Death, Grief, Grief stories, In honor of my mother, Love, Mother's Day, Motherless Daughter, Mothers and Daughters, Without my mother

Mother’s Day Without My Mother

A spiritual healer once gave me this advice: “Close your eyes and visualize yourself as a young child when you were feeling anxious.You didn’t even realize you were scared. Now hold that child close to you and whisper to her that she will be okay. Tell her that she is not alone. Hold her. Let her rest against you. Visualize it. She’ll hear you.”

I performed the visualization. I hope it helped little me. It helps me now just to imagine that I am holding my five year old self tight, hugging me close, running my fingers through my soft, clean hair.

Love is really the only thing that counts, isn’t it? We all crave it. Everybody wants to be loved. And if we are fortunate enough to have love in our lives, we do everything we can to hold on to it. When somebody we love loves us back, wants to hold us, hear what we have to say and spend time with us, it is a gift like no other. When we lose that somebody, the grief we experience feels unbearable.

But grief is love that is stored inside of us with no place to go. We grieve because we have loved. And to love is a beautiful thing.

This past week I read a very sad story. I read that a beautiful family has been ripped apart suddenly and tragically, a young nursing mother left to raise her newborn baby in the wake of losing her four year old daughter. The young woman’s husband sustained serious brain injuries and is fighting for his life. This story choked me up. There is so much sadness and tragedy in our world. I find it hard to take sometimes. I’m a highly sensitive person which according to Susan Cain, author of ‘Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking‘ means that I ‘feel exceptionally strong emotions-sometimes acute bouts of joy, but also sorrow, melancholy, and fear.’ I also believe that I have a deeper empathy and compassion for those suffering as a result of the years I spent watching my mother battle cancer. I know what it feels like to be afraid of losing someone you love, to feel helpless as you watch them suffer, to lose that person and never see them again. It’s a pain so cutting and deep that it can take your breath away.

This Sunday, March 26, is Mother’s Day in Ireland where I grew up. It is Mother’s Day in the UK and in other parts of the world. I’ve already planned an escape for our USA Mother’s Day in May. Everyone will celebrate their mothers, as they should, but it’s really, really hard for those of us who have lost ours. We are forced to remember exactly what we live without.

I’m reading a book called ‘The Happiness Project‘ at the moment. It’s a great book by Gretchen Rubin about finding happiness in everyday places and things. I’m generally a happy person. I’m full of gratitude for many aspects of my life but I wanted to see what I could learn from this happiness project of hers. Only a few pages in the author needs advice so she calls her mother for a ‘pep talk.’ Then she casually mentions that throughout her life her mother made her feel ‘that nothing was insurmountable.’ There it is! That jolt of awareness! That sadness in my chest because I didn’t have that. There were no phone calls to my mother for pep talks. She wasn’t there after my eleventh year.

Mother’s Day during my school years were the worst. Teachers encouraged us all to create cards or dedicate art projects to our mothers. None of my teachers ever addressed the fact that I no longer had a mother. I felt awkward, different, sad, bewildered. I probably doodled on a page or drew a picture for Dad. I don’t remember exactly what I did, but I remember the pain in my heart on those occasions and just feeling so left out.

This coming Mother’s Day I want to visualize eleven year old me. I want to hold her close and whisper that she is loved and that she will be okay. I got this. I am strong. My mother is with me always. I am part of her and she is part of me. Blessed to still have my dad, I carry his love with me everyday, and I carry the strength of my ancestors who have gone before us.

I know that there are people around the world suffering great sadness and injustices as I write. Their pain is my pain. Their joy is my joy. For those people fortunate enough to still have their mothers and to be mothers, I wish them all a day filled with love and happiness. And for those of us who have loved and lost, I hear you and I see you. We understand each other’s sorrow. Let’s lift each other up in whatever ways we can. Let’s honor the mothers in all of us, every day. The world needs more mothering and more love.

Much love,

Carmel X

Like or follow my public Facebook page here where I frequently post articles, quotes & information about mother loss, grief and the writing process.

We rise by lifting others


12 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Without My Mother

  1. Lauren says:

    Beautiful and meaningful words. Thank you for sharing for us and adding more light and love for all of us and for our world. This coming Monday will be a year without my mother. My first year without her. I could have never have imagined the void without her before she passed away. I do my best to honor her and me by embracing life and living with an open heart and compassion for all. Some days are better than others and some moments are very tough but I accept it all and continue to love because choosing love is the only solution for me that feels right. Thank you for helping all of us. I’d like to think we are all sisters in this community of motherless daughters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Lauren, for your beautiful comment and words. You are truly honoring your mother in how you embrace life. Love will see us through. And it is true, we are all sisters feeling the pain and loss of mother loss, but here to lift each other up when we can. Sending love and hugs.


  2. Diana Hauser says:

    Those of us who have been fortunate enough to have a loving bond with our mothers who have passed should live each day embracing the blessing of experiencing such Enormous love! Unfortunately not every daughter has had this gift of love !!! Embrace and remember all the beautiful memories you shared! And one day you will rehash and reminisce with your mom ! We will all meet again ! Happy Mother’s Day !!! Celebrate her and smile!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yvette Young says:

    Thanks Lauren for the beautiful article.
    I lost my birth mother when I was just 17 months, so, as hard as I have tried, I just don’t have any memories of her!
    To add to my trauma, my birth mother was expecting, my sibling, who died in utero. My birth mother died following placenta prevea, in a small country hospital, on December 27. There was no Dr on duty!
    My father, being young and devastated just took off, leaving me to be cared for by my great Aunt and Uncle. They adopted me and did a good job of raising me, however, I have a massive void!
    Being a mother myself, having raised two beautiful children (girl and boy),of my own and co-parented two step-daughters, has often meant I have no experience to draw from. My adoptive parents both passed when my babes were under school age.
    The best part of this sad story is I know my birth mother is always with me. She was Yvonne and named me Yvette, so I have that bond forever!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Yvette, This is Carmel, the author of the article and the blog page A LOVELY WOMAN. Thank you for your comment. I am so sorry to hear of your enormous losses! You have been through so much. I am so glad to hear that you had a caring great aunt and uncle, and that you are blessed with your own children now. Your mother is always with you, it is true. Big hugs X


  4. Sandy Brown says:

    Those daughters who have lost mothers, but who are not yet mothers themselves, should find a lady in the community who perhaps lost a daughter, and share Mother’s Day together. The 2 can have lunch together, enjoy each other’s company and become good friends.πŸ™‚πŸŒΉ

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is such a nice idea, Sandy. It might be helpful to some. However, nobody can take the place of the mother we loved and lost. On Mother’s Day many motherless daughters around the world are weeping for the loss of the woman they loved, who loved them more than anything, but will never see again. It’s an ache that nothing can fix. Thank you for your comment. Take care! X


  5. Pingback: 12 Ideas for Motherless Daughters on Mother’s Day | Alovelywoman

  6. Pingback: Compassion Blooms | Alovelywoman

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