Mothers Day is a very difficult day for a child whose Mum has died.
I know because my Mum died when I was only 6 years old. At school there is always an activity making Mothers Day cards and the other children are looking forward to the surprises they are preparing for their Mums. Mothers day itself is a family day and so it is a day when the rest of the world seems to remind you how painful it is to not have your Mum by your side.
When my Mum died the adults around me told me that she was in heaven, that I could still talk to her and she would hear me. I took them at their word. It seems at 6 it was considered cute to talk to your Mum in heaven. At thirteen however it was not so cute! Now the adults around me and my peers thought I was crazy to still be talking to her especially when I said she talked back to me! Whether or not you believe in life after death, for me, being able to ‘talk’ to my Mum gives me great comfort. Still having photographs of her in my home and wearing her rings keeps my connection with her alive and reminds me every day that my Mum loved me and did not choose to leave me.
So what can you do to help a child whose Mum has passed?
The key here is not to ignore the day but to embrace it and still celebrate. Here are a few idea’s of things you can do….
- Buy or make a Mothers Day card. I know this may seem strange but buying or creating a card acknowledges that Mum was real and a card gives the child an opportunity to share the love that they still feel for the Mother who is no longer with them.
- Buy some of Mums favourite flowers. To be honest I do not know what my Mums favourite flowers are but I associate crimson red roses with her because that was the colour of the roses at her plot in the crematorium. Once the flowers are bought, the card and flowers can be displayed next to each other.
- Go out and do something that Mum loved to do. Whether it is a visit to Mums favourite place, or lunch in her favourite restaurant or may be an activity she enjoyed. What ever it is choose something to do on Mothers day that Mum loved to do
- Stay at home and create a scrapbook about Mum. This is a lovely thing to do. You can include photographs and pictures of things that Mum liked or just that remind the child of Mum. You can get the child to write their favourite stories of times with Mum and stick them in the scrap book. They can also write or print words that they would associate with Mum. Children often worry that their memories of Mum will fade and they will forget her. A scrap book on Mum is something they can return to time and time again whenever they are feeling sad or frightened.
Life without Mum is difficult. True you do start to get used to it but no matter how old you get there are always days when you wish you had your Mum by your side. If you are caring for a child whose Mum has died please do not ignore Mothers day, make it a day of celebration. Talk about Mum, cry together, laugh together but most of all let the child know that Mum loved them dearly and that they are still loved by you and the remaining relatives that surround them.
These are some of my thoughts if you have any other ideas please do share them below or on my Happy Family facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/thehappyfamilycommunity/
I wish you all a lovely day on Mother’s Day.