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Grief + Loss

Mother’s Day When Mom Has Passed Away

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Motherless Mother's Day

This will be the third Mother’s Day since my mom passed away. This is my third time writing a similar post, yet somehow, each post has been different I suppose because each year of my life has been different. The feelings I felt about her death. The ways the pain affected me. They were different each year.

The first year for me was full of guilt. Guilt that I hadn’t been there for what ended up being my mom’s last Mother’s Day as I lived across the country. The guilt was heavy. Although I understand that I had no idea it would be her last Mother’s Day alive, the guilt sunk into my stomach. And it burned. Luckily, I was back at home where I could be surrounded by family and visit the cemetery to spend some time reflecting.

The second year, I just felt really uncomfortable when Mother’s Day rolled around. I was living even further away from home. I didn’t have any family around and certainly could not stroll over to the cemetery. It was now the second Mother’s Day without her so the “thinking of you” texts, calls, and emails faded away. I was left there with my thoughts and the knowledge that if I called my mom to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day, no one would answer. The line would be dead. I remember wearing my angel necklace in remembrance of her and the rest is blank.

This year, I was reminded of the seemingly never-ending Mother’s Day season around early April as the first several “Gift Guides for Mom” started trickling in from consumer America. I’m sure you can only imagine my reactions. They went a little something like this: “Mother’s Day is about more than what you’re going to buy her!” So, I’m sure it comes as no surprise that this year… this has been the year of anger. I only use the word “anger” since it’s one of the 5 Stages of Grief. Really I’ve just been pretty withdrawn. And here’s why:

I know she’s gone. I know she’s not coming back. I know I can’t get back my last Mother’s Day with her and that I’ll never have another either. But unlike other holidays where she is missed, like Thanksgiving and Christmas, this is the day that’s all about the one person I’ll never be able to look at again and say, “I love you, Mom.”

I know that all weekend, everywhere I look, I’ll be reminded that I am without a mother. That she left this Earth before I could even process what was happening and what my life was about to become. I’ll see people spending time with their moms, pictures of my friends with their moms, pictures of my friends who are moms, pictures of flowers, brunch tables, hugs, happiness, life. I just hope they know it. I hope they take the time to call their mother and spend time with her on days that aren’t just holidays. I hope they spend a decent amount of time thinking about how this could actually be their last Mother’s Day with her (a harsh reality many people ‘don’t want to think about.’) Well, start thinking about it. Because one day it will be too late.

Once your mom is gone, all you’ll have left are memories. They are memories of happiness, vacations, graduations, quality time together, lessons she taught you. You’ll have the pictures to look back on and laugh at, smile at, and keep with you wherever you go. But you won’t have her. And every Mother’s Day from there on out… it won’t be the same.

If you’re here reading this because you too are Motherless on Mother’s Day, my heart goes out to you. I know how alone you can feel (any day of the year really) and how odd it can feel to not be hugging her today, telling her how much you love her. Nothing takes that heartache away.

I know there are a lot of posts out there about “10 Ways to Remember Mom on Mother’s Day” but I want this one to be different. I think we each have our own ways of remembering, honoring, and grieving.

There’s a part of me that feels like I’m supposed to end this with a positive cliche like, “she lives on in our memory” or “I know she’s still right here with us” but I’d be lying if I said Mother’s Day is truly a day of happiness and memories and celebration. For me, it’s a day where an unspoken sadness is seen in the eyes of my family members as we look at each other. An unspoken understanding that we will never have her standing among us again. An unspoken cry, “She’s gone.” And on Mother’s Day, that’s my way of celebrating my mother. Feeling how deeply my life has been affected by her death and how no day, not one day at all, will ever be the same now that she’s gone. Speaking up about the pain because that’s how much being without her has impacted everything.

Nothing can bring back the bond between a mother and her child.

Happy Mother’s Day to my angel, my Mom. And to all the other Mom Angels out there looking over their beautiful children.


As someone who’s been there before, I work one-on-one with others who have lost loved ones. My Finding Life After Loss program is custom-designed for you if you’ve grown through loss and are ready to start living large. Through death, we learn about life and this program is for those who are ready to truly, truly start living. Make your dreams a reality. Find your purpose. Whatever it is, life is short and the time is now. I’d love to work with you while start living differently and bigger than ever before. Check out my services page to find out more about this program!

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