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Managing Mother’s Day without Mum

In this guest blog, Emma Pavitt, whose Mum was cared for at home by our hospice, shares how she manages Mother’s Day and how she likes to remember her wonderful Mum. 

“Mother’s Day. The cards are in the shops and the adverts for flowers and chocolates are out. You can’t really avoid its message.  A day when mother’s and their children should be together, celebrating their wonderful relationship.

When you have lost your Mum this can be difficult to stomach. It may make you feel sad that she has gone too soon, or angry that other people get to enjoy this day and you no longer can.  Instead, just like everybody else, wouldn’t it be much better if we could use it as a time to reflect and remember what amazing things our Mum’s did? Easier said than done!

Mum’s are like rocks. They hold steady when you feel like nothing else is. They guide you without you realising that they are. They push you to be your best but don’t lay the pressure of expectation upon your shoulders. They love you unconditionally. 

At my Mum, Geraldine’s, funeral I stood up and spoke. It was the start of the process for me. I included all the things Mum had taught me from silly little things like how to remove any stain, to how to remain calm in a stressful situation, and everything in between. My Mum was always full of ‘sage advice’ as one of her pupils remembered her.  

I’ve realised the best thing I can do to remember my Mum is to continue to enjoy the things we would do together, and continue to try and make her proud by putting 100% into everything I do no matter the outcome. When I see a white feather that has landed somewhere or the sun streaming through the clouds, I know she is with me.  Other people have the same thing with robins showing up.  These things always seem to happen at the most opportune times and they provide comfort.

After Mum died, I found it a huge comfort to speak about her, not only about memories from long ago but also from her last few weeks.  I truly believe that when we talk about sad and difficult times, it helps us process them, which in turn helps us accept and adjust.  For everybody this may take place at a different point.  I found myself very lucky having an amazing group of friends and family around.  It’s often an impossible situation when somebody passes away – people around you don’t know how to act and you don’t know if it’s acceptable to continuously talk about it.  It ends up being a potentially awkward situation for everybody.

Luckily my friends asked me questions about my Mum during the weeks after about the situation surrounding her death. They invited me to speak freely and were happy to sit there and listen and cry with me. I talked, and I also listened to other people’s stories and fond memories about my Mum which reminded me again what a generous and warm person she was. It’s the best therapy I could have had. 

So on Mother’s Day:

  • Remember the good times and sad times – Talk, laugh and cry with friends and family.  The pain gets easier with this
  • Look for the little comforts – They are there
  • If you are a friend – Check in with that person. Life has moved on but there will always be something missing and they will appreciate your gesture.

Someone once said ‘It’s good to talk’, and it really is.”

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