To celebrate Mother’s Day or to not celebrate Mother’s Day?

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In this blog Becky, one of our Hosts of the Online meet up group, talks about how her second Mother’s Day without her mum feels different to her first, and asks whether it’s a day to ignore and hide from, or embrace and celebrate.

Should we celebrate Mother’s Day? I think this is a question that when we are grieving, we contemplate a lot! On the one hand, we can feel that we just need to get through the day and treat it like every other Sunday. On the other hand, we might feel a duty to celebrate our Mother’s lives, even though they are no longer here with us.

Mother’s Day last year was my first one without my Mum. I opted to ignore the day and made myself so busy, in order to avoid thinking about what day it was. The truth is, no matter what you try to do, you know deep down what day it is! There are signs for weeks – if it’s not the copious amounts of brands sending you emails with their special promotions, it’s your friends on Facebook popping up with a photo of their mums, or people at work telling you their plans for the day.

I remember thinking to myself last year, why are people so insensitive? Do they not realise I am going through this massive and quite frankly horrible wave of emotions and there you are posting a picture of your mum with a glass of prosecco?

What I know now

Now I am further on into the grieving process, I realise I was probably deep-down just really envious. I wished it were me popping up with a photo of me and my mum showing her how much I loved her. I now think as hurtful as it is for those grieving, people should post their images of their mums and other loved ones because you should celebrate them whether they are here or not!

Last week, I had an advert pop up on Facebook, Instagram and via email from a brand telling me not to forget to buy gifts for my forever friend (my Mum). It took me back a little! At first I was hurt that I had to scroll all the way to the bottom of the email to opt out. But then in a really odd way, I actually felt better when I re-read their email. The words “forever friend” rang so true! My Mum will be my forever friend even though she is no longer physically here with me. This advert is the very reason that I have chosen to celebrate Mother’s Day this year! While it will be different to what I’d like and I would genuinely do anything in a heartbeat to celebrate one more with my Mum, I will be celebrating her and her life this Mother’s Day.

Opting-in on Mother’s Day

I plan on keeping a tradition I actually did with my Mum when she was alive – I am having an afternoon tea delivered to my house and I cannot wait! I will also be indulging in my Mum’s favourite takeover (KFC). I’ve come to realise these small things are now not only memories they are the things we have to hold onto. Going for an afternoon tea on Mother’s Day in 2019 was one of the last things I did with my mum, so celebrating in this way will mean a lot to me.

I will spend the day also being grateful for the Mother’s Days we had together. We had 24 wonderful Mother’s Days together. While that might be less than some people, it’s more than others, so I have to remind myself that I am lucky! I am lucky that we spent those wonderful days together. I will tell my mum in my own way that I love her. I will use the day to reminisce and show love, which will help offset the pain.

My top tip to fellow grievers out there, who are perhaps dreading Mothers’ Day, whether that’s their first, second or tenth… is to never put pressure on yourself! Don’t feel that you have to celebrate the day. Don’t feel that you have to respond to messages asking how you are with a classic response (“ok, thanks”), be honest with how you feel because those who really care will want to listen. It’s ok if you choose to avoid social media because you find it too upsetting. It’s ok if all you do is get through the day and if that is by staying in your pjs and watching crappy tv, so be it. As grievers, we grieve in different shapes and forms everyday of our lives, not just on Mother’s Day, so do whatever makes you feel best!

Sending you all so much love xxx

Becky Harris

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