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Here It Comes…Mother’s Day

By: Mary Ellen Collins

GET READY… Here is comes again!  18 ways to get through Mother’s Day!

Here it comes again, it washes over me and I am knocked down by the impact of the day and the feelings I have — Mother’s Day. That day where mother-daughter groups I see are smiling and relishing the day.

I struggle with the masks that I wear on Mother’s Day. One is the mother who relishes the daughter I have and am thankful that the feeling is mutual. That is a treasure that I would not change. The other is the young girl who lost her mother at 15 and never had a mother’s nurturing love after that. That girl yearns for a mother’s unconditional love.

I also see women who have not had the nurturing of their mother because of emotional absence.  That is hard too. One woman whose mother was living, said, “How can I look at my mother and celebrate Mother’s Day when she was never a mother to me? I have learned to celebrate women who have helped me find my way, those who have lit my path. “  For this woman, it was her grandmother. For others, it may have been a teacher, a sister, a favorite aunt, or a neighbor.

So I am preparing myself. You need to get yourself ready too. We all need to put our grief somewhere. I have put together a list of ideas that have been given to me by many women to help them cope with the day.

  1. Write your mother (or the woman who has lit your path) a letter and tell her all the ways you miss her. Read your letter to someone who you trust. Just the act of reading it aloud is empowering (not to downplay how difficult that is to do).
  1. Celebrate the things that you appreciate the most.
  1. Have a special meal in her honor. If she is deceased, set an empty chair to signify her presence.
  1. Tell some of your most favorite stories about her that you remember.
  1. Write about her, share her legacy with your loved ones.
  1. Record stories about her. Your memories.
  1. Organize a balloon lift in her honor.
  1. Prepare your favorite food she made for you.
  1. Plant a garden in her honor.
  1. Be kind to yourself.
  1. Give yourself grace and space to just be present with your emotions you are feeling. You will be OK.
  1. Don’t stuff your emotions!
  1. Don’t pretend.
  1. Do something.
  1. Talk about it.
  1. Don’t try to fake it.
  1. Be real.
  1. Remember if you have children, it is OK to let them see you cry. You are modeling to him or her that yes it does hurt when we lose someone who is dear to us. It is real. You are real. Your grief is real.

You are not alone on Mother’s Day.  If you are reading this, you are part of a HUGE community of women who understand.  Share what you do to get through the day.  Let’s reach out and help each other. 

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