In the run up to Mother’s Day it’s hard to avoid the flowers, cards and gifts on sale, whether they are in the aisles of your local supermarket or adverts on the television.
For people whose mums have passed away, it can be a constant reminder of what they have lost and the grief they are facing.
But there’s no right or wrong way in how to approach days or anniversaries, such as Mothers’ Day, birthdays or Christmas if you are grieving the loss of your mum, says BACP counsellor Susan Carr.
“I’ve noticed from the people I’ve worked with who have lost their mum, that they are very aware of Mother’s Day approaching. Sometimes the anticipation and build-up, is worse than the day itself. It’s the uncertainty about not knowing how they are going to feel on the day,” she said.
But what is often a difficult time of year for many, provides some people with another chance to celebrate their mother’s life.
“Some people will still think about marking the day. They may buy a Mother’s Day card and put it in a memory box, they may put flowers on their mother’s grave. They might go and release balloons in memory of their mum. They might find these things helpful.
Do what feels right to you
“But others may not want to mark Mother’s Day at all - and that’s fine. It’s about doing what you are comfortable with and what is right for you, not what you think you should do.
“Just recognising how you are feeling can help.”
And of course, people who are grieving their own mothers, may have their children who are keen to celebrate Mother’s Day.
“This brings another aspect into it for some mums. Her children may be excited, presenting her with homemade cards, but she may not be feeling particularly joyous on that day,” adds Susan.
“It’s ok to say ‘I’m feeling a bit upset today’. It may help the children too as they may be missing gran. It’s better to talk about it, rather than bottling it all up.
“Some people will need to have a good cry. It gives them that release and may help them enjoy the rest of the day.
“The most important thing is to remember to do what feels right to you. Don’t feel you have to react in a particular way on Mother’s Day.”
If you want to speak to a counsellor or psychotherapist about bereavement visit our Therapist Directory.