When Mother's Day is hard

When Mother’s Day is hard

Tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and Mother’s Day is hard for me. It’s another chance for grief to probe into places that have healed over since the last emotive holiday.

I miss my mom. I’ve been looking at pictures of her, and I am overwhelmed by the loss and the laughter. I crave the time when she was alive and the time we’ve lost together now that she’s gone. I find myself  living in a space between sadness and joy.

You might feel the same way. Mother’s Day is hard for many people–those with negligent mothers, those with wayward kids, and especially those who’ve lost their mothers, their sisters, or their children. There’s an endless stream of relationships attached to the nurturing we all need and the loss we feel when it doesn’t happen or can’t happen any longer.

Grief is a mixed bag of happiness, regret, and self-pity for the images of life we have floating in our heads. I can easily remember what was good in my life, what I’ve done wrong, and what the future might be like if only my mom hadn’t died. The result of this is to feel cheated; or is it the commercialism of a holiday that does this? I just wish Mom could’ve enjoyed all the milestones of my life and my children’s lives. Their legacies belong to both of us.

These feelings push me to find ways to handle grief at Mother’s Day (or anytime). Here’s my advice to myself and to any of you who are already hating the holiday:

  1. Enjoy the moments of beauty, past and present. Remember, appreciate, and move on.
  2. Forgive mistakes, both yours and your mother’s. Bitterness will kill any joy your have.
  3. Do something lovely for someone who’s having a hard Mother’s Day. There’s always someone who hurts as much or more than you do.

Mothering is not only an action of mothers, and it’s not only needed by children. Nurturing makes life worth living.

And now I’m going out to buy flowers for some ladies who are worried about how much Mother’s Day hurts.

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