Grieving on Mother’s Day

After somebody important to us dies, festivals and special days take on a new meaning. 

Mother’s Day might not be the same joyous event it once was if you have lost a mother, a child or a wife. Now the very things you once enjoyed together on this day might trigger feelings of pain and sadness. There are bound to be moments of profound pain on such days if your grief is new and raw however by anticipating triggers and challenges, and proactively planning 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. Often the anticipation of an upcoming celebratory day can feel much worse than the actual day itself, so can you allow yourself some time to grieve in the next few weeks without self-judgement?

Try to be real 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, so 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.

Ask for support from others, reaching out to people. 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.

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.

Michelle Brown MBACP is a Counsellor/Psychotherapist and a Registered Member of the BACP. Michelle is an Associate Counsellor for Mind and has private practices in Tunbridge Wells and Tonbridge.

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