Grieving on Mother's Day
Whoever you have lost, festivals and special days are likely to take on a new meaning. If you’ve lost a child, mother or wife, Mother’s day might not bring you the joy it once did, and if your grief is new and raw this upcoming day might trigger strong feelings of pain and sadness however, by anticipating triggers and challenges and proactively planning ahead, you may be able to soften the impact of your grief.
There is no right or wrong way to grieve and no two people grieve in the same way, so your feelings surrounding Mother’s Day are likely to be as individual as you are. The anticipation of an upcoming celebratory day can sometimes feel much worse than the actual day itself, so setting aside some time to grieve in the next few weeks without self-judgement is a good place to start.
Try to be real and accepting about how you are feeling. If you don’t feel like being busy and “doing” lots of things don’t sweat it, you don’t need the extra pressure right now. Try to be kind to yourself and take each day, or even each moment as it comes. Choose what you want or don’t want to do and don’t feel guilty about telling others what that is. On the actual day you may want to follow the traditions you used to share with your loved one, you may not want to do anything at all, or you may choose to start your own traditions and leave you own legacy. Any of these choices are OK. Choose what feels right to you.
Reach out to others and don’t be afraid to ask for their support. Those who care about you may well have been itching to help but may not have known how to approach the subject.
If you feel moments of joy, embrace them. Allow yourself to enjoy these moments without self-judgement or guilt.
Lastly grief can be exhausting both physically and emotionally so be gentle with yourself. If you can’t sleep at night catch forty winks when you can and don’t worry about not being your usual happy self. Don’t rush it. Grief takes time but know that one day this will all feel easier to cope with.
Take the very best care of yourself and try to work out and ask for what you need.
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About Michelle Brown
Michelle is a BACP registered integrative counsellor practising in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge.
As well as working in private practice she is an associate counsellor for West Kent Mind.