Celebrating Mother’s Day when your mom has passed away

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NEW YORK — Losing a loved one is never easy. Whether the loss is recent or not, many people find the void created by a loved one’s passing never leaves them.

Celebrating holidays or milestones can magnify feelings of loss, and such feelings may surface on Mother’s Day among people whose mothers are deceased.

People approach Mother’s Day in unique ways when their mother has been laid to rest. Such an experience is extremely personal, and there’s really no right or wrong way to mark the occasion.

But it can be challenging scrolling through other’s social media posts about happy brunches and thoughtful gifts.

Some, particularly those for whom the wounds may be especially fresh, may opt to avoid the celebration or go through the motions for the benefit of children or spouses. Others may embrace the bonds they had with their mothers by reflecting on their memories.

Those opting to stay connected to their mothers this year can recognize that, although Mom may be gone, they are not motherless.

While Mother’s Day may be painful for people who have lost their mothers, the following are five ways to make the most of Mother’s Day.

1. What would make her happy? Take a heartfelt moment to really think about what made Mom tick and brought joy to her life. Was it poring over recipes in the kitchen? Did mom like to trek to the top of a mountain in her hiking shoes?

Pay homage to her by walking in her footsteps and you may just feel a deeper connection.

2. Get together with siblings. If you are lucky enough to have siblings, you can share the day together. This way you can remember the happy times, comfort each other and laugh together.

If you don’t have siblings, consider a visit with an aunt or uncle or another close relative who may be feeling the loss, too.

3. Relay fond stories to others. Celebrate Mother’s Day by doing things to ensure Mom’s spirit and personality live on. Bring up fond stories of Mom with your spouse, friends or your own children.

Help blur out the sadness of the loss by focusing on happy memories, such as those depicted in family photos.

4. Put mom front and center. Take out a beautiful photograph of your mother and display it in a prime location in the house. This way you may feel like she is sharing the day with you, and you can think about her fondly each time you see the photo.

5. Enjoy your favorite childhood meal. Whether Mom was a master chef or couldn’t boil water, there’s bound to be a meal you associate with her. If that special meal is Chinese takeout or a slow-cooked roast, enjoy it on Mother’s Day in her honor.

Coping with loss on Mother’s Day is seldom easy. With time and by focusing on the positive, people who have lost their mothers can enjoy Mother’s Day.

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