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.

Darcie Sims

In Memoriam Dr. Darcie D. Sims, Ph.D., CHT, CT, GMS is a bereaved parent and child, a grief management specialist, a nationally certified thanatologist, a certified pastoral bereavement specialist, and a licensed psychotherapist and hypnotherapist. She is the author of Why Are the Casseroles Always Tuna?, Footsteps Through the Valley, Touchstones and If I Could Just See Hope. She co-authored A Place For Me: A Healing Journey for Grieving Kids, Footsteps Through Grief, The Other Side of Grief and Finding Your Way Through Grief with her daughter, Alicia Sims Franklin. She also wrote and produced the videos Handling the Holidays and What Color is Dead: Death From A Child’s View as well as authored numerous chapters in professional books and textbooks. Darcie is featured in the award-winning video series “Good Grief” produced by Iowa Public Television and has been featured in several other videos as well. She is an internationally recognized speaker and was Coping Editor for Bereavement magazine for 15 years. She is now an editor for Grief Digest. She served on the national board of directors for The Compassionate Friends, the national board of directors for the Association of Death Education and Counseling and the board of trustees for the National Catholic Ministry to the Bereaved. Darcie received The Compassionate Friends Professional Award in 1999. She co-chaired the 1991,1996 and 2005 World Gathering on Bereavement, and keynoted at all 4 World Gatherings. Darcie is president and co-founder of GRIEF, Inc. a grief consulting business and the Director of the American Grief Academy in Seattle, Washington. She is a Diplomate in the American Psychotherapy Association, a Certified Diplomate in Clinical Hypnotherapy and is listed in Who’s Who in America, The World Who’s Who of Women and The International Who’s Who of Professional and Business Women. She can be contacted at Visit her website at To Listen to Darcie on Open to Hope Radio Dr. Darcie Sims appeared on the radio show “Healing the Grieving Heart” with Dr. Gloria & Dr. Heidi Horsley to discuss “How to Have a Good Bad Day.” To hear Darcie being interviewed on this show, click on the following link:

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