As a mum, when you no longer have your mum, you miss out on so much more than you realise.

I’ve been a motherless daughter for many years now.

My Mum died when she was 56. I was old enough to be an adult but not old enough to have an adult relationship with her. I think she’d like the ‘me’ I am now, more than the one she knew. Still…

There are many things you miss out on as a motherless daughter.

Mother’s Day for example is a weird kind of day, because as a mum it’s all about your kids celebrating you as a mum, but you can’t celebrate having a mum. My Dad, bless him, forgets most major events, birthdays, Christmases but he always remembers to give my sister and I a call on Mother’s Day.

But there are many things that just sneak up and remind you what you’re missing. I recently spent a lovely and long overdue time with my sister and her family in Brisbane. She’s my big sister, and over many years and many bottles of wine we’ve analysed the life and death of our complex mother many times over.

You can’t be victims when you’ve lost a parent because the rest of your life is a long time to sulk.

So we don’t talk about ourselves or our children and our loss, but we do like talking about our mum.

Our mum used to love cooking.  We lived in different cities, but if I needed to know how to make something, I would call Mum.  “Mum, I’m trying to make a lasagna, how do I make a cheese sauce?” “Mum, what cut of meat should I buy for a casserole?” “Mum, how do I get the fat off the top of the pan when I’m making a gravy? And what do you put in your gravy?”

Mum would always sigh a little as if “how do you girls not know how to make gravy?” but then she’d tell me as I scribbled her recipe on a piece of scrap paper I’d promptly lose.

But one of the casualties of losing your mum is you lose that rich knowledge about how to do stuff that parents are supposed to pass down to their kids so you can pass it on to yours.

I was poaching an egg while I was staying at my sisters. “Don’t you put vinegar in your water when you’re poaching eggs?” she asked me. I’d never heard of such a thing. “It keeps the egg whites together. I always use white vinegar because it doesn’t discolour the eggs or taint them too much.”

Since that moment, I’ve always added vinegar to the water I poach my eggs in.  And they’re bloody perfect.

While I was there, my sister was roasting a lamb. She asked me “how do you make your gravy?” “I usually use a mix and add some bits to it,” I admitted. “Me too,” she said. “Mum always made a good gravy.”

When you’ve lost your mum, it’s not just her company that you miss.

Share your thoughts below.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • Firstly, I am so sorry for your loss of your mother. I consider myself very lucky that I still have both of my parents but the downside is that we see them suffer through old age. My father has dementia and it’s as if I have lost him already and my mother has Parkinson’s. They are both aged 84.
    The things they have taught me in life will stay with me forever and like your mom, there is nothing like her home cooking. The benefit of her wisdom And skills help me everyday….
    I spend as much time with my parents as possible as I am acutely aware of how precious our time together really is.


  • My mum died when i was 15 and i still miss her every day. I’am 64 now and the pain never goes. a mother/daughter relationship whilst complex is a blessing.


  • My mum passed away when i was 13, she was 45 and was sick. I was oblivious that she would die.
    Now being a mum Mother’s Day is a weird kind of day, I found it hard this year, as usually on mother day I would go plant a tree (tree for mums event but due to the current circumstances this didn’t happen this year. I do have a sister but we don’t have that close relationship – she is that kind of person who rather her friends then family.


  • Reading posts like this, I think it must be nice to have had a wonderful mother, one that you actually need and miss.


  • My husband has lost his mum and it is something which leaves a void in you


  • Yes i lost my beautiful Mother 4 years now and Mothers Day is just so hard to do especially when all you see in the shops buy this for Mum or give this is to your mum


  • I can’t even bear to contemplate my life without my mum and my heart breaks for those who no longer have their mums in their lives!


  • There’s just so much to miss. I miss everything about my Mum every day.


  • I can’t remember my mum ever telling me anything useful.


  • I kind of didn’t gave a mum to start with. She was there, but she didn’t go out of her way to communicate with me or show me how to do things. I ring her fir a recipe, a family favourite that she’s cooked many times, and she doesn’t know. We live on opposite sides of the country now and I only hear from her if I call her. Don’t get me wrong, we weren’t abused or neglected in any way whatsoever. My parents just didn’t engage with us kids

    • Aw bless, I’m sure that hurts a bit


  • Great read. I lost my mum when I was 13, I am now 32. It doesn’t get easier but as the years goes on it hurts a little less.
    The hardest was after my son was born, I just wanted her here.

    • Sorry to hear, that must have been hard growing up without her !


  • No matter how long your mum has been gone for it is still hard to live without your mum


  • I am dreading not having a Mum – losing Dad was HELL. Mum lives with us now, and she aint allowed to go anywhere!!!


  • That is all too true. We never stop learning from our mums.


  • I could not imagine my mum not being there. Mums are so special.


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