What is Mother’s Day without a mum? It’s a sad, empty day for many. But there are ways to prepare and even celebrate a motherless Mothers Day.
Leigh Van Der Horst, a Melbourne mum of 4, lost her beloved mother to cancer in 2008. As a 32-year-old mother to 3 young boys, Leigh felt as though her world had fallen apart.
After picking up the pieces and completely re-building who she was, Leigh set about creating a best selling book called ‘Without My Mum’ for others who had experienced a similar loss in the hope that they would not feel alone in their grief.
Leigh now a qualified Nurse, runs a private Facebook group for Motherless Women, offering a safe space to grieve and be supported whilst also supporting others.
Leigh hopes that by helping women worldwide, they can begin to believe in themselves and to live their best lives.
One of Leigh’s blogs really resonates during Mother’s Day. A day many motherless children dread!
Leigh writes, “OK, so, here we go… It’s the lead up to Mother’s Day again. You know what..? It’s not all bad ladies. Honestly, it really comes down to how you approach it. I know this as I am coming up to my 9th Mother’s Day without my mum. Are you in need some strength? Read on darlings…
Yep, it’s tough. No denying that. The advertisements reminding us of what we can no longer celebrate with our mothers, the gifts everywhere aimed at our mothers, the emails, the catalogues, the stores… It is EVERYWHERE..
My approach once was to avoid the shops all together. It worked for me for a short while but this is the real world. How could I control absolute silence and shutting off entirely? I couldn’t. And I shouldn’t! It is what it is. And I know that many others are in the same boat, sailing this turbulent journey with me. Sometimes the waves are too rough, sometimes they come crashing down on us, sometimes they are smooth but all too commonly they are unpredictable!
It’s all about ‘the triggers‘ darlings.
It’s about knowing your strengths (and weaknesses) and being kind to yourself.
At this time of year, many are feeling more vulnerable than usual. In this case, don’t put yourself through anything that you don’t have to.
Create a space of safety for yourself, whatever that may be.
Know that everywhere you go, you are going to be reminded of what you have lost.
Prepare for the inevitable. Don’t get angry about it. It is what it is and many others are in the same boat as you. You are not alone, truly, you aren’t. If you are a mum, think of your beautiful children and how much they adore you. Allow that love to wash over you. You deserve it.
What are your plans for the big day?
Are they what YOU want to do? Whether you are a mother or not, you really need to honour the day (or at least part of it!) your way. If you know that you will be spending the day how you would like to, the lead up is not so hard.
Are you planning to honour your mother? You still can… Create new traditions. Buy flowers in her honour and display them in your home in remembrance. Visit her favourite spot and just sit quietly in your thoughts. Write her a letter and send it off in a balloon. Visit family and talk about her, laugh about those funny moments. It’s ok. You can laugh…
I know that if I prepare for potential emotional triggers, I am better equipped for them if/when they arise. It may sound dramatic but grief is an unrelenting bastard that hits with little warning so let’s make sure that we are in a place of strength and understanding when it does. Often knowing that I’m not alone is enough to pull me out, hopefully the same may apply to you…
So, as this week rolls on, prepare.
Should you be getting more sleep each night? Plan to have early nights. Spending too much time on social media? Switch off! Is your mind racing? Read a good book. Feeling sluggish? Go on some lovely long walks. Need an outlet? Get crafty! Treat yourself with care and respect…
I truly hope that you are all ok and that this Mother’s Day is a nice one for you. Never forget that your mother would want nothing more than for you to be happy. And she would be so proud of your strength… Try and enjoy being spoilt, you deserve it.”
What are your strategies for preparing and dealing with a motherless Mothers Day? Share your comments below.