Coping with the loss of a parent is never easy but can seem more difficult on an occasion like Mother’s Day, where shops, social media and your inbox are packed full of messages encouraging you to celebrate ‘mum’ or the ‘mothers in your life’. On the flip side, it’s all too easy to forget about the mothers who have lost a child too soon and are facing Mother’s Day without them – we see you. There is a wide breadth of emotions tied to this day and it can be challenging regardless of when you experienced your loss. It’s important to remember that grief ebbs and flows – there is no ‘normal’ way to respond to or process this day, and the way in which you choose to remember your loved ones should be entirely personal to you. But if you’re looking for some ideas of where to start, we’re here to help.
Light a candle
It sounds so simple but lighting a candle can be a symbolic way to mark the occasion to remember your loved one. It’s become associated with baby loss in particular however the act of lighting a candle in honour of those you have lost is centuries old and it can allow you to reflect and communicate things you may not be able to say. Whether you opt for something completely unscented or a smell that reminds you of them, get your matches ready, light your candle, close your eyes and focus on your memories. It can be incredibly comforting and if it makes you emotional, that’s ok too – it’s good to process what you’re feeling.
Create a memory book
Loss and creativity are very often linked. For example, Headspace recently noted that some of the greatest cultural riches are by-products of grief – think of the pyramids of Giza which were burial grounds, for example. Expressing grief through creativity can be a positive way to tackle emotions like anxiety and instil hope according to Dr. Shelley Carson, a lecturer at Harvard University, who believes in supporting your wellbeing as you experience this emotional journey. So, perhaps consider taking up a creative activity like making a memory book, focusing on the happy memories with a mixture of photos and handwritten notes that you can open when you need it most.
Complete one act of self-care
When we lose someone we love, often self-care falls to the wayside. We can almost feel guilty for taking the time to look after ourselves but when you’re grieving, this is essential. Consider doing something that you may have typically done with your loved one – go for a long walk or even grab a coffee with someone you love, spending time engrossed in conversation. Whether this is something you’d like to do alongside friends or family, or if it’s something you’d prefer to approach alone, put yourself first on this particular Sunday.
Consider flower power
Sometimes flowers can help you to say the words that you’re struggling to. That’s often why they play such an important role at the funeral itself, symbolising either a fond memory or the deceased’s favourite flower. Many people find comfort in visiting the grave of a loved one or the spot where their ashes were spread but it can be just as positive to pop some flowers in a vase at home in memory of your loved one. So consider picking a bunch of your choice and create new memories and remember your loved one.
Reach out to someone
Words are powerful, especially when you’re going through the grieving process. So, whether you want to talk to someone you know and love, or if you want support from a completely external source, make sure you ask for the help you need. Don’t forget our Bereavement Hub is open to you and you can access free 1-2-1 counselling services should you need it. Call us on 02922093388 to book a time slot.
We hope that helps, even just a little. Remember, unsubscribe from the Mother’s Day marketing emails if they’re too much for you, mute the phrase on social media and reach out, because talking really matters – today and always.