Mother’s Day evokes images of flowers, gifts, and little kids running to jump on the bed and present mom with homemade cards. But for many the question is not how to celebrate, but whether it’s appropriate to celebrate Mother’s Day at all once your mom is gone.
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Celebrating Special Days After Loved Ones Have Passed
Time, unfortunately, marches on for all of us and with that march inevitably means the death of those we love. While I don’t believe in moping and going into mourning on holidays, it’s hard not to reflect upon the lives and legacies of those who have influenced us and shaped us into the people we’ve become.
My own mom passed away a few years ago after what could be called both a long battle and a short battle with cancer. The long battle was begun over a decade before with the discovery of colon cancer with the ensuing treatment. The surprise was the pancreatic cancer that caught us all off guard and took her life a short five weeks later.
All holidays have a bittersweet quality to them once a loved one has passed away, but there is something about celebrating Mother’s Day without being able to call your own mother that doesn’t seem right. More than any other day of the year, Mother’s Day can be a difficult one.
Ways To Honor A Mom Who Is No Longer Living
However (or whether) you choose to celebrate is your personal choice. But for those who still wish to honor their mom on Mother’s Day here are a few ideas:
- Place a new wreath at the cemetery or mausoleum in her memory.
- Plant a tree or flowering bush at your home in her honor. You’ll think of her as the plant grows and blooms.
- Donate money to a cause she believed in or was involved in during her lifetime.
- Donate money or time to a fundraiser that conducts research on a particular illness or disease.
- Donate money to your local school or public library and request they use that money to purchase books in your mom’s name. Most will then place a placard in the front of the book.
- “Adopt” a mother whose own children live far away. Invite this mother to dinner or to spend an afternoon with her.
- Donate your time to a local hospital.
- Visit a shut-in.
- Take treats to a nearby nursing home. Many of the residents there don’t have family nearby and they’re lonely.
- Volunteer to read to a class at your local school. This will help instill a love of reading in a young child (as hopefully your mom did for you).
Enjoy your mother while she’s around. Eventually the day comes for all of us when our mothers are no longer on earth to receive those flowers or gifts or to take those phone calls. So take your mom out to lunch, spend the day with her, or make the effort to spend more time on the phone with her when you call. Hopefully it will be a long time before your own mom is no longer here for you to wish her a “Happy Mother’s Day.”
If you’re struggling with how to cope with the loss of your mom, here are a few resources I found that you may find comforting. A love of reading is a gift my own mother passed on to me and I find comfort and encouragement in the wise words of others. A couple of the books are available on Kindle Unlimited.
- Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died by Ty Alexander
- The Orphaned Adult by Alexander Levy
- When Mom Dies: A Daughter’s Unique Guide To Help Heal Grieving Hearts Today by Dackeyia Q. Sterling
- This unframed burlap print pays loving tribute to mom every day of the year.