How To Celebrate Mother's Day When Your Mom is Deceased
Mother's Day Without Mom
Is your mother deceased? Is this your first Mother's Day without your mom?
Mother's Day can be a difficult holiday for those whose mothers have passed away. My mom died in 1994. I still miss her terribly. The first holidays without my mom were painful; the once joyous day left me in overwhelming grief. I didn't want to celebrate Mother's Day without my mom.
When the pain of losing my mom eased, I was able to keep her memory alive and honor her on the special day for moms. I enjoyed a wonderful relationship with my mother; I admired her, sought advice and shared dreams. She had been my biggest supporter, and her death had left a huge hole in my life.
Celebrating Mother's Day can be painful, whether this will be your first without your mom, or if it has been many years since her death. In time, your grief and depression will turn into healing and peace. Keep reading for ways to stay connected with your mom and honor her memory on Mother's Day.
Photo by Jennifer Akers
2011, All Rights Reserved
How Can I Celebrate Mother's Day Without My Mom?
Part 1 - My Mom
My mom and I had been close. With only small bumps of typical adolescent rebellion, I grew into an adult and rediscovered my mom. She was smart, funny, creative and my best friend. I was 27 years old, married and childless when she died. Her death was unexpected; she committed suicide. The news shook our family. My whole world somersaulted when my mom left this earth on a unassuming Tuesday morning in October.
I didn't think the pain could be worse than those first months. Then a few months later, pain flooded my first motherless Mother's Day. My heart had stopped skipping its joyful mother-daughter dance. The onslaught of flowery cards, thoughtful gifts, bright flowers and loving commercials bloomed in every store ... the first Mother's Day arrived seven months after my mother's death.
I wanted to skip the Mother's Day holiday. I had spied the perfect gift before reality punched the remembrance that she had died. I never skipped the day entirely since I devoted myself to my grandmother, who at the age of 73, never got used to losing her daughter.
A month after my mom's death, I met a counselor whose mother was gravely ill and died soon after we became friends. We talked about grief, our mothers, and how someone can celebrate a holiday without the honoree.
Part 2, Continued below ~
Photo Credit: Copyright 1994, Jennifer Akers
All Rights Reserved
My copyright :: No Permission for Use on Any Other Site or For Any Commercial or Personal Reasons
My Mother was the greatest gift to me,
patient and kind she loved unconditionally.
She was all I ever hope to be.
May she rest in peace with you
Lord for eternity.
Note: photo is from Loss of a Mother Pendant currently sold on Amazon.
Does this loss sound familiar? Have you lost your mother? Do you find Mother's Day a difficult day without her? The grief process doesn't travel from point A to Z in a straight line. Grieving is different from individual to individual. Keep reading for ways to deal with grief.
In healing, you can embrace the holiday and your mother's memory. What are your memories of your mom? How did she make you laugh, smile or feel good? Start with the activities that remind you of her.
My friend used to go to a local restaurant and order steak dinner (her mom's favorite). She'd always wear a white carnation (a symbol to honor a mother who is far away or deceased) on her dress or suit.
Every year, my family gathered (or called each other when we moved farther in miles)on Mother's Day. We reminisced about past Mother's Days, like the one year we surprised Mom, with family smiles and fondue forks, at a new Melting Pot restaurant.
My sister and I inevitably started discussions of "Do you remember when mom made us pancakes for breakfast? She hated pancakes you know...she only made them for us." Sharing memories wrapped us in a loving blanket that we pulled on whenever we need her warmth.
We also visited her grave on Mother's Day and left flowers or plants with little gifts, cards or trinkets tucked inside the planter. We sat and chatted next to her. One year, my sister and I dragged a huge carboard box of old family photos there. Protected under the large Oak, we swapped pictures, laughed about old stories, and embraced our family memories.
It's wonderful and possible to celebrate your mother's memory on Mother's Day. The first Mother's Day holidays without your mom may not be easy. You may even want to skip your first few Mother's Days without your mom, but try to take a little time to think of her, your lives, and your love.
Find new ways to embrace her spirit and keep her memory alive on Mother's Day. Read your mom's favorite book, volunteer for her favorite charity, visit with family or friends, or simply share stories about your mom.
If your mom was your biggest cheerleader, then do something for yourself on Mother's Day - something she would have encouraged you to do. What better way to honor your mom than to grow and celebrate the life she wished for you!
Mother's Day Remembrance Jewelry - Special Gifts for Friends Who have Lost Their Mothers
I hadn't thought of jewelry when my mom passed away, but I really like the idea. I carried her picture in my purse for awhile. If you want something personal to remind you of your mother, I think remembrance jewelry would be comforting and elegant. It's a gift I'd like to buy for myself and my sister ... keepsake jewelry that would put a smile on our faces every single day.
These will also make wonderful remembrance gifts for friends who have lost their mothers. Jewelry is an elegant way to keep their memories alive. Every time they glance at their bracelet or hold their pendant, their mother's love will warm their hearts.
- Serenity Prayer Bracelet
Sterling Silver Heart Bracelet Keeps Memories of a Loved One Close! Angel Themed Jewelry a Keepsake Pendant to Cherish! - Celebrate your everlasting bond with a loved one! This beautiful sterling silver heart bracelet is...
- Teardrop Heart Pendant
Gleaming in a polished Sterling Silver setting, this teardrop heart is accented with a golden tribute design to symbolize the loss of a loved one.
- SwarovskiÂ® Crystal Sterling Silver Cross Pendant
A thoughtful keepsake or unique sympathy gift idea, this elegant religious cross jewelry is a gentle way to ease your heart or comfort a dear friend. The pendant's exclusive design is created in handcrafted solid sterling silver and accented with 48
Mother's Day Remembrances: Creative Projects - More Ideas to Remember Mom
How do I remember my mom on Mother's Day? Think about her favorite activities, hobbies, or talents. Did she pass them along to you and other family members? Think of how you can remember her favorites things to do with special remembrance projects.
- Mom's Garden
Create a "Mom's Garden" with special flowers or plants. Did your mom make the best orange juice? Plant an orange tree. Did your mom love roses? Plant some in her favorite color to plant. Was your mom a gourmet cook?
Combine edible plants, like peppers or spice herbs, that she would have loved in her kitchen. Her garden will give you a meditative place to think of her. More pluses: Gardening is good exercise and adds to the health of the environment.
- Photo Albums
Whether your photos are super organized or not, find a pretty album to dedicate to your mom. Ask family members for photos they may have - maybe you'll find pictures that you've never seen. Make sure to label photos with dates/places.
Scrapbooking is extremely popular. If you're not an experienced scrapbooker, find a local class. You'll find friends, learn something new, and make a wonderful creation.
- Write a Book
Journaling your memories is therapeutic, and writing a book about your mom or grandmother can bring immense joy. As with the photo album, ask family memories for stories about your mom. Snippets of stories add up to a fuller picture of her life. Family or friends may recall stories that you never heard.
A journal or book can be enjoyed by everyone in the family plus it will keep her memory alive for generations.
- Create Mom's Cookbook
Was your mom a great cook? Did she make family favorites, like spaghetti and meatballs for your sister and chicken noodle soup to fight colds? Before you discard those meals as typical family recipes, remember your mom's recipes are unique to your family. Whenever you need mom's magic, flip through your new "Mom Cookbook" for the best recipe.
Remember to gather other family members and trade scattered recipes. My older sister once made a mini cookbook of my mom's holiday cookies. The cookbook brings not only delicious cookies but also Mom's touch to our holidays.
Memorial Garden Stepping Stones - Complete your garden with memorial plaques
When you create your memorial garden, think about adding memorial stepping stones. They can be a loving reminder of your mom and all she means to your life. These are some of my favorites because the poems are so touching.
Beautiful and colorful stepping stone to remind us that our loved ones aren't truly gone from our lives. They are beside us in spirit and always in our hearts.
The broken chain stone reminds us that our family may have a 'missing link' but the chain will be complete one day in heaven.
A simple but elegant memorial garden stone. Though your mom is an angel, she will always remain in your heart.
Mother's Day Memories: Memory Photo Books
Create Stunning Memory Books from Your Photos and Your Stories
Here's an easy and beautiful way to remember the wonderful times with your mom: Customize a photo book about your mom or create a memory book as a gift. These books are gorgeous!
It's easy! Gather photos of holidays, special events, or favorite natural-posed pictures. Use your digital pictures to create a memory photo book with their huge selection of backgrounds, fonts, layouts, book sizes, and other options.
You're in control: see everything online, change photos or layouts, or even add pages. You personalize your book.
While I had many digital photos, I wanted to use some older photos (stacked high in my photo box) and not on my computer. I simply scanned the photos to my computer and added them to the editing software. If you don't have a scanner at home, you can use scanners at office supply stores, or drug stores like Walgreen's or CVS. If you have a lot of photos, you may want to create a CD to download to your computer.
Different layouts allow everything from simple text, like for names and dates, to full-page for sharing memories.
In my book, I arranged a two-page spread for each member of the family. I included photos, and everyone wrote about their favorite time. I gave suggestions, such as:
" _________ was a _______ person. I will always remember her when she _________... "
"My favorite memory was the time ..."
The book surpassed my expectations - it's a beautiful keepsake filled with my family's memories!
Photo by Jennifer Akers
2011, All Rights Reserved
Mother's Day Remembrance Flower Projects
If you'd like to display your remembrance in an art project, try an art kit. To start my project, I chose fresh flowers, including my mom's favorite - roses - and dried them. There are a couple of ways to dry flowers. You can use crystals specially designed for drying flowers, or you can also use the microwave flower press.
I worked with the crystals; through the process, the flowers lost a lot of their original color. To re-color and preserve them, I used specialty paint for paper crafts since the flowers are so delicate. After the roses and leaves dried, I laid them out on newspaper and carefully spray painted them different colors - yellow, pink, and white for the roses and baby breath, and green for the leaves.
If you don't want to go through the process of drying your own flowers, you could also buy dried flowers, such as rose petals.
I made several and gave them as gift for family members as a remembrance of my mom.
Fill Your Heart ... - Or Another Acrylic Shape for a Great Remembrance Gift
I filled a clear, acrylic heart with a selection of flowers from my mom's funeral. On the inside of the heart, I glued a poem that was read at my mom's service. I made sure the poem was facing outwards and glued as flat as possible in the container.
The heart came with a pretty pink ribbon through the top loop. If yours doesn't, I'd recommend tying a ribbon through the top so you can display your heart or other shaped globe.
Gifts for Friends whose Mothers have Passed Away - Things to Say When Your Friend's Mom Dies
Mother's Day gifts are given to all the females in our lives - mothers, stepmothers, sisters, grandmothers, cousins, daughters, aunts and more. If your friend's mother recently passed away, find a gift for her on Mother's Day. Give comforting and healing gifts.
Even through the painful Mother's Day years, I appreciated friends acknowledging my mother. I welcomed the opportunity to share memories and talk with someone else.
Grieving is a difficult time when others don't know how to express their sympathy. While comfort can be expressed in different ways, I found comfort when people said some combination of the following, when my mom died:
I know how hard this is. I miss her too.
She was a wonderful person. She loved you very much.
The last time I saw your mom, she was ....
I'll always remember what a talented seamstress, artist, .... she was.
She was so proud of you. She's watching you now.
She's not hurting. She's at peace.
If there's anything I can do, please let me know.
Believe or not, even people who said, "I don't know what to say" helped - at least they were thinking of my mother and trying to comfort me, though they didn't have the words.
The worst things I heard:
It's the circle of life. We're all going to die. (It's true, but not comforting as someone's grieving a recent loss.)
Why are you crying? (It should be obvious, but I actually had someone ask me that. She thought "something else had happened.")
My favorite gifts were those that helped me release my feelings in a positive way. Hopefully some of these gift ideas will help you find something perfect for Mother's Day.
More Ways to Honor Mom's Memory - Donate to Mom's Favorite Charity
Make a donation to your mom's favorite charity. There are many worthy organizations that need donations: libraries, local wildlife sanctuary, scouting, schools, missing children's, MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) just to name a few.
Animals were special creatures to my mom, and she donated to a few charities. If you need ideas, choose one of my mom's favorites.
Donating in mom's name is a wonderful way to honor her.
- Endangered Species, Wildlife Conservation, Animal Habitats
Endangered Species at World Wildlife Fund. At WWF, we are the leader in wildlife conservation and preservation of animal habitats around the world. Join World Wildlife Fund and support our conservation efforts. My mom's favorite organization; she do
- ASPCA: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
ASPCA: American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. My mom loved all kinds of animals and donated to the ASPCA.
- Welcome to the Animal Humane Society Home Page
We are the Animal Humane Society, located in Golden Valley & Coon Rapids, MN. This is our home page. Welcome to our site! In my mom's will, she requested donations to the Animal Humane Society in lieu of flowers for her funeral.
Angels Helped Me Remember My Deceased Mom
After my mom died, I started to notice angels everywhere -- in a friend's comment, self-help books, angel books, and angel keepsakes. I decided that for every Mother's Day, I would buy a new angel keepsake. The new angel would remind me that my mom lived in my thoughts and heart.
One of my favorites is the Angel's Touch ornament. It has a special place on our Christmas tree every year.
Doreen Virtue is an author, speaker, who helps others connect with angels. She also has a regular column in Women's World, in which she highlights readers' angel experiences. Her Angels 101 book is a fantastic introduction to connecting and healing with your angel's help.
My sister gave me this angel for Christmas. Its elegance reminds me of my mom and her love for me. My Angel's Touch ornament is one of my favorites and has a special place near the top of the tree.
Honor Mom on Mother's Day
Simple Ways to Remember Your Mom
Remember that honoring your mom can be a simple act: perhaps just sitting quietly and thinking about how much you loved her. Light a candle and say a prayer. Look at her photo and say "I Love You, Mom". These solitary moments connect you both on Mother's Day.
Do what feels right to you. Do something that keeps your mom's spirit alive in your heart. If you have children, do something to continue the circle of love from your mom to you to your kids. If your mom always picked you up from school with a snack tucked beside her, do the same for your kids and tell them grandma had brought you snacks when you were little.
Keep her memory alive by reminding your kids of grandmas' special gifts, like drawing cardinals, making the best brownies, or running the fastest marathon. Remind them of gifts she handed down to them, like her business mind, her pug nose, or her clumsy waltz.
If making books or planting gardens seem overwhelming, slow down and make it simple. It's best to choose something that is authentic of your relationship with your mom. If both of you could barely boil a pot of water, then don't choose to create a cookbook. It's all about feeling and sharing your love.
As I created this lens, my mind danced with many wonderful, funny and loving thoughts of my mom. I miss her still and wish she was as close as a phone call or a big hug. I wanted to do something to honor her. In writing this lens, I realized all she gave me and continues to give me. I think she'd be proud.
I hope all of you find peace and joy in connecting with your mothers.
Photo by Jennifer Akers
2008, All Rights Reserved
Missing Mom on Mother's Day - Help is Available for People with Overwhelming Grief
Do you find yourself sad at Mother's Day?
Missing your mother is normal. Feelings of sadness, anger or depression are part of the grieving process. So many of us want to hop over these negative and painful emotions. I learned that skipping those emotions only delays the healing; we can only fully heal if we go through the emotions.
Reading books about grief and healing may help. Talking to friends may help. Sometimes, you need extra help, like if you experience overwhelming and persistent sadness or depression.
You may need to speak to a professional grief counselor who can help you identify the stages of loss and move to recovery.
Please don't let embarrassment or fear stop you from reaching out. When my mother passed away, I worked as a case manager for elderly clients. I counseled others in my job, but I needed my own counselor to deal with my grief.
I found healthy ways to cope with feelings of sadness, anger and profound loss. Sometimes the extra help or an empathetic, knowledgeable stranger is the best way to cope with the loss.
Know that it is okay to ask for help.
- National Mental Health Association
Find resources through the National Mental Health Association. Their website gives information and ways to find local counselors.
Stages of Grief - Is This Typical?
Unfortunately, grief does not have a timetable, and it does not follow steps 1 through 5 until we're healed. Everyone copes differently. It helps to know the stages of grief, so you understand what is "typical" grief. I say "typical" only in that there are guidelines to each stage. Everyone grieves differently: going through the grief stages in an up and down path, and healing takes various periods of time.
Some feelings may drift into trauma or a deep depression, which requires professional help.You may need to talk to a professional. If you're not sure if your feelings are part of the stages of grief, please find a counselor. You do not have to endure the loss by yourself.
- Coping with Loss: Guide to Grieving and Bereavement
Learn about coping with loss, grieving, and bereavement. Addresses the stages of grief, the length of the grieving process, and other questions concerning grief and loss.
- Elisabeth KÃ¼bler-Ross Biography | Grief.com ~ David Kessler
“When we have done all the work we were sent to Earth to do, we are allowed to shed our body, which imprisons our soul like a cocoon encloses the future butterfly. And when the time is right, we can let go of it and we will be free of pain, free of f
- Dying, Loss and Grief -Elisabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler
David Kessler & Elisabeth KÃ¼bler-Ross share information and resources on grief and loss and end of life issues.
This Mother's Day Lens Was Featured On Squidoo Lens Reviews
Honored to be chosen by Squidoo Lens Review
Squidoo Lens Reviews featured my lens on May 7, 2010. I'm honored that my lens was chosen! Thank you, Kim!
Books on Grief & Recovery - When the Pain Remains Sharp - Get Help in Grieving
Mother's Day can be painful if you are still grieving. If you need help, these books can show you how to heal and thrive after your loss. Mothers and daughters have a unique relationship, and literature can make you aware of how the loss of this special relationship may affect you.
I found great information and comfort from these books. I submerged myself in Motherless Daughters and Gifts from the Sea. I hope you find comfort in one of these books.
Kids' Books on Grief & Recovery - Help Kids Deal with Grandma's Death
Remember kids need help grieving too. When Mother's Day looms, kids may not know how to deal with their feelings about missing grandma. Here are some books to help.
I keep my son's connection with the grandma he never knew by telling family stories, showing photographs and remembering her in our daily life. These books can help kids that miss a grandma they knew.
How Parenting is Shaped by Your Loss
Like some women, I lost my mom before I became a mom. My grief revisited in full force after my son's birth. When I needed advice about my newborn, I longed to talk to my mom. I was grateful when friends offered their support and advice.
I adored my son and watched him with fierce love and amazement. I wanted to ask my mom if her grandson and I shared similar light up the world smiles, sleeping through the night, walking late, loving books and drawing. I could only recall a few stories my mom told me about myself as an infant - "You were a happy baby - always smiling."
I had so many unanswerable questions. Had she breastfed me or were bottles "in" when she was a new mother? Had she cried about her lack of mothering skills trying to soothe my colic? What would she have told me about preventing her Houdini-like grandson from escaping his high chair? I mourned not having her in my new adventures.
As my parenting skills grew, I told my son nuggets about his grandma --- "She was a wonderful artist. You have her creativity." --- or of traditions that now held special meaning. The circle of love wrapped around the three of us ... before I even realized the memories held us together.
Whenever I think of my mom, I wonder what life would be like if she was alive now. Would she spoil my son with the latest Spiderman video game? Would she teach him about career skills in art or business - or both? Would the woman who doted on me, and hated aging, enjoy being a grandma? The pain of losing her softens when I am able to share her spirit with my son.
Motherless Mothers shows how our parenting is shaped by the loss of our mothers. Author Hope Edelson is an incredible writer. She presents her research in helpful and caring prose. I highly recommend her work.
Mother's Day, Mother
Art Print, Buy at AllPosters.com
A Story From My Mom's Service
Arranging my mom's funeral was difficult. Not difficult in the actual planning because she had a will and made her wishes known before she had died. But we were in shock and trying to find all the other things that become vitally important at a funeral: items for the funeral home, like my mother's picture, clothes, makeup, and trinkets to leave in the coffin; getting flowers; arranging family photos around the funeral home; meeting with the pastor, etc.
One thing I really wanted was a copy of a poem my mother had read to me about a month before she passed away. The poem was titled "Success". My mom wondered if she could say she had a successful life. I thought she could. I so loved the poem and even made a copy that I kept in my office.
Of course, under the emotional stress of the event, I couldn't find that copy. Not only couldn't I find the copy, I couldn't remember the title or author. I remembered it was about giving to others, how to judge a successful life, and that my mom and I had talked about it. I really wanted it read at her service.
With a heavy heart, I told the pastor that I couldn't find the poem. The family would be happy with whatever he found fitting to say at my mom's service.
It was hard to stay focused, during the service. I can't even remember everything running through my head as I sat in the front row with my sister, husband, best friends, and other family. The whole event felt surreal. The pastor's speech was comforting, and I tried to hold my emotions as best as I could.
Halfway through the service, I heard the pastor say that we can judge if a person has led a successful life if ....
Yes, it was the poem "Success" that I hadn't been able to find for her service.
As the pastor read the passages, I couldn't hold my tears. I wept in amazement. Angels, my mom, God - it all came together in a way more meaningful than if I had found the poem and gave it to the pastor.
I do believe my mom's life was a success.
I keep the poem handy, so here it is for you. Remember your mom is with you, but the connection is in a different way than you've been used to. Find comfort in knowing you can still reach her.
To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Image by Jennifer Akers
2012, All Rights Reserved
Tell us about your mom and how special she was - Was she a gourmet cook? Did she love hiking? Here's a chance to share.
Are You Proud of Me, Mom?
I've often thought this question over the years. In this lens, I mention I feel my Mom is proud of me, particularly in writing this lens for her and to help others missing their moms.
I found another lensmaster who lost her mom far too early and then worked her life to patch the missing parts of life. She wrote a touching lens and tribute with songs that may uplift you too. Please be sure to visit: