Mother’s Day Without My Mom
3 min read | May 2022

Mother’s Day Without My Mom

On a holiday like this, it’s easy to feel alone. But I’ve learned there are many others that share my mourning.

Willow / Gen Z / Socialist / Writer

On this year’s Mother’s Day in the U.K., I told my boyfriend to leave and go visit home. I told him to see his mom, give her a hug and spend some time with her.

He was set on staying with me and making sure I wasn’t alone, but I insisted. I said that it was important to me; it was important for him to show appreciation for her and hold her close. 

That opportunity was taken away from me almost two years ago, in July of 2020. I was 20 years old. This is my second Mother’s Day without her, my second Mother’s Day when all I see in town are signs, advertisements, window displays. Every day is Mother’s Day. Show your appreciation for the most important woman in your life. 

It is a reminder of the absence. Well, a bigger reminder. The small ones come in the form of a new job or a funny story or their favorite color on a mug in the supermarket. Things that make you think of them, things that you want to share with them. It reminds me of the reality of my situation. That I have to become someone new, someone who she will never know.

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I Wish Mother’s Day Marketing Understood the Demographic It’s Missing

The day itself is strange. I feel like I have awakened with something pulling me back down. My best advice to anyone experiencing this and grieving on these days is to stay distracted. But it’s a shame when we don’t have the option to go out for a coffee or a meal, in case the visual reminder is too much. We can’t check social media. For me, this has been a big problem—Facebook posts pasted across my timeline. Other people are celebrating their mothers. They’re out for brunch and drinks and Mother’s Day dinners. I’m jealous. I’m a bit angry. It doesn’t help me. 

There isn’t a right or wrong way to combat this difficult day, but it is important to remember that you are not alone. Losing someone so close to you can be a truly isolating experience. You end up feeling like the only person on the planet who is suffering. But we are not alone. Mother’s Day marketing misses out on a huge group of people: people who have lost mothers, people with absent mothers, people who have no contact with their mothers. It is a broadly experienced pain, and you will never be alone. 

After this year, which I found to be a struggle, I am going to try and redefine Mother’s Day for myself. This is easier said than done, and trying to be positive about something such as this will be near impossible. But I want to. For her. I should think of her and remember the moments that make me smile and laugh. I should think about her leaving chocolate bars on the kitchen counter for me and my brothers. I should think about us dyeing each other’s hair and listening to Madonna. The good things. I want to be able to celebrate her as others do. Beyond all of the pain is the woman who raised me. She impacted me more than anyone else ever has or ever will.

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The Path to Healing Has Many Setbacks

I need to remember her. Everyone who is grieving at this time of year should try this. Redefine. Light a candle, pour libations and talk out loud to them. Talk to friends, to family. I’m lucky enough to have siblings who are experiencing the same struggles as me. But if, like me, you still struggle and cry, that’s OK. The grief we feel is the unspoken love that we didn’t have time to share.

Grieving is not a straight line. I find myself facing new challenges every single day. I hear her funeral song being played in shops and, sometimes, it destroys me. Recently—and I mean very recently—this began to change. I caught myself singing it absentmindedly. I stopped myself, but then I just carried on. It was in my head for a good few hours. It was a breakthrough I did not expect to have but a welcome one. It has less of a negative connotation in my mind now. Sometimes, it even makes me smile. And I want to think about her and smile as much as I can. 

Losing a mother is one long goodbye. A goodbye that I was experiencing even before she passed away. It is one goodbye that I will never stop experiencing. But I’m going to try and see the hellos, not just the goodbyes. For her. 

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom.

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