Last year for Mothers Day, we took Clay’s mom out to eat. With her flowers and card, she told everyone it was her birthday. We went with that. It is a good memory in the midst of that season. This year she has passed and we find ourselves with no mom in the family. When my mother died a few years ago, I was surprised by the strong orphan feeling. I am an adult and been successfully navigating my life for many years but when faced with the reality of both parents leaving this earth, it was an odd mix of responsibility and neediness. Now with my husbands family gone, we are it. The patriarchs of the family. It is strange with no family standing between us and the end of life. Whether we have had great relationships or struggles, there is something comforting about that buffer. Even when I remind myself -this is normal life changes and seasons, it feels odd and unnatural. Embracing this new season and acting on my decision of what do I want this time to look like and feel like for me helps to make it more normal. What legacy do I want to leave in this world? Am I making steps to make that happen?
Then, we are faced with a holiday reminding us of what we are missing. Normally, I say look at what you have in your life rather than focusing on what is missing. However,
this mother loss is a huge thing and we wonder how can we honor our mom when she is not with us? Here are my suggestions:
1) Accept and honor your emotion. Is it is sadness, grief, anger, relief? For me there is a combination of all of these. Pretending it is otherwise does not help. I don’t want to live here, but I know the feelings are there and it’s ok.
2) Talk to your Mom. I know this sounds so weird, but it is amazing! Just because she is not around doesn’t mean you can’t express your thoughts and feelings. What would you tell her if she were here? Say it out loud. It releases something in you. If that is too strange, write it out in a letter and put it in a mailbox with her first name and addressed to heaven or the great unknown. Communicating these feelings get them out of you and releases you to be in the present.
3) Celebrate Life. The great news is because we had a mother, we are alive. What a precious gift. What can you do to honor and celebrate this gift?? For me being outside is so healing. Taking a hike, digging in the dirt, or just sitting on the ground watching the clouds is a grand celebration of life. Today we are expecting some lovely springtime thunderstorms. I plan to sit on the porch, get caught in the excitement of the lightening, wind and thunder. It is a great day to be alive!
Happy Mothers Day to YOU!!
How do you celebrate and honor your mother?