When you are missing a loved one on Mother's Day
by Janet Fanaki
Greeting cards in hues of pink, breakfast in bed and handmade paper creations done lovingly by little hands. These are some of the ways we honour moms on Mother’s Day.
As we look to celebrate them this weekend, many others are seeking ways to just get through it all.
Mother’s Day, like other special occasions in the year, can be unbearable for those who are living with grief.
For widowers, mothers who have lost a child and anyone missing their mom, Mother’s Day may still hold a special place in their hearts but is also a day that triggers sadness.
Jason Fiorotto lost his wife Tory to breast cancer and offers this advice, as a widower and parent, to those facing this day for the first time.
“Give yourself time and space to grieve and make the day as positive as possible,” he says. “It is about your child and the mom they lost — their experience on Mother’s Day from now on is based on the one you create. Cry a little, but do things that celebrate her.”
Melissa Sheldrick lost her son Andrew when he was only 8 years old. She places a large value on healing through self care.
“Mother’s Day opens every wound,” she says. “The best way to get through it is to do what feels right for you. Last year, I spent Mother’s Day by myself and it was exactly what I needed. Time will tell what will happen this year; you can prepare, but you can’t predict.”
The death of a mother can be difficult to cope with at any age. “A dear friend of mine celebrates any big day, birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day by enjoying a special dessert of the person they are missing,” says Shirley Fairley. “My mom loved strawberry shortcake and I think that’s what I will enjoy this Mother’s Day.”
Friends and family may also be looking for ways to reach out to those who are grieving. They could do something special for them like drop off a special coffee house drink to their porch, a favourite bottle of wine or offer to chat online so they don’t feel so alone.
I’m thankful everyday for my terrific kids, but I will be missing the man who made me a mom — my husband Adam who passed away in February 2020.
My way to cope has been to reinvent traditions. This has proven to make a nice day out of one that would otherwise be a challenge to emotionally survive.
If you are grieving, give yourself permission to spend the day your way and do what feels comfortable for you.
Wishing you all a beautiful Mother’s Day.