If you’ve lost your mom, let me tell you how incredibly sorry I am for you. I know there is not much I can say, and “sorry” will never bring her back. You should know that I’m giving you the biggest virtual hug right now and my eyes are brimmed with tears. Just know that I get it. I know how strong you are for putting one foot in front of the other to simply survive those darkest days, the ones you’d rather forget. I understand how you sometimes feel weak in the knees without her and how some nights you stay up with an aching heart, thinking of her.
My mother passed away four years ago in March. When your Mom has passed away, Mother’s Day is a strange ordeal. For those of us without Mom’s, it gets a little gray as to what we should do. I understand if you need a good cry or if you want to hide away in bed for the day. I also totally get it if you don’t shed one tear. It’s OK to feel perfectly fine and it’s OK to feel heartbroken, depressed, confused, or awkward. This is just the top of the list of emotions I have experienced. I usually feel out of place and confused about how to react or what I should do on this special day without my special Mom.
This article is for those of you who are feeling at a loss this Mother’s Day, while your friends fill your Facebook feed with letters to their Moms. Here’s how you can celebrate and how you can honor your mother.
Buy her flowers. Not just any flowers. Find her favorite kind or her favorite color, even if it’s the exact purply-pink shade that she claimed existed. “Suuure, Mom. Fuschia is definitely a real color.” Find the ones with the aroma that reminds you of her or the ones that she used to plant in her flower beds. Place them at her grave or memorial site or just sit them on your kitchen counter to make you smile and remind you of her.
Pull out the recipe box. Everyone’s mom has a go-to recipe, even if it’s just the recipe off the box! Cook those recipes. If it doesn’t quite taste the same or maybe you left it in the oven too long, laugh it off and tell yourself that your mom was one in a million. Then try making her favorite dish to eat, maybe the one that she couldn’t quite master herself, but loved anyway. Not a natural in the kitchen? *raises hand* Just endulge in her favorite desert. Go to her favorite restaurant, get her regular.
Simply think of her. Even if you already do each day, just think about your mom. Think about the dimples in her cheeks, her beautiful curly hair, her smirk and her eyes looking at you. Hear her laugh and listen to her again as you relive a memory where she tells you about her childhood. Really smile to yourself on some good memories, on the picnic in the park, her picking you from school, the way she smiled with pride on each of your accomplishments. Set aside time to remember the details of her face, of her voice, and of her personality.
Talk to her. Write her a letter or a poem. Tell her all the things you’ve wanted to share. Thank her for all the times you never did. Write poetry about how beautiful or honest or kind or inspiring – what have you- she was. Write it to her, as if you were actually going to give it to her. Then read it aloud, in the middle of a forest, in the quiet of your bedroom, or at her grave site. You could roll it up into a bottle and throw it down a stream. Or just talk, talk out loud, to God or the universe, ask them to send the message to your Momma. Sing her a song, so she can weep as only a mother would over your voice.
Find the photo album. Flip through the pages, and recall upon memories you stored deep within your conscious. Remove a few to keep. Hang one on your fridge, take one to work, and frame one to set on your nightstand. Share a photograph on your social media, and tell the story behind the lens. Share this memory with a friend.
Do her favorite things. Snuggle up in her sweater and watch her favorite movie. Read her favorite book. Bake something or garden something. Craft a DIY. Go on a jog. Volunteer. This is different for every Mom, but you know exactly what your mom loved. So get her favorite hobby on.
Plant something. Buy some seeds, dig a hole, and don’t forget to water it. Watch it grow and spring to life. Plants allow you to create something, a living “thing”, and when it sprouts through the earth, you just brought life full circle. Think about how proud your mom would be that you grew something and kept it alive.
Send a note or gift to another mom. Reach out to a woman who has helped you along your way. Your mother will never be replaced, but honor another one in her absence. Someone who stepped in to offer motherly advice or assistance. Someone who has inspired you or helped you become the woman you are today. Someone you even simply admire. Send them a thank you note, a letter, or a small token of your appreciation. Spread the love and make their day.
Donate to charity. Make a donation in your mother’s name to a charity dear to her or to one that might prevent someone else’s mom being taken too soon. A simple Google search will lead you in the right direction to the charity or cause you have in mind. A donation is not only a good deed; it is an attempt to save others’ lives.
Oh and what about my mom? Her name was Dianne. She loved to go on walks, swim, coupon, watch soap operas, and read about dreams and encounters with God, angels, Heaven, etc. She loved word searches, flowers, gardening, Florida, 80’s music, picnics, and holidays, especially Christmas. She enjoyed fried bread, nutty peanut butter, anything with honey, Pepsi, Andes Mints, and chocolate stars. She made the best lasagna, meatballs, and fudge. Her favorite thing was being a “Mother Hen” to her children and grandchildren.
I am going to simply think of her and allow myself to really dwell on my memories of her. I’m also choosing to honor some other Mom’s in my life. I’m sharing this picture with you, and I will probably plant something the following week and smile, as it will remind me of her.
What did your mom love to do? How do you plan to celebrate Mother’s Day this year?