For individuals who have experienced the loss of a mother, Mother’s Day can be a trying time. Many people take this day to honor their mothers and let them know how much they care about and respect them. Mother’s Day is a wonderful celebration of moms everywhere, but for those who have lost their own, it may be an especially painful reminder of their absence, evoking feelings of regret, sadness, and longing. Some people may feel regret or anger on this day because they didn’t spend enough time with their mothers or didn’t do enough to honor them while they were alive. Constant reminders of the holiday from friends and family on social media might amplify the stress of the season.
Acacia Parks, Ph.D., is the chief scientist at Happify, a digital startup that makes games and other tools to enhance happiness and well-being, and she also carries out groundbreaking research into the profound effects that little, positive shifts in behavior can have on people’s lives. She devised a number of helpful strategies to help people who have lost their mothers cope with Mother’s Day.
Remember something positive
Our relationships with our parents can be complicated and difficult at times, but it is critical to focus on the positive elements. Consider the pleasant memories, the occasions when your mother was there for you when you needed it the most, and the essential lessons she taught you. By focusing on the positive aspects of your relationship with your mother, you might rediscover and appreciate the ways in which she influenced your life. Remember that no relationship is flawless, but you may create a deeper sense of gratitude and connection by honoring the love and support that existed between you two.
Talk with other people who knew your mother
Just when you think you know everything there is to know about your mother, someone else may give you a completely fresh tale that will help you foster the sensation of growing closer to her even in her absence.
If the loss is still actively hurting, take a few minutes to do some expressive writing
Think back to a time when she did something for you that held a lot of significance for you, and write about it. Make an effort to describe the occurrence in as much detail as you possibly can. Try shutting your eyes and visualizing it as though it were happening in the present moment. Note that this will be uncomfortable, even painful, but that the intense reliving of the memories in this way is beneficial to the process of healing.
If the loss is recent and you are looking to reconnect with her memory, think about something you can do to honor her
Start a collection for the charitable organization that was dear to her heart. Create a photo collage of her and distribute it to the people who were close to her. There is no wrong answer, just do what feels right!