Every time mother’s day would come around when I was a teenager, I was angry. Angry at the blatant disregard for the motherless. What was I supposed to do, find some mother-replacement, and go buy them a bouquet? NO thank you. My friends’ moms were not my mom. My aunts were not my mom and maybe my grandmother might have been my mom but she died too. I was bitter, can you tell?.
I wasn’t all positive and bubbly celebrating motherhood and all mothers everywhere. How did I react? I just went silent. Further down my bitterness wormhole. Every advertisement and mention of Mother’s day reminded me yet again that my mom died. I didn’t want to think about it again and again. I didn’t like the reminder. I didn’t like the pity in everyone’s expressions. The uncomfortable silence when they talked about their mother’s day plans. It made me cry and miss my mom, every, single time.
What helped were the few friends who got it right and helped support me in my grieving. Losing a mother leaves a void inside that can not be filled, but the love of a few good friends goes a long way. So, if you have a motherless friend, here are 5 ways to help:
1. Don’t talk about mothers day with your motherless friend, unless THEY bring it up. This includes talking about the preparation for that giant Mother’s day celebration you are planning for your wonderful alive and present mom.
2. Check-in with them, ask them how they are feeling without using the word ‘mother’.
3. Mirror their emotions first. If they are angry, be angry with them. If they are sad, be sad with them.
4. Once they have gotten some of their emotions out, slowly bring them back to positivity with humor and light-heartedness. They don’t really want to feel negative. They are just sad.
5. Understand that no matter what you do, they will still miss their mom and cry when alone. But they will remember the support you gave them forever.
Happy Mothers Day to those who still have their mothers, cherish and embrace them. To those that lost their mothers, they live inside you.