14 years ago my mom passed away less than a month before Mother’s Day, making that Mother's Day the second worst day of my life. That first year with my mom gone was like a punch to the stomach on every holiday and celebration she missed.
But that Mother’s Day? That was the worst.
I spent the day outside on my patio holding my newly pregnant stomach and cried until I thought I had no more tears left. I mourned all that she would miss, all that we would miss, and then I cried some more. The loud, hiccupping, can’t-breathe cry that makes it feel like your heart will explode into a million tiny pieces and you will never be able to pick up those fragments and create a whole heart ever again.
And now you’re the one experiencing it and what I want to do is reach through this computer screen, wrap my arms around you while you cry, and tell you everything is going to be okay.
But I can’t. Instead I will tell you this.
This Mother’s Day most likely will be terrible for you because it is the first one without your mom and the first is always the worst.
If you have kids, chances are you will feel conflicting emotions – both grief and happiness - sprinkled with a side order of guilt.
How can I feel happy on Mother’s Day when my own mother is gone?
But it’s okay to feel that happiness. You have kids who love you and want to celebrate how amazing you are and you know what? Your mom would have wanted that.
So allow yourself to grieve, but also allow yourself those moments to smile without feeling guilty.
In the coming years you will find ways to honour your own mother on Mother’s Day just like I have. But for this first one? Just take care of yourself. Surround yourself with love and support and allow yourself to feel everything you’re feeling.
Even if you feel angry, it’s okay. That first Mother’s Day outside on my patio in between bouts of crying I yelled at my mom. I was so angry with her for leaving us. I raged at a clear blue sky, like somehow my anger could change it, that my rage would bring her back.
Don’t ever let anyone tell you any differently
But most of all, I want you to know you will get through this even when it feels like your heart is shattering. You’re stronger than you think, and eventually those shattered pieces do come together to make a whole heart again - one that will allow you to think of your mom with a smile on your face instead of tears in your eyes.