Even though my beautiful mom passed away over 25 years ago, I have never quite been the same. I came to realize that those of us who have lost mothers live differently in this world. Losing my mother left me with a feeling of inexplicable abandonment that reached all the way down to the core of who I am. The loss makes me feel as if I belong to a society all its own because I face a lifetime imprinted with grief.
My anchor was taken away from me…
Losing my mother accelerated my level of maturity, ready or not. It also makes me feel envious of those who still have their mothers. Watching a movie, listening to a song, the scent of my mommy’s favorite perfume worn by someone in passing, anything that reminds me of her non-presence in my life stirs such inexplicable emotions.
Birthdays, my wedding, the birth of my child, joyous occasions leave me with a void because my mom is not here to celebrate these special events in my life.
Every Mother’s Day I am still sadly reminded of the fact that I have no mother. My warm and fuzzy security blanket, my confidant, the one sure person I knew who loved me so unconditionally, so perfectly, despite my faults, was no longer in my life. Now years later, time does not heal all wounds, but I have learned to cope.
Every Mother’s Day I choose to honor my mom because my love for her is undying. I know my mom would not want me to spend the day feeling sad, but instead, she would want me to do something that would bring me joy.
To those of you who have lost your mothers, here are some ideas that have helped me cope with Mother’s Day throughout the years:
- I have been blessed with beautiful womenfolk who I love to pieces and consider to be my second mothers, Betty Wilson and Lily Drake. These women are wise, caring to a fault and have genuinely enveloped me with their unconditional love. Consider spending the day with women whom you consider to be second mothers like an aunt, grandmother, mother-in-law, even an older sister, or a good friend. Allow them to help you cope with the day. Try to plan something that you enjoy doing and invite them to participate. Allow these nurturers to take your sadness away. We should not be an island of grief. We need each other and emotional pain is a universal connector.
- Get together with folks who were close to your mom, who understand the depth of your loss and who can lend a genuine sympathetic ear. Whip out pictures of your mom and try keeping things upbeat by dwelling on the positives, you know, those funny, silly and heartwarming times spent with your favorite lady.
- Spirituality can not only be a salve for a broken soul but an incredible comfort in times of loss. Take a moment to meditate or pray — no matter what your faith — spirituality can put troubles into focus, and even fuel and strengthen you.
- If you prefer spending time alone on this day, try going for a walk, a hike, bicycling, driving along a scenic road to reflect on your Mom. Quiet time can be therapeutic.
- Some other ways you can celebrate your mom who has passed is by surrounding her framed photograph with flowers. Plant a favorite flower bush or tree in her honor in your garden. Make a donation in her name to a favorite cause she supported. Visit places that both you and your Mom enjoyed frequenting like a fave eatery, museum, shopping center. These kinds of activities are actual tools that will help as you journey through this important life transition.
- Try journaling or even writing a letter to your mom to let her know about noteworthy events that have taken place during the year. Writing poetry is another good way of releasing inner feelings.
My advice to those who have lost a mother, if you’re a mom, keep in mind this is your day to be celebrated as well. You can grieve your loss but understand that your mother would want you to revel in all of your blessings on this particular day. Gradually, as you go through this grieving process, the acute pain will subside, and you will be left with the nurturing love of your mother in your heart to guide you on your path through life.
Happy Heavenly Mother’s Day with much love to my beautiful Mom, Providencia Rivera Manuel, you are forever in my heart.