Mother's Day and loss

Our resident Agony Aunt, Patricia Marie, gives advice and support to those who have experienced bereavement loss and find Mother's Day particularly difficult, whether through the loss of a mother or a child. 

As Mother's Day approaches, not everyone will be happily celebrating.  For those who have lost a mother, it could be a difficult time especially if you are facing the first one without her.  The day may bring mixed and complex feelings to women who have experienced the loss of a child, infertility or miscarriage. They may also struggle to cope with the memories and emotions which this day triggers, and could feel very unsettled. 

For those who need a little support at this time, I offer some guidance to help you get through......

The Loss of a Mother

If you have lost your mother, this day could prove to be overwhelming, so be gentle on yourself.  Do something positive, and perhaps choose an activity that will connect you - be comforted by looking at photographs of her, revisiting places you know your mum loved, spraying some of her favourite perfume, or listening to significant pieces of music, to relive those special memories. Albeit, you may find this upsetting at first, but it will allow you to feel her presence, and as time goes on, it could become your own ritual. To honour her memory you could plant a living memorial in the form of a tree or rose bush. You may still want to buy a Mother's Day card, to celebrate this day in your own unique way.  After all, she might not be here - but is still very much your mum. 

The Loss of a Child  

The death of a child is a loss like no other. If you feel yourself struggling during this significant day, light a candle in their memory, which could make you feel especially close to your child at this time. You may feel anger, sadness, or guilt, because they died before you. These emotions are very common with grief - don't try to suppress them. No matter how long since your loss, if you are still suffering, consider joining a bereavement group which could help you to feel understood, and give you hope, that if others can survive their loss - so can you.  Most importantly, remember that you are still a mother and always will be even if your child is no longer living. 

And celebrating the day…….

If you do have mum around and are planning to celebrate this Mother’s Day with your family, relish and enjoy every single wonderful minute.  If you are wanting to spoil her, try not to be influenced by the multitude of gifts on sale. Instead treat her to something far more worthwhile like breakfast in bed, an offer to clean the house or work through that pile of ironing. Perhaps bake a cake, and get to enjoy some quality time with her. These gestures from the heart would, I’m sure, mean far more to her. And if you know anyone who may be reminded of a heart breaking loss on this day, or for whatever reason just aren't able to share this day with their mother or children, perhaps help ease their pain by a small act of kindness, such as offering a card, flower, or words of encouragement, which could make a huge difference to the way they are feeling. 

In spite of how challenging it can sometimes seem, life is precious, and we must learn to embrace it, as hopefully there will be plenty to look forward to in the future.  For now, however you do, or don't, celebrate this occasion, I wish each and every one of you a very special Mother's Day.

For additional help, advice and support, contact: Cruse Bereavement Care: 0844 477 9400

SANDS is a national charity which can offer support when your baby dies during pregnancy or after: 020 7436