5 Ways to Acknowledge Mother’s Day After the Death of a Child
After the death of a child, Mother’s Day can be an especially emotional day—particularly the first Mother’s Day post-loss. As a bereaved mother, you’re entitled to any feelings that you may feel as the day approaches. However, engaging in healthy coping mechanisms while you mourn could help bring some peace and positivity.
1. Reach Out to Others
You may experience a range of emotions on Mother’s Day, from numbness to anger, according to the British Psychological Society. Acknowledge your emotions as being valid and a part of the healing process, while attempting to mitigate any problematic behaviors that come from feeling these emotions. Look into an emotional support group in your area for other bereaved mothers. It’s likely they have an activity or meeting on Mother’s Day to help the group cope with their shared losses.
2. Remember to Celebrate
You’re allowed to celebrate Mother’s Day as much as you’re allowed to grieve on this day. To brighten your day, arrange Mother’s Day flowers from FTD.com to be delivered to your own mom, who may also be dealing with feelings of grief for you. Plan a picnic with your loved ones or consider treating yourself to a day at a spa to enjoy some pampering. Whether you choose to spend the day alone or surrounded by others, commemorate the day in a way that has meaning to you.
3. Get Creative
When’s the last time you picked up those knitting needles? It’s challenging to find time for hobbies and creative outlets, particularly when you’re going through a mourning period. Use Mother’s Day as a way to rekindle your love for creating, whether you break out your paint brushes, try a new recipe, tend to your dilapidated garden or write in your journal.
4. Surround Yourself with Loved Ones
Grief often manifests as an empty feeling, so mitigate that by bringing people around your house to celebrate with you. Encourage everyone to participate in a potluck Mother’s Day brunch if you’re not feeling up to preparing a full meal. Channel your attention the day before to creating a cheerful tablescape for your guests, so that the preparation the day-of won’t become overwhelming. Incorporate an activity into the day that honors the memory of your child while also celebrating motherhood for all those in attendance.
5. Help Other Children
If you lost your child during infancy and you’re still producing breast milk, consider donating your milk to help other children during their younger years. The Human Milk Banking Association of North America has a variety of locations and resources to help you donate your breast milk. Another way to help children is to volunteer for a Big Brothers Big Sisters program, where you can work as an exhibit guide at a science center, or talk to the local school about teacher-assistant positions in the classroom.
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