It is a gorgeous, bright sunshiny day today. It is also Mother’s Day here in North America. Indeed, it’s a day of celebration for some of the most special individuals in the world; after all, none of us would be here without our moms. Thus, it seems fitting that the sun is shining on this celebratory day, except that for many people out there, days like today can also be some of the saddest, some of the bluest.
For every phone call, visit, card, or bouquet of flowers shared, there are likely an equal number of tears shed by those individuals who have lost that special someone in their lives or perhaps special someone’s. The fact that others are inevitably drawing attention to such an occasion, doesn’t help matters for those who are NOT celebrating. It makes for a difficult balance when sending out wishes. What might be construed as heartfelt words to some may well be heartbreaking for others. You want those who are still here to reap the benefits of such a special day and to recognize them, but for those whose loved ones aren’t here anymore, the pain of missing them can be indescribable and the plethora of messages out there only add to it.
I am not a mom unless being a cat mom counts, which some believes does qualify as such. But, I am an Aunt, a sister/sister-in-law, a friend, a daughter/daughter-in-law and most of all, I am a fellow human being who has compassion for those who are hurting on a day like today especially. There are no words or thoughts that can really comfort another experiencing such loss and grief, and sometimes, I fear that my reaching out to those folks only worsen things. So, what does one say or do? Likewise for individuals whose hurt stems from broken or toxic relationships, or even non-relationships, that cannot and will not be celebrated in any way, shape or form. What can be said or done?
I guess all that I can offer up are the following few words and sentiments. First of all, honour yourself and what you are feeling—whatever mixture of emotions that may be. You have the right to feel what you are feeling no matter what anyone else thinks, which brings me to the next point. No one else in this world has walked in your shoes, only you know you best and what you do or don’t need. Thirdly, for those loved ones that you are missing, see if you can find a way or build in a new tradition that will help you to feel close to them: Bake up a batch of their favourite cookies, flip through old photo albums, plant a flower, tree or bush in their honour, visit their resting place if you are comfortable, write them a letter, etc. Whatever helps you to remember them in the special way that they deserve to be remembered. Fourthly, celebrate YOU and your journey to this point in time. You are where you are in your life for a reason, perhaps thanks (or no thanks) in part to those whom you are thinking about. Last, but not least… do something for someone else, even the littlest of gestures count: A quick text, send an old-fashioned card in the mail, make a call, drop off a treat, pay a compliment, and so on. For me personally, the latter really helps to keep me grounded and connected with others, even if/when I’m feeling disconnected.
Days like to day are also great days to count your blessings, though that may seem hard to do. You are still here after all, and in a pandemic time like now, that in and of itself is blessing enough. Also, don’t be afraid to reach out to others who are likely thinking of you in return. Ask for help, get them to listen, share a story, have them distract you for awhile or reminisce about old times or tell a corny joke. On the other hand, maybe all that you wish is for everyone to leave you alone for awhile. Quiet time for our minds, bodies and spirits is not given nearly enough praise in this world. Getting out in nature is also very soothing because it can help to keep you in the moment rather than the past or the future. Focus on the slight breeze glazing your face, listen to the sound of the birds chirping or the sound of your feet carrying you, look carefully at the pops of spring-like green in the trees and grass, etc. There IS light out there even in times of darkness when the tiniest pinhole of hope may be difficult to see. If nothing else, just the knowledge of it can be of comfort. Thinking of you all. 💕