How to live through Mother’s Day when Mom is gone

It’s that time of year when we celebrate those who have brought us into this world, who have loved us and sometimes messed us up for the good.

I have mixed emotions about this day.

When you have small kids it’s a great day of them saying, “I love you, Mommy!”  and bringing you all kinds of homemade cards, crafts and crazy things you don’t know what you’re going to do with but you love it, post it up and hug those kids tight because… that is a beautiful season.

There are other times when Mother’s Day brings about sadness and thoughts of those we’ve lost.

It’s difficult, hard and emotions are real.

Ever since my mom died 13 years ago, Mother’s Day has a completely different side to it.  It’s a day I’d sometimes like to push away and not celebrate.  It’s those sappy video’s sharing a mother’s love and all that is wonderful and good. (And it is all good and wonderful.  I love my kids and all that they are.  I am blessed and I know that full well!) Yet at the same time an ache inside the heart says… mom’s not here.  I want to push it away… off to another time and not deal with any of it.


It’s the feeling of…

… I wish I would have said…

… I should have done this…

… I wanted more time…

… I wish she were here…

There are times I can imagine my mama’s voice saying,

Rachel… you can do this!!

It’s not easy but you can do it!

  • Love what is right in front of you.
  • Take in the season you’re living right now.
  • Learn… grow…. hold onto the good.

Because that’s what mama did. 

Mom lost her mama when she was a young mama herself. And there were times I found her with tears dropping into the dishwater and she’d simply whisper,“I miss my mom!”  As a young girl, I never quite got it.  I was sad for mom but didn’t quite grasp the enormity of what that all meant because as kids we don’t and that’s okay.

So now when this holiday and celebration of Moms comes around it is bittersweet and by the end of the weekend I am emotionally exhausted.

Yet I’ve learned to do some things that help me get through and process all that the weekend holds.  It’s the idea of Remember and Do.


  • Remember what you love about her
  • Cry, share and be okay with being sad
  • Write a letter, chat away like she’s right there with you.  Talk about what you’re up to and what you miss.  (It’s therapeutic. I won’t think you’re crazy… others might… but I won’t!)

And then Do – Do something to honor, remember and love.

  • Plant a tree, flowers or a potted plant and watch that life grow.
  • Buy something you would love. (One year I bought a bird bath because Mom loved to watch the birds.  It still brings me joy when I see it in my yard.)
  • Do something she would do… bake cookies for a neighbor…. write a note to a friend… sit on the porch, read the paper and fall asleep with your head back and mouth wide open.  That’s what Mama would do.
  • Give to another– Mothers have a way of giving in small areas where others don’t see.  Do something today for someone else


Remember, do… and then keep on living.  It’s what she’d want you to do.

  • Love what’s in front of you.
  • Take in the season you’re living right now.
  • Learn, grow and hold onto the good.

Your mama loves you and she’d want that for you.

To all my friends who are remembering someone they love these weekend… my heart is with you.  May you find comfort, peace and strength from Him and those around you.

You are loved and you are remembered!



6 thoughts on “How to live through Mother’s Day when Mom is gone

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