If you’re mourning the loss of your mom, or if your mom is fighting a devastating illness, or if personal heartbreak clouds your celebration of this special day, can you still experience joy wherever you are? I have a few suggestions for you to consider. I know this subject can be very difficult, and my intention is to open your mind to a few things you may not have considered. I’m also going to share a personal confession with you, so please keep reading.
Experiencing joy in the face of your circumstance may require special effort on your part, but I think a positive outcome is often possible. You begin with your thoughts.
No matter where you are or what you’ve been through, you always have reasons to be thankful. Start here. When you’re able to open your heart to gratitude, everything around you (and often within you) takes on a different attitude.
Regardless of your situation or reason, if you’re not able to honor your mom on Mother’s Day, think about another person (or people) you can celebrate. Maybe this person is your daughter, an aunt, a good friend, a grandchild. Perhaps you’ll just spend some time on Mother’s Day with someone you love, regardless of whether you’re actually celebrating their special day. The day itself is an opportunity to be with someone you care about and do something you enjoy. What you do can be low key—it doesn’t have to be a big ‘to do.’
If you happen to be in the midst of a personal circumstance where you simply cannot muster the energy or mindset to celebrate the day, give yourself some grace! Here’s my confession. Mother’s Day falls about two weeks after my husband died—and the year that he died, a good friend invited me to go with her family, including her in-laws whom I liked very much, for a Mother’s Day brunch. Normally, I would have accepted immediately. I was very grateful for her thoughtful invitation, but that year, being with other people so soon (even for a wonderful occasion) was more than I could handle. I just couldn’t! So if this is where you are this year—gracefully decline, do something more quiet, be kind to yourself, and don’t feel guilty about it!
I do urge you to avoid isolation, even though being alone may seem easier. Just be selective about your companion(s) and choose someone you genuinely enjoy being around. Don’t forget about gratitude. And be sure to do something that nurtures your soul.
I hope you’ll find at least one reason to be joyful, regardless of where you are or what you’re going through. Prove to yourself that joy and grief can live together …
© 2013 Judy Brizendine
Photo © fotofrenze