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Grief and
Mother's Day

Mother's Day is seen as a chance to celebrate, to honour, express appreciation, and love towards mothers. The day traditionally has allowed us to acknowledge the incredible contribution of mothers, and the role of mothering in our society. It encourages people to celebrate their own mothers, grandmothers, mother figures. It is a day for many where they acknowledge and treasure being a mother themselves.

We can often forget those who are grieving on Mother’s Day. It can be a lonely, and emotionally charged time, that triggers many different emotions. Mother's Day can magnify the painful feelings that come with grief and loss.

This is true for many of those who are grieving the loss of their mother, mother figure, grandmother, partner.


For bereaved mothers and families, Mother’s Day can be extremely painful. Often forgotten are those who have had a child die, experienced the death of a baby or infant, pregnancy loss and those faced with infertility. Other mothers are grieving having been separated from their child or children.

Often we don’t acknowledge the complicated relationships that exist between mothers and children. It can be even more complicated and painful if you had a difficult relationship before they died. If our relationship with our mother was not society’s ideal of a close and loving one it can be really confusing and confronting. It’s a different type of heartbreak. Click here to learn more from Cruse UK.

Navigating Mother’s Day when grieving, can be, to put it mildly challenging, especially when you are also part of celebrating and acknowledging other mothers within your family or friendship group, or allowing your own children to show their love for you.

Grief during anniversaries, special holidays or days of celebration like Mother’s Day, may require navigating ongoing feelings, reconciling unresolved aspects of relationships, and finding ways to deal with new realities while embracing the continuing bonds with those that you miss and grieve.

Your response to loss is unique to you and there is no right or wrong ways to behave or feel. The intensity of the grief, the pain of grief and how individuals express their grief has no set pattern. Someone who has experienced a loss can feel like they are on a rollercoaster of emotions, thoughts, physical impacts. It can affect so many different parts of their life.

Below are tips for coping with grief on Mother’s Day from those who have navigated Grief and Mother’s Day.

Tips for Coping with Grief

on Mother's Day


Be gentle with yourself, trying not to expect too much of yourself or those around you makes good sense, but often needs planning.


Do something special in memory of your mother or child that has died.

Some examples are:

  • Light a special candle in memory

  • For some make a toast to your Mum, share anecdotes. Don’t be afraid to laugh as you remember some of the good times.

  • Play a special song or music.

  • Write a letter or a card, post on Social Media. Don’t be concerned if you want to talk out loud to it.

  • Some bereaved parents have found sharing photos, stories, writing memories, poetry help with the honouring and remembering.

  • Some people like to sit in a special place or location to remember.

  • Let your friends and family know that you may need to take things slow.

  • Hold a small ritual

  • Share the memories with someone else, the photos and the stories. Embrace the laughter and the tears.

  • Talk to someone share your loss and memories

  • Explore ways that other children can be part of the wider rituals and celebrations. Often there is so much anxiety from other children around wanting to be valued by their parents and particularly feeling that they can bring some joy or comfort. Let them give to you!

  • Ensure some quiet time so if you want to you can simply sit with your memories and your grief.

  • Put your feelings into words. Letter writing is a really useful way to deal with grief. Writing a card to someone who has died is a great way to organise your thoughts and make sense of your feelings.

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