Tomorrow it will be May, the month of Mother’s Day.
An internet search tells me that Mother’s Day is celebrated on the second Sunday in May in 70 countries around the world, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Ethiopia, India, Japan, and here in the USA. In still more countries, Mother’s Day is celebrated on a different date or in a slightly different way, like Korea’s Parents Day. It seems that honoring moms is pretty universal.
Yet there are those who miss someone on a holiday like Mother’s Day.
Missing someone doesn’t mean the holiday isn’t valued. Even when the day feels sad, those who miss someone this Mother’s Day are likely to encourage you to honor a mom or a mom-figure in your midst, celebrating the contribution that mothers make to our lives, our communities, our world.
In fact, celebrating those who are still with us can feel even more essential after losing someone. All too aware of how brief our time together can be, we want to take advantage of the precious opportunity to reach out to those we love while we can.
However, those who miss someone also appreciate being remembered.
There are various holidays that might be special to those who are missing someone — Mother’s or Father’s Day, Veteran’s Day, Christmas, a birthday, an anniversary, or the date of a death. Consider whether there is is a particular sentimental day each year that you value and whether there is someone you might like to remember on that day, each year.
I have a couple of people in my life who each remember me on a certain day every year, when I receive one note saying I am being remembered, and that has been a great encouragement in my life.
On Mother’s Day this year, that might mean remembering…
- Those whose MOMS are missing from their lives, due to death or life circumstance.
- Those who had a special MOM-FIGURE who is now missing from their life, from a step-mom to a special auntie who took a motherly role. Sometimes this is on top of losing mom, too.
- Those who are MOMS or MOM-FIGURES with empty arms due to death of a child, whether from illness, accident, miscarriage, stillbirth, or any other trauma.
- Those who are MOMS or MOM-FIGURES with empty arms due to separation from a child, whether through adoption, divorce arrangements, imprisonment of the child or the mom, or the many other complicated stories that make up our lives.
Remembering those who miss someone is not a matter of spending loads of money or time. Something very understated can not only communicate that you care but also communicate that your gesture isn’t meant to take away the loss.
- What can I bring? Send a greeting card, a note, a photo, a flower, or a piece of chocolate. Nothing large is required at all. The tiniest gesture bridges the gap between feeling remembered and feeling forgotten.
- What can I say? Offer to simply come by for a visit or call, just to talk. Looking forward to your visit or call can make the hours pass more pleasantly and keep loneliness at bay on this meaningful day.
- What can I do? Discover an old tradition and keep it going. Or, start a new tradition. Visit an arboretum, ride a carousel, have a special brunch, visit lonely moms at a local nursing home.
Don’t Be Afraid To Bring Up A Loss
Really. Don’t be afraid.
I personally have never met someone who didn’t want their loss to be remembered. I’ve known a few who chose not to think about their illness or their job search or other difficulty but no one who didn’t think about the people they had lost. Even when their loved ones weren’t great at their roles of being a mom or a daughter…
- No one has forgotten their loss.
- One of the greatest fears when losing a loved one is that he will be forgotten, so remembering the person who is missing is honoring them and their loved ones.
- The longer you don’t talk about the loved one, the more awkward it will be to reintroduce him into conversation, so now is a great time to start.
Are There Cautions?
Yes, we can be cautious, but you’ll be less likely to put your foot in your mouth if you follow one strategy:
Do more listening than telling.
On certain special days, your someone probably wants it to be about them.
Blog #27, COMMENT BELOW: Have you been blessed by offering (or receiving) a special gesture on a holiday?