Missing Mom on Mother’s Day

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Remember Your Mom by Honoring Others

By Michelle Moore

Imagine you are going to hike Kilimanjaro and you have the perfect hiking guide, someone that knows the ropes, has life experience, is loving, patient, makes you feel comfortable if you encounter some ailment along the way, counsels you if you have a bad night’s sleep, and tells you what to pack. With this person by your side,  you feel confident that you can manage this insurmountable climb. What if this imaginary Kilimanjaro hike is merely a metaphor for life and that guide is actually your MOM…You start your climb feeling strong and ready for the adventure, and on the 2nd day your guide drops dead in front of you. You are now on your own trying to navigate this climb.  Your confidence is shaken to the core, all the while you are mourning and grieving the death of the most important person on your journey. 

I lost my mom when I was 5 years old and Mother’s Day has never been the same. She collapsed in front of me from a congenital heart defect and 50 years later I still mourn. I  remember as a young girl watching my friends with their moms: enjoying Mother’s Day brunches and happy shopping trips. As an adult, I have missed her at the birth of my children, my wedding, and during my fight with cancer. But most of all, I miss the little day-to-day moments one experiences with their mom. I have spent my life trying to emulate that special connection with girlfriends, my two wonderful grandmothers, my best friends’ moms, and of course my stepmom and mother-in-law. I am not sure anyone can truly recreate the special bond between mother and child but in my grief I have found comfort and healing in a few special activities on Mother’s Day and hope that some of these will bring comfort to others who are missing their mom this season:

  • Spend time with a precious relative: (grandma, mother-in-law, aunt, stepmom, mentor) anyone who has lifted you up and nurtured you through the years when your own mother was not present.
  • Attend church on Mother’s Day: pray and meditate to feel closer to the spirit of your mom, then spend the day keeping watch for signs of her near you: a hummingbird, a yellow butterfly, an old friend calling and reminiscing about your mom.
  • Make new traditions with your children: enjoy being a mom, tell stories about your mom to your kids so they can understand her best qualities and what the loss means to you, share photos and tell them how they remind you of their grandma and how she is watching over them.
  • Honor a special mom that you admire: tell her why, write it down or give her a call and let her know how she inspires you.
  • Honor a mom that needs a boost: make a meal or invite her and her family to brunch,  send a card or flowers letting her know how special she is.
  • Honor a mom who has lost a child and aches in the reverse on Mother’s Day: frame a special photo of them, send flowers to remind her that her child is smiling at her from heaven, but most of all spend with her letting her talk and be heard about her lost child and what it was like to be their mom. 

As the saying goes, “you never really know what others are going through…” and especially on cheerful holidays where it seems that everyone is celebrating. There will be many who are hurting and could use some kind words to get through the next few weeks, so on this Mother’s Day, hug the moms in your life, whether they are your own or not. Life will be sweeter because you did.

Michelle Moore is the mom of three boys and founder and president of Mother’s Grace, a nonprofit that addresses the critical needs of mothers and their children in the midst of tragic life events. Her latest book, A Mother’s Grace: Healing the World One Woman at a Time shares the stories of 12 rockstar moms who are setting the world on fire helping others.

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