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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
  • I lost my mum when I was 32. It is something you never fully get over.

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  • I haven’t been able to see my Mum for a few months now, due to covid. It’s killing me how much I miss her. The phone calls aren’t nearly enough :(

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  • My mum has been gone for over 20 years now and I still go to pick up the phone and call her to ask for some of her very wise advice but catch myself in time. My mum was 56 when she died and missed out on seeing her Grand-Children grow up and become parents themselves. I still miss her daily people say it gets easier I wonder have they lost their mum as I dont think it is any easier.

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  • Unfortunately it doesnt get easier. I miss my mum so much. I can talk about her without crying now but it is so hard. I wish she was here to hold my newborn son.

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  • Sorry for you loss – and do sort of know how you feel. It doesn’t matter what age your mum was when she passes, or what age you were, it is still a loss that you often feel keenly. Never had that sort of relationship with my mum about cooking and the few recipes I did manage to get her to give me, she left something out so I could never make them – thank heavens for Google, I got a similar recipe and could put in the missing ingredient. My mum died a couple of weeks short of 100, and I was in my 60’s then – but I have always made sure that anything my daughters want as far as a recipe is concerned is spot on for them. Guess she taught me something after all.

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  • I lost my mum 4 years ago now and I would have to say that I dont enjoy Mothers Day or Christmas as much now its just not the same especially Christmas as it was her thing she would go to so much trouble having everything perfect for Christmas

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  • My mum was a nurse ands a good cook. She wrote many of her recipes down. Fortunately my sister remembers things I Need that i may have forgotten.

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  • Mum didn’t write down her recipes, so I have to try to remember them. I lost her years before she died, as she had dementia. In some ways though, I got to know her better in that time than in my entire life. She often lived in her younger years, a time she never talked of. I still miss her and wish I had known to ask her more when she had her memories.

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  • My mum passed away when i was 16. I lost those chatting moments and cooking time with my mum.I still miss her so much when raising my kids.

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  • Sorry to all who have lost their mothers. My mum is 69 and still in pretty good health. I don’t live near her and miss her everyday and cherish the time when we are together. I’m a mother to 4 children and I always wonder I hope I don’t pass young, how will my children cope and that scares me the most. Love to all the mothers and passed mothers. God bless.

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  • I’m blessed to have both my parents still. I’m 56 yrs old and my parents are 885 and 89yrs old and in relatively good health. I lost my sister when she was 48yrs old and her children were 13 and 10yrs old at the time. Her husband and children still deal with grieve and loss.

    Reply

  • 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.

    Reply

  • 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.


    • I’m sorry you lost your mum when you were 15yrs old, bless you ! I can imagine you still miss her.

    Reply

  • 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.


    • I’m sorry you lost your mum at such young age, bless you !

    Reply

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

    Reply

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