It seems of late that the whole Mother’s Day celebration is building a bit more each year. This one day is turning into a day of joyous celebration, deep pain or total indifference for many. Where you stand on it, most often, is driven by your current state of experiences.
For me, last year was a painful day and I basically wanted to sleep through it. I had lost my mother the previous June and this was the first year I would be celebrating without her. I felt displaced, lonely and disconnected. My sons were each in different parts of the country so I knew I would be alone, without their presence. Being single, I really had no place, and no plans for celebration. In fact, I wanted to be alone. I really didn’t want reminders of my loss. I believe it was my worst year ever.
But what a difference one year can make. This year I had the absolute flip side of the Mother’s Day experience. Being a new grandma, I was celebrating my first Mother’s Day in that context. I was celebrating my daughter-in-law’s new role in motherhood. I was, in essence, celebrating myself. While I was still feeling the loss of my mom, I found my reflections were more of remembrance of the joys of her presence and the good times rather than the lamenting and the sorrow. Don’t get me wrong, I felt the void of her presence very deeply, as I will each year, but I also celebrated who she was and who I am as a result of being raised by such an amazing woman. I had comfort in those memories. I celebrated myself, as a mom, as I received the love from my sons. I felt genuinely loved by both, one who I spent the day with, being lavished with love, and the other who called and shared his love and acclamations from across the country. I was complete!
To all of my friends going through the loss of mothers, know that you will always feel the loss. You will always feel the sorrow, but embedded in that sorrow will be joy from the memories, joy from the legacy they leave. There is no timeline on grief. No one can tell you when you will feel better, but you.
So, as moms, we made it through this day, either in joy or sorrow or in indifference. Who knows what next year will bring?