift your functioning months/weeks/days leading up to it and sometimes it just really brings you down to the point where you don’t see a way up. There is no quick fix to get through holidays without your loved one, and there is definitely not a “one size fits all” solution. So in this blog, I’m merely speaking about my personal journey with loss and grief and hopefully you gain some form of positivity from it. ☺
I lost my mother 5 years ago, and though it has gotten easier to continue life without her, I still miss her deeply every single day. So, when Mother’s Day approaches (as well as other holidays/birthdays/etc.), I feel a wave of different emotions. I’m upset that I can’t FaceTime her to say ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ or spoil her beyond my means. I’m angry that she was taken from me too soon and there was nothing that I could’ve done. I’m jealous of those that post recent moments that they’ve shared with their mothers.
But you know what? All of those emotions are valid. I have every right to feel that way because who wouldn’t? With that being said though, I am someone that just doesn’t like spending a whole day being sad (although sometimes it just happens. I am human.) So, I choose not to let the sadness completely overcome all the happy memories I was blessed to have.
As the years have gone by, I’ve learned how to acknowledge those sad/angry emotions, accept them, and then choose to cherish the beautiful moments. This has taken the past 5 years to work on and I am still processing the loss day by day, month by month, year by year. But I wanted to share what I do to celebrate Mother’s Day to make it just a little bit easier year after year:
- Look at pictures and videos (I have a whole album dedicated to my mom)
- Write a letter addressed directly to her updating her on my life
- Thank the women that have stepped into that mother role since her passing (grandmother, stepmom, aunts, family friends’ moms, etc.)
- Reflect and thank God for the moments I did have with her
- Listen to the music she specifically liked and/or the music we would only listen to together
- Wear something from her closet/jewelry box
- Watch the movies we loved watching together
- Drink coffee out of her favorite coffee mug
- Cook and/or bake using her recipes
- Visit and put flowers on her tombstone
*Note: There are different stages of grief according to the Küber-Ross model, so it is important to understand where you are and the difficulties that may arise when being in a particular stage and how that affects your thinking and functioning.