Mother’s Day - The hardest day - or is it?

My question to myself as we move towards the weekend:

“Is Sunday a day to ignore and hide from or embrace and celebrate?”

I’m writing this from a personal perspective but also to reach out to anyone else who may have lost their mum recently and who is, like me, dreading this Sunday, the first Mother’s Day without their very special lady.

If you are pondering the question ‘should I celebrate Mother’s Day or not?’, is there a right or wrong answer? On the one hand, we can feel that we just need to get through the day and treat it like every other Sunday, and on the other, we might feel we should celebrate our Mother’s lives, but how do you do that when the loss is so great and still painfully raw?

I lost my mum suddenly just a few weeks ago and I know I’m not in a celebratory mood but, if I opt to ignore the day, make myself busy in order to avoid thinking about what day it is; my favoured option right now, will I regret it, will I feel guilty and add to the already deep feelings of grief?

To be honest, I suspect come Sunday, ignoring what day it is will be nigh-on impossible. TV adverts, unsolicited emails, and social media ads for Mother’s Day cards, home spa gifts, prosecco, and clever ideas for celebrating Mother’s Day during lockdown, have been everywhere for weeks and on Sunday Facebook will be awash with friends posting pics of their mums, including loving stories of how the family Facetimed mum, or surprised her from the garden and so on. Here I must acknowledge that there will be many whose mum or gran is in hospital or a nursing home and can’t be visited and that must be just awful too.

The grieving process is pretty gruesome, and lockdown is making it feel almost too much to bear but bear it we must so what can we do?

I realise that come what may, on Sunday I’ll be really envious. I’ll wish it were me posting a photo of me and mum on Facebook and I’ll wish I could re-live our lovely Mother’s Day last year. What I won’t do is put any pressure on myself.

I don’t feel that I have to celebrate the day, at the moment I may do, or I may not. I won’t feel that I have to respond to messages from well-meaning friends asking how I am but if I do, I’ll be honest about how I am feeling, knowing that those who really care will want to listen.

It’s ok if you choose to have an under the duvet day and if you avoid social media because you find it too upsetting. It’s ok if all you do is get through the day and if that includes staying in your pjs, eating snacks, and watching rubbish tv all day then so be it.

We all grieve in different ways every day and not just on Mother’s Day, so do whatever makes you feel ok because ok might just be as good as it gets for now. I’m going to attempt to go with whatever my mood lets me on Sunday and just now I’ve no idea what that might be – ignore or embrace.

I do wish mothers everywhere a very Happy Mother’s Day and I hope all of you lucky enough to still have your mum that you’ll get to see her or at least speak with her, making Lockdown Mother’s Day a good one and, to those of you who have lost your mum, please go with the flow, do what feels right and, above all else, remember Self Care!

Tricia Pritchard

Useful Contacts:

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