Catherine Comiskey, LCSW
Grief on Mother's Day
Updated: May 15
Mother's Day is a day of celebration and gratitude for many, but for others, it can be a day that makes us confront feelings of grief and loss. Grief is a complex and individual experience. It is a natural response to loss; whether it's a person we lost or the loss of what we hoped to be. Grief is not something that can be easily quantified or measured. It is a process that takes time and patience, and it can be unpredictable. For some, grief may last a few months, while for others, it may take years to come to terms with their loss.
For those who have lost their mothers, Mother's Day can be a difficult reminder of the pain and grief that comes with losing someone so important in our lives. The loss of a mother can be especially difficult, as mothers are often the nurturers and caretakers of our lives. They can be the ones who give us love, support, and guidance. Losing this relationship can leave a void that is difficult to fill, and the pain of that loss can linger long after they are gone.
For those who don't have relationships with their mothers, Mother's Day can also be a painful reminder of what they don't have. This can be especially difficult for children who were raised in abusive or neglectful environments. They may feel a sense of loss for the mother they never had, as well as the pain of what could have been. For children who have either lost their mothers or have estranged relationships with their mothers, it can be difficult to see others celebrating Mother's Day and posting photos on social media, while feeling like they are missing out on something so important.
Additionally, if you are a woman who is struggling to get pregnant, Mother's Day can be a painful reminder of what you don't have. This pain can be compounded if you have experienced a miscarriage or the loss of a child. Infertility is a common struggle for many women, and it can be a long and difficult journey. It can be hard to watch others celebrate Mother's Day with their children, while feeling like you are missing out on something so important. You may feel a sense of grief and loss for the child that you have not yet been able to have. In these cases, it's important to acknowledge your feelings and to find ways to cope with your grief. You may find it helpful to talk to a therapist who specializes in infertility, or to join a support group for women who are going through a similar experience. You can also create your own traditions for Mother's Day, such as spending time with supportive family members or friends who understand your struggle.
For mothers who don't have relationships with their children, Mother's Day can also be a difficult reminder of what they have lost. This may be due to circumstances such as adoption, estrangement, or other family issues. If you are a mother who doesn't have a relationship with your children, it's important to focus on self-care and self-compassion. It's okay to acknowledge your feelings of grief and sadness, while also remembering that you are still a valuable and worthy person, even if you don't have a relationship with your children. You can create your own traditions or rituals for Mother's Day that focus on self-love and self-care, such as spending time doing something that brings you joy and fulfillment.
It's important to remember that grief is a personal experience and that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. It's okay to feel sad, angry, or overwhelmed on Mother's Day, or any other day for that matter. It's also important to recognize that grief is not a linear process. There may be good days and bad days, and it's important to allow yourself the space and time to feel your emotions.
If you are struggling with grief on Mother's Day, there are a few things that you can do to help ease the pain. First, it's important to talk to someone about your feelings. This could be a trusted friend or family member, or a mental health professional. If you are managing the loss of your own mother, consider finding a way to honor your mother's memory, such as doing something she loved.
Another important aspect of grieving is self-care. Take time to do things that make you feel good, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time in nature. Eating well and getting enough sleep can also help to alleviate some of the symptoms of grief.
Ultimately, it's important to remember that grief is a normal and natural response to loss. It's okay to feel sad, and it's okay to take the time you need to process your emotions. On Mother's Day, remember to be kind to yourself, and to allow yourself to feel your feelings.