Losing a mother is a profound and challenging experience. Moving forward can be the most difficult thing you can ever do. There may be feelings of guilt associated with continuing life without her. I remember the day my mother passed. I was wrought with emotions. I had relatives all around me including cousins, nieces, and nephews, and my husband was there. But when my mother breathed her last breath, I was alone. I have never experienced loneliness like that, and truth be told my mother and I were not particularly close. I am a daddy’s girl. My sisters were always closer to my mother, but something about the thought of her not being there changed the moment she took that breath. Everyone’s grieving process is different and unique, but there is one certainty and it is this. When you have to say that final goodbye to the one who gave birth to you, things won’t ever be the same.
Some coping skills specific to mom loss are listed below. I hope they help you in the moving forward process. Follow my blog for general tips and coping strategies for grief.
1. Seek support. Do not hesitate to lean on friends, family, or support groups at this time. Talking to others who have also lost a mother can be comforting and help you feel less alone.
I lost my grandmother and my mother days apart. I did memory boards for each of them. This was extremely therapeutic and helped the healing process to begin. I remembered the memories I shared with each of them. One memory was that my grandmother used to talk about saving a dime out of every dollar. She still had ten dimes from her last paycheck. She would take them out and show them to us whenever one of us talked about spending money on something she thought was frivolous. They were old and dirty and wrapped in an old handkerchief. I was able to use those dimes on her memory board. Those of us who knew about the dimes found it amusing and it helped ease the tension of conversation during the services.
3. Seek professional help. If you are struggling with overwhelming emotions or having difficulty coping with daily life. Consider talking with a therapist who specializes in grief.
4. Remember the good times you shared with your mother and the valuable lessons she taught you. Celebrate her life and the impact she had on you.
My mother used to sew. She was amazing! Sewing, crocheting, and knitting. These became her side hustles. I remember watching her on many occasions. She would spread large brown sheets of paper on the dining room table and draw her own pattern. She would cut them out the same as she would a Butterick pattern. Within hours or days, depending on what else she had going on, she would have a dress, a suit, a ballgown, or a prom dress. She was a wiz.
5. Understand that life will be different without your mother, and it is okay to adapt to a new normal. Allow yourself to grow and find meaning in the midst of loss.
I can still hear her voice sometimes reminding me to complete a chore I have left undone or assuring me that I am making a good choice when shopping. I still talk to her and ask myself when I am not sure, what she would tell me if she were here. It has been a long road but I know that there is no right or wrong way to grieve. I will encourage you to take the time you need and not hesitate to seek help if you find it challenging to cope on your own.
I wish I could tell you that I knew some deep secret to the art of grieving, that there was some mystical way of waking one day and being completely over your loss. The secret is, there is no secret. Loss can come in many forms and can strike at any time. While we will all face the agony of loss at some point(s) in life, the fact is that it can be the hardest thing we will ever deal with. My name is Jacinta Wills. I became a Grief Specialist because I understand the need to deal with the difficult emotions of loss. I lost a job that I loved doing in 2010. In 2013 my mother was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. In 2015 my grandmother passed away. 4 days later we lost my mom. In 2017 I separated from my husband of 30 years. I am sharing my personal journey with grief so that you understand that when I tell you I know what grief looks like and have experienced so many aspects of what grief is that I do not take it lightly. The single most important thing you need to realize in this moment of your grief journey is this. However difficult it is, you are in the process of healing, right now. In my group, we will tackle some tough topics. You will be able to share experiences about your loss, receive and give support to others who are grieving, and work through some of the emotions that cause you distress. We will have conversations that are sometimes structured and sometimes free-flowing. You will be encouraged to feel your anger, shame, guilt, love, despair, and hopefully some humor along the way.