There are many holidays which can be particularly tough for the bereaved, and Mother’s Day is a big one. Can you celebrate Mother’s Day if your child is no longer living? Of course you can, but you may benefit from some modifications. The Open to Hope show welcomes Dr. Darcie Sims, an internationally renowned speaker specializing in grief management. She’s the founder and president of Grief, Inc., a licensed psychotherapist, and the author of several books. “Am I still a mother?” is a question many bereaved mothers ask themselves, and according to Dr. Sims the resounding answer is, “Yes!”
However, you should have some survival tips in your back pocket to get through Mother’s Day—and maybe even enjoy it. Begin by becoming aware of your feelings and acknowledge them. Be gentle with yourself, and find ways to express your anger in non-destructive ways. Find support networks, whether it’s within a group of trusted friends or an online community. Skip self-judgment and let others’ judgment pass right through you. Work on forgiving yourself for what you’ve done, haven’t done, or think you’ve done.
Always a Mother
Making lists can be a great tool for healing and re-defining who you are. Change things for the better, and create new rituals for yourself. Work at lifting depression, whether it’s via seeing a professional, taking better care of your health, or simply allowing yourself to grieve from time to time. Practice forgiving yourself for the living, including you. Your loved ones deserve your best self, and so do you.
When thinking of your child, focus on their life and not their death. That’s what they would want for you. Plan a special moment, memorial, or ritual to celebrate their life. Finally, work on discovering who you are now and focus on everything you can still become.