Coping With Loss on Mother's Day
15 ways to get through a difficult day, from Beliefnet readers.
Lisa: "I feel that my tree is an extension of my mother."
My mother passed away in 2004, and I still feel as if a piece of me has been separated from my inner soul.
My five sisters and I have all brought a plant or tree that we've planted in our yards in remembrance of her. We often refer to our living plants and trees as if they were mom. We pamper them, speak to them, water and care for them lovingly. I feel that my tree is an extension of my mother and she brings me fruit in the spring, cool air on summer nights and always returns in full bloom after a restful winter.
7. Ask God to Help You Through
Betty Collier, Rogersville, Tenn.: "I lost my son at the age of 25."
Mothers Day is so hard on me. I lost my son (at left) at the age of 25 on April 12, 2002. I have no closure, because the woman that he was married to had him cremated, and I have no gravesite to visit. It has been so very hard on me, and I got to the point that I was going to commit suicide, because I could not take the pain that was, and still is, in my heart. I have three other children, a girl, and two boys. By the grace of God, I did not manage to do what I had set out to do that day. When I did get back home that day, and back to my right mind, I saw what it had done to [my other son] and I swore to myself, and to him that I would never do that again. I keep my son's photo on the wall in my living room, and look at it a lot.
My advice to all who have lost a child is to pray, and ask GOD to help you through this, because if you don't, you will get to the point that I got to.
To find a prayer on Beliefnet, click here.
8. Live Their Philosophy
Patricia Meraz, Palmdale, Calif.: "I wake up every day saying 'Good morning, Dustin'."
Mother's day is a difficult time for me. I lost my 11-year-old son three years ago to cancer. I wake up everyday saying "Good Morning Dustin," while I look at his picture. He was an advocate of life. His saying was "Today is a gift, have fun." I do my best to live that philosophy. Although Dustin is not physically here, he is always included in what I do and while Dustin is in heaven now, his memory and wisdom is still here on earth with me.
9. Spend the Day With Family
Melody McDowall, Junction City, Kan.: "Sharing my pain with my sister was paramount."
I lost my mother, Jeannie (at left), when I was 30 years old, unexpectedly of a failed angioplasty. She died one month after the birth of her first grandchild and three days after my younger sister got married. Sharing my pain with my sister was paramount during the process of grieving. My friends helped as well, by just being there, just listening, just asking, "What can I help you with?" My sister and I always spend Mother’s Day together. We do the things we did with her on Mother’s Day. We appreciate the lessons she taught us about how to be good mother, and hopefully we will [pass them on to our own] children. We celebrate the love she gave us. We celebrate her.
10. Reach Out and Volunteer
Jackie Tulli, Colorado Springs, Colo.: "I was adopted and had a pretty good mother."
Mother`s Day is one of those holidays just like any other. I was adopted and had a pretty good mother. After she died, I found my birth mother. After meeting her and getting to know her, I was glad I was adopted. Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Christmas, etc.--when you have any brokenness in your life, they're all the same. I tell myself that this is just a day like any other day, possibly made worse by all the commercialism and advertising connected to each holiday. When you view it as "just a day like any other day," I find it much easier to get through it. There`s so much sadness in our world right now, if you look around, [you'll find] someone else has it a lot worse. Reach out, and get beyond yourself--even if it's just donating money to a charity, or taking a box of clothes to the Goodwill. Look at the beauty around you and you'll forget your own problems. Donate time at a soup kitchen, or buy someone a new pair of shoes. This is how I just get through life, holiday or no holiday.
For more on volunteering, click here.
11. Send an E-mail to Heaven
Patricia Sauer, Calgary, Alberta, Canada: "I believe [my mother] is still with me as an angel."
By writing and telling someone about my mother, Patricia Jean Sauer--even if no one ever reads it--helps me to remember her. She was an angel and I believe she is still with me as an angel. I sometimes send her e-mail just to talk to her, at Mom@heaven.com. It is very comforting. Sometimes [the e-mail] doesn't even come back as undeliverable! Write your loved ones. It helps [with] the loss. Pray and go out and buy a flower in her memory. Go for a walk and feel her spirit on a beautiful day.
12. Visit a Nursing Home
Janet Goodnight, Johnstown, Pa.: "I lost my mother 3 years ago."
I lost my mother 3 years ago and miss her terribly. As an associate pastor with a ministry for the elderly (nursing homes, shut-ins, hospital patients), I would suggest that anyone missing their mother should visit a nursing home. There are many moms who have children [who live] far away or children nearby who cannot visit or choose not to for one reason or another. So each holiday, I tear myself away from my own self-pity and visit some of these women. Until you do this, you'll never know the joy you receive from it. It's a two-way blessing!
To find a nursing home in your area, click here.