Today is my 16th Mother’s Day without my daughter. On the one hand, it’s hard to believe that so much time has passed since her death. On the other hand, it seems like just yesterday. I stare at her pictures around the house and wonder what she would look like now. This year she would have been 44-years-old. It’s so hard to believe all that has happened since that day.
Over the years I have had Mother’s Day with family members and sometimes with kind friends who understand how I feel on this worst of all days in the year. Most years I just try to ignore the day and hope it will pass fast. This year my daughter’s best friend, who I am very close to, invited us to brunch with her children, my godchildren. That will be very nice, I’m sure, but the fact that I won’t get a mother’s day card from my daughter, who never forgot, will still haunt me. I hope all of you were not like me and got rid of most of those cards after the event. I do have a few, thank goodness, and I treasure them. They were always very cute, not serious sentimental ones, which was just fine with me and seemed to suit her personality as well as mine.
I just read an article by Paula Funk of Petoskey MI who talks about what it was like for her those first few years after her daughter died. She then offers some suggestions from those who have been there to help others through this time. Thanks, Paula.
**Realize this day is full of potential for a multitude of feelings to sneak up on you and catch you by surprise.
**Do whatever works for you. Trying to please everyone else can cause undo stress.
**If you have surviving children who want to honor you, communicate your feelings to them. Let them know that while you are grieving the death of their brother or sister, you still love them.
**Try to keep things simple.
**Visit the cemetery.
**You may choose to pretend the day just does not exist and do something completely unrelated to Mother’s Day: clean, get out of town, go shoping.
**Have a good cry.
Know that the days before the holiday may be worse than the actual day. As with all holidays, be reassured that what you do this year does not have to be what you have done before or will do again. As with all things, the intensity of our feelings will soften over time. In the meantime, be gentle with yourself on this special day.