Coping with Bereavement this Mothering Sunday

Thursday, March 7th, 2024

If you’re experiencing Mother’s Day without your mum this year, it’s likely to bring back memories of happier times which could be painful to deal with. This is understandable and it’s important to put yourself first: perhaps you’d like to do something to remember your mum or maybe you aren’t ready. Do whatever is right for you and don’t be afraid to reach out for support should you need it.

Relate’s advice for coping with Mother’s Day after bereavement.

Treat yourself with kindness. Think of how you would treat a really good friend in this situation. You would probably want to look after them and be very caring – you should try to do this for yourself, too.

Do what feels right for you. You may feel like having a quiet day and curling up on the sofa, or you may want to do something specific to remember your mum. Maybe you want to do something active or creative to distract yourself. Go with whatever feels right.

Know it’s common to experience a range of different feelings. You may have been doing ok and feel you were coming to terms with your loss but suddenly feel extremely sad when you realise what day it is. Perhaps you will have moments of joy and laughter as you remember your mum or other moments where you feel irritable. You may experience anger or guilt. All of this is normal.

Find creative ways to connect. If you feel you would like to be with others but can’t due to restrictions, think about what you can arrange online to remember your mum together.  For example, could you create an online memory book or organise a video call where you share memories? You might want to share something about your feelings on social media, but if seeing other people’s posts about their Mother’s Day experiences is likely to trigger you then step away from your phone and find another way.

Seek support if you need it. Contact a bereavement helpline or visit a local support group – see Useful Links at the foot of our website. Counselling can help to explore painful feelings and provide a safe space to work through your grief.  You may also find it useful to attend with a partner or other family members to discuss the impact of grief on your relationships and how you can support each other. There are a number of options that may work for you including webcam, phone or email counselling.