Remembrance days are bittersweet. If you are a mum and happy with all that role involves, perhaps you love that you get spoilt for that day or at least those first few hours on Sunday morning. However, if you have lost your mum it can be a tricky or even an incredibly tough day to get through.
Constant reminders can be a trigger of your loss. People can sometimes not understand what it is like to be without that special person in your life. That can, in turn, make you feel more alone and misunderstood.
So what to do when the day is looming:
- If you know it can be tough for you, plan something that will be manageable for you to do on the day. For some, it is helpful to help others by perhaps joining the throng of those walking to support breast cancer research. Helping others can help us get out of our own way at times. For others, being around other mums or with people at all would be too hard. Honour yourself and your loss. Tune in and work out how best to spend the day and try and plan ahead.
- Accept where you are at. Our inner critic does the old, you should be getting over this by now. The worst thing you can do is get angry and judgy about being angry or sad about your loss. Try and let yourself feel however you are feeling on the preceding days and on the day itself. After all although they may be hard to bear, most feelings pass within 10 – 30 minutes especially if you allow yourself to fully feel them in your body and your mind.
Realise there are so many different ways we all respond to loss. Some people feel bitter, sad, angry or just want to avoid the whole thing. Wherever you are on the path just cut yourself some slack and don’t add more suffering to an already tough day.
- Remember the four steps that help you deal with painful feelings. Recognise them, allow them, investigate them (why am I feeling this?) and then nurture them.
This is the hardest part I think understanding how to nurture yourself. What does good self-care look like for you? Here are just some suggestions:
having a good cry – it releases positive endorphins
writing a list of things you are grateful for about your mum
reaching out to others you feel safe with for comfort and connection
buying a good book, watching a funny movie or doing something really enjoyable and distracting for you on the day
have a conversation with your mum in your head or out loud when no-one can hear you if it helps..what would she say?
give yourself permission to not have a great day and to miss her and feel lonely if that’s the way it goes.
Mum’s are so important, no matter what age we are ~ we all need them. So it is a really hard person to lose and for some, it takes a long long time to come to grips with their mum’s passing.