FOR THE BEREAVED: Dealing with the loss of loved ones around Mother’s Day

To one that has lost their mother, this past weekend’s celebration of Mother’s Day may have been a painful reminder of a very significant loss.

For most of us, our mom is a guiding light in our family. Most of us depend on our mom for words of wisdom and comfort in times of distress; she’s usually the one that we share our triumphs and joy with in good times.

If you have lost your mom, you can still honour her on a future Mother’s Day. It might entail something as simple as making her favorite dinner and sharing it with family and friends. Talk about your mom. Share her morals and values with family and friends and her legacy will live on through you.

Funny stories that make us laugh bring joy and joy brings healing. It keeps the memory of our loved one alive and keeps our children connected to the guiding lights that have left us.

Do something special for yourself on that day or make a new tradition.

Lead your younger family members by example; just because someone is gone, does not mean they are forgotten.

The more you talk about your own mother in a positive and loving way, the more your children will realize what a mother means to them.

There is no other like our own mother but what about mothers who have lost their child?

They will always be a mother but there is a huge void in their hearts that can never be filled. There are no cards or condolences that can be sent and sometimes words of comfort just aren’t enough.

For those who have lost a child, Mother’s Day can be particularly painful.

The Yiddish have a saying that goes, “When a woman loses her husband, she becomes a widow, when a man loses his wife, he becomes a widower, when children lose their parents, they become orphans. But when parents lose a child, it is just so awful, so painful; there is no word for it. It is so terrible, there can’t be a word for it.”

People around you may not know quite what to do for you on this day. If you are profoundly sad, tell them. If you just can’t face the day with all the celebrations, dinners, brunches, try to plan something that makes you feel good.

It might be a long walk in nature to reflect, it could be a day trip to visit someone you love or care for or you might just want to watch movies all day.

Whatever it is you choose to do, remember: there is someone waiting on the other side.

When you are ready, let a trusted friend or family member know that you want to do something to mark the day. Your imagination is the limit.

Some people plant a tree or shrub in their yard and nurture it through the seasons.

In the autumn, the leaves turn and fall, in the spring, new life appears and the special tree or plant is reborn. It reminds us that life is a cycle of death and rebirth.

If you are hurting, let those around you know what you need and above all, be kind to yourself. Your mother would be.

Barbara Bleiler is a certified funeral celebrant and advertising representative for the Grand Forks Gazette.

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