If you are in crisis please call 988

Make an Appointment: (336) 837-4499 |   [email protected]

  • Grieving on Mother’s Day: Honoring Loss, Cultivating Resilience

    I received an email this week offering the option to opt out of any Mother’s Day ads. It might seem like a small gesture, but to me, it felt like an acknowledgment of something significant. It recognized that while Mother’s Day is celebrated as a day of joy and appreciation for many, it can be a painful reminder for others.

    Think of the woman who has lost a child, the individual struggling with infertility, or anyone who had a strained or abusive relationship with their mother. For them, Mother’s Day isn’t just another holiday—it’s a day flooded with memories, sorrow, yearning, and perhaps even bitterness. In the midst of the flowers and heartfelt messages, it can be the hardest day of the year.

    Some people try to soldier through, putting on a brave face and joining in the celebrations with other mothers, all while pushing aside their own pain. Others choose to retreat, isolating themselves from any reminders of the day. But there are other ways to navigate Mother’s Day, strategies for not just enduring it, but perhaps finding moments of solace and even joy.

    One such approach is creating a Memory Box, a tangible space where you can keep special items that remind you of your mother or mother figure. It could be a cherished photograph, a piece of jewelry, or a handwritten note—anything that holds significance and brings her memory to life.

    Another helpful exercise is making a list of the emotional and spiritual gifts your mother bestowed upon you. While it may be difficult to look beyond the pain, reflecting on the positive aspects of your relationship can be a healing experience. Did she teach you resilience in the face of adversity? Instill a love of nature or art? Encourage kindness and empathy? These are the enduring gifts that shape who we are, even in her absence.

    For those who have lost a child, Mother’s Day can be an especially poignant and painful reminder of their absence. The ache of empty arms and the longing for what could have been can make this day feel unbearable.

    One way to honor the memory of a lost child on Mother’s Day is by creating a special ritual or ceremony. This could involve lighting a candle in their memory, releasing balloons with messages of love written on them, or visiting a place that holds significance to you and your child. Engaging in these rituals can provide a sense of connection and comfort, allowing you to feel close to your child even as you navigate the grief of their absence.

    Additionally, reaching out for support from others who have experienced similar losses can be immensely helpful. Whether through online support groups, counseling services, or connecting with friends and family who understand your pain, sharing your grief with others who truly understand can lighten the burden and offer solace.

    Other possibilities include a day of pampering for yourself, spending the day in nature, journaling, or reading.

    Finally, remember that it’s okay to not be okay on Mother’s Day. Give yourself permission to feel whatever emotions arise, whether it’s sadness, anger, or longing. Be gentle with yourself and allow yourself the space to grieve in whatever way feels most authentic to you.