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’m so sorry for your loss, @MissMJ. This past Mother’s Day must have been hard for you – the first holidays always are. I lost my mom when I was 21. It’s been 16 years now, and I still have moments where it hits me out of the blue, but it’s less gut-wrenching sobs and more quietly dripping tears now. Grief is such a heavy and complicated burden. It will lessen with time, but I found a few other things that helped, too.
I was stuck in the grieving process for a long time, until I found a grief counselling group. Therapy is wonderful, but there’s something to be said for talking to someone who has experienced and is feeling the same things you are. I was paired with a woman who had lost her mother to suicide in the exact same manner as my mother, and our conversations were mediated by a professional counsellor. I still remember how much lighter I felt after just one first session.
After those sessions, I joined a larger group for awhile.
In addition to taking about your loss, find ways to talk about who your mom was. Share your memories of her. Is there someone who would come over and flip through old photo albums with you? Sit and listen while you reminisce? I’m sure you have friends who want to be there for you but don’t know what you need. Tell them it’s okay if they don’t know what to say, you’d just like them to listen.
There are other people out there who loved your mom, I’m sure. Her partner maybe, any siblings, friends? They’re grieving too, and I bet they’d love to hear from you. They probably have stories about her that you’ve never heard. When you feel up to it, give these people a call.
Find ways to honour your mother’s memory. I framed my favourite photo of my mom and keep it displayed in my house. I have some of her possessions and think of her when I use them – innocuous things like a watering can or oven mitts. I have a few traditions I’ve established, like a memorial ornament on my Christmas tree, a memorial candle that gets lit on certain dates.
There are different books about loss that you may find meaningful. One that spoke to me was Tyler Feder’s Dancing at the Pity Party: A Dead Mom Graphic Memoir. I was also very affected by Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman.
You’ll never not miss your mom. I’m convinced that no matter how old a person gets, they’ll never reach a point where they don’t sometimes just want their mommy. Hugs.