Whether you are grieving the loss of your child this Mother’s Day, or you are grieving the loss of your mother this Mother’s Day – my heart is with you. Grieving is hard. Really hard. And a special day to celebrate mothers, either as a daughter/son without a mother or as a mother without a daughter/son, is especially difficult. You probably have a million thoughts running through your head…
“I don’t know what to feel today. I feel so lucky to have my own kids to celebrate with this Mother’s Day, but I am feeling lost on how to ‘celebrate’ mothers when my own mother is dead.”
“My friends don’t even know that I am grieving today. I think they assume that because my daughter died before she was born, that I can’t possibly still be grieving her. But, I am. I’m grieving the things I will never get to experience with my daughter. I’m grieving the relationship I didn’t get to have with her.”
“I hate Mother’s Day because I hate watching my children grieve their mother today. They see their friends post photos with their mothers with long captions and I know they are wishing and longing for the ability to do the same.”
…and I know that there is nothing I can say to ease the pain you are feeling this Mother’s Day, but I want to give you permission to remember your mother or your child that you have lost and have a good cry today. Yes, I am giving you permission to cry however you need to today. At home, with a friend, alone, while watching a sad movie, at your loved one’s grave, or anywhere else you need to let things out.
Cry as long as you want to.
Sometimes we all need a good cry. This is especially true when we are grieving. Crying is a great way to release the emotions that we are holding inside of us… whether that be anger, sadness, happiness, regret, or a mix of them all. Take your time this Mother’s Day and really give yourself a chance to get everything out, even if you have to set aside a block of time or plan it into your schedule.
Cry wherever you want to.
My favorite place to have a good, long cry is in the shower. There’s something really comforting to me about letting the water run and wash away everything that is making me feel sad or angry. So, I am giving you permission to cry wherever you need to – the shower, your bed, into a loved one’s shoulder, or wherever else you feel comfortable crying.
Cry with whoever you want to.
If you need to close your bedroom door and be alone for your cry – do it! If you want to feel comforted by your family or by a close friend while you cry – do it! There is no right or wrong way to cry, so do whatever feels right.
Cry doing whatever you want to.
Are there things of your person’s that you still need to go through (photos, clothing, etc.)? Maybe you want to make a trip to the grave today. Or, maybe you want to stay inside and cook one of their favorite dishes today. Or you can cry without doing anything. You have permission this Mother’s Day to just cry.
…and then ground yourself.
One of the most important parts of having a good cry is grounding yourself at the end. Take a moment to feel how it feels to have released your emotions in a healthy way. Does your body feel lighter? Do you feel better, now?
We have a tendency as a culture to reject the idea of crying. “She’s tough.” “Please, don’t cry, it’ll be okay.” In reality, crying is a really important part of letting out emotions, especially when you’re grieving. So, to all of you strong, warrior grievers out there missing their mothers or children – I’m giving you permission to let out a good cry this Mother’s Day. Your mind and body will thank you later.
Kailey Grubb, LLMSW
Program Coordinator, Henry Ford SandCastles