Mother’s Day, without a Mum

So it’s started again. In amongst the social media posts of cheerful spring flowers and new season wardrobes are the reminders that Mother’s Day is coming. Personalised gifts, hand made cards and restaurant bookings all send an alert that a special day is on its way. But what if your Mum is no longer here? Despite being lucky enough to have my own children to make a fuss of me, there’s still a feeling of nobody to make a fuss of in turn, nobody to send a card to, nobody to buy flowers for. Seeing the racks of Mother’s Day cards in the supermarket gives a tinge of sadness as I know I’ll never buy a card again (the same applies to ‘Mum’ birthday cards), so I bury that feeling as I carry on with my shopping.

I feel like the day no longer applies to me; there’s a celebration going on and I’m not invited. Of course, many people are in the same position, whether it’s Mother’s Day or Father’s Day, and are all too familiar with the pain of losing a parent.

In the past, this day was always one of celebration of a close bond and thanks to the person who not only brought you into the world but also fought your earliest battles and taught you right from wrong. My Mum was my biggest supporter and I do struggle now with being ‘motherless’. I have to remind myself that I do have a Mum, she’s just not here any more but exists in full technicolour in my memories.

Friends often moan about their Mums, expressing their frustrations at the way they act or what they’ve said, and I understand this. Relationships can be difficult, and we’re all human; nobody is perfect (my teenager will tell you this!) but much like seeing the Mother’s Day cards, I put my head down and try not to think too deeply about it.

There is also a timing factor for me which is just unfortunate; the anniversary of losing Mum comes just a couple of weeks after Mother’s Day and her birthday a month after that. At this time of year, she comes into my thoughts more frequently as I replay the scenes in my head of the events of three years ago; the illness, the conversations and the desperation. And more than anything, the feeling of being in a bad dream that you can’t escape from but can’t believe or accept you’re in.

I’m not sure it’s true that time is a great healer, but time does make the loss easier to live with. Each birthday, anniversary or celebration day becomes easier to cope with but I’m not sure if the sense of loss, of losing something so precious will ever go away.

If you’re lucky enough to still have your Mum, hug her that little bit tighter, make time to talk to her and tell her you love her. And for those without a Mum, rejoice in their life and everything they gave you and remember their love; that’s got to be worth celebrating, and you don’t need a card for that.

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