My mom passed away when I was 15 years old.
Growing up, she was not only a faithful caretaker to my sister and I but a trusted friend. Even when she grew sick, she found ways to show up for us. She taught me, through her words and by her example, of the beauty in leaning on God and taking courage in the most difficult times.
Mother’s Day weekend is one of the hardest of the year for me. It’s the weekend where I sprint from Facebook and Instagram because scrolling through photographs of daughters standing aside their mothers feels like too much to bear. I get through one sentence of a gushy caption before closing the app and wondering why I clicked in the first place.
It’s the weekend where I look through my emails, and it feels like I’m trudging through mud. Companies implore me to buy a gift on behalf of this occasion. I can’t seem to avoid their advertisements, which unsettles me.
Trips to the store lose their sense of casualness as the lavender Mother’s Day posters and signs face me at the door. I can’t look away without grieving.
Needless to say, this weekend, this season, is not easy. Yet, as the years go by, I’m learning that this season cannot be avoided. As much I try to shield myself from the triggers, every year I stumble upon them like clockwork. So, I’ve had to find another way to overcome the challenge.
Here’s what I’ve learned: Mother’s Day can be a day to reflect quietly on my mom’s courage to persevere through severe disease and smile over the way she cooked perfectly cheesy quesadillas in the midst of it. It’s a day to think of the ways she prayed with me by my bedside as a child and taught me about the love of God through her faithfulness.
Mother’s Day can be a day of thick remembrance. It’s a time to cry and laugh as memories rise to the surface. It’s a communal moment which shouts: our mothers matter to us.
Mother’s Day can be a day of thick remembrance. It’s a time to cry and laugh as memories rise to the surface.
Grieving daughter, your mother matters too.
The passage of time does not diminish this. Rather, each year, her significance is amplified as you remember the way she mothered.
Today, I remember the lessons, marked with love, that my mom passed on to me. And I pass them on still. While I lament with tears, I’ll celebrate, with joy, the way she parented and the way she lived. I am not motherless. I am a grieving daughter who misses her mom’s hugs.
Friend, you can stay off Facebook and Snapchat today if that’s what you need or enter the feed slowly, posturing your heart to receive the day as it is—messy, painful and beautiful.
I am not motherless. I am a grieving daughter who misses her mom’s hugs.
Do celebrate the special moments experienced with your mom. Invite a friend or family member to reflect with you. Let them laugh, cry and pray with you.
Let today be a day of remembrance.
Have you or someone close to you lost a mother or mother figure? How can you honor her memory this Mother’s Day?
Image via Raisa Zwart Photography