Being without your mom on Mother’s Day is super hard. It just is and I am so sorry for your loss. Many people are shopping for gifts and making plans to spend the day with their moms, but those who have a mother who has passed away can’t do that. For people who have children, they can still celebrate Mother’s Day with their own kids, but they still are missing a giant piece of the day, their mom. Regardless, I think it’s important to still celebrate the day. I’m sharing ways to honor your mom on Mother’s Day after she has passed away to help those who have lost their mom, like me.
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My mother died when I was sixteen, so I’ve endured many years of missing my mom on Mother’s Day. As a mom to three wonderful boys, I love Mother’s Day because I can spend it with them. However, I still wish my mom were here, even after more than twenty-five years of grieving the loss of her. I still want her to be alive so I could spend time with her on the special day that is Mother’s day. That feeling has not waned one bit over the years.
This post was inspired by an email I received from a woman who read my post A Letter to my Mother in Heaven. She asked me ideas for what her family members could do on their first Mother’s Day without their mom. My heart reached out to them and I so wished I could give them a hug. It’s so agonizing to lose a mom at any age, but it’s globally devastating to lose a mom as a child. I sent her an email back with some ideas and this jogged my memory for other things I’ve done after my mom’s death throughout the years, so I wrote this post to share my ideas with others who have suffered the loss of their mom.
I sincerely hope my ideas help others, both adults and kids, who have suffered the loss of their mom.
21 Ways to Honor Your Mom on Mother’s Day After She Has Passed Away
There are several things I have done over the years to honor and remember my mom on Mother’s Day. Below is my list of all the different things I’ve done over the years.
1. Let Yourself Cry
Letting yourself cry is always helpful. While it may not be fun, it almost always helps. We do have to feel the sadness to heal. Just let the tears come and let it happen. Don’t resist it. I have often felt relief after letting myself feel the loss on Mother’s Day, and then it was usually easier to go on and enjoy my own Mother’s Day with my family.
Allow yourself to mourn the loss of your mom so you can experience healing. Your mom would want this for you, I know I would want it for my own boys.
2. Bring Flowers or a Plant to Her Cemetery Gravesite
While visiting the cemetery where your mom is buried may not be for everyone, I have always felt that a once or twice a year visit is healing. I often visit around Mother’s Day, Memorial Day, and/or Christmas. I bring flowers, a plant, or a wreath. My kids and my dad (my mom’s widow) join in for the cemetery time and we just recognize my mom. I usually say a prayer too while at the cemetery. To me, a cemetery visit is more about honoring her memory and recognizing our loss of her beautiful soul.
Then, we continue our time together by going out to eat afterward.
3. Light a Candle
Lighting a candle in honor of my mom is something I have often done at Mother’s Day and Christmas, especially in the early years after her death. I found that simply designating that the lit candle was in honor of her created a sort of presence or memory-honor of her. Find or purchase a special candle to use in remembrance. You could even make a candle holder to add a personal touch to the honoring activity of lighting the candle.
4. Spend Time with Your Grandma on Mother’s Day
Make Mother’s Day about your grandma or an aunt and spend the day with her if you can. Create new memories and give each other support on this day when you are both severely mourning the loss of your mom.
5. Look at Old Pictures & Remember the Good Times
Remember those good times you’ve had with your mom and really celebrate them and make them present in your life by looking at old photographs. Look at pictures for a specific memorable event or for her entire life. Take as much time reveling in the gorgeousness of your mom as you’d like. It’s a great self-care action for grieving and highlighting cherished memories like that special vacation or memorable birthday.
6. Make a Scrapbook of Pictures of Your Mom
I made a scrapbook; I did this one year in honor of my mom. I bought a little album and added special photos of my mom to it.
I added special notes I had saved as well. For some reason, it was important to me to save the Christmas gift tags written in my mom’s handwriting that first Christmas without her. Unfortunately, and painfully, we lost her just before Christmas so she had wrapped and written out many gift tags before her sudden death. I love to look at them; I still cherish them so much.
7. Write Your Mom a Letter
Tell your mom about what has happened in your life since her death in the form of a letter to her. Spill all the great things that have happened to you, all the people you have met, and all your sad times too since her death.
This can be very healing to write it all down and get it all out of your head. Clear your heart and give your mom your current life stories and then keep that letter to read on another Mother’s Day. Write her one each year and re-read them every Mother’s Day to see how your life has changed.
Reminisce about good times you had with your mom in your letter to her. It is bittersweet to do this, but the goodness will never fade as it is a good memory in your heart.
8. Tell Your Kids Stories of Your Mom
Often, I like to tell my kids stories of how great my mom was and show them pictures of her. I enjoy telling my kids about how generous and giving my mom was during her life. She always had a smile for everyone.
I love to reveal to them how she donated her time to church. Also, the times she gave money to a struggling family member.
I love to tell them about how she helped me with dance and was my champion through my dance recitals.
It’s also special for me to tell my kids how my mom was an amazing cook and an even more beautiful soul.
I tell my kids I miss her, so they can know how special she was to me.
9. Make Special Food Your Mom Used to Make Using Her Recipes
Make your mom’s recipes, I love this one because I get to eat it. If you read my blog, you know I’m a foodie and I love to cook and bake food. I enjoy making my mom’s recipes, especially the ones where I have the actual recipe card with the recipe written out in her own handwriting.
10. Create a Cookbook with All of Your Mom’s Recipes
There are awesome and easy to use digital scrapbook websites where you could easily make a scrapbook cookbook of all of your mom’s recipes. If you have recipe cards in her handwriting, you could even scan them in and upload them to the cookbook. Your creation will make a great keepsake you can hand down to your own children someday. Plus, you will be creating an eternal nature to your mom’s cooking culture and food memories. I love that!
I have just started working on my own scrapbook cookbook and I plan to use both my mom’s and my grandma’s recipes.
If your mom had another love other than cooking, make a scrapbook about that topic as a wonderful record of her joys.
11. Pray to God to Give Your Mom Messages & Updates about Your Current Life
I have always been blessed with strong faith. I almost always pray to God on Mother’s Day and ask him to update her on the lovely and happy moments of my life over the past year. It has made me feel wonderful to ask God to help my mom know the joys of my life. I find this always helps me since she isn’t here to share in my happiness.
12. Spend Time With Family on Mother’s Day
I find creating new memories for Mother’s Day with my own boys also helps me not feel as sad on Mother’s Day. Even though I try to focus on my own Mother’s Day, I never forget my own mom of course, but new joyful memories always help cast a happier glow to the day.
Spend time with family and do something together your mom would have enjoyed.
13. Go to her Favorite Restaurant or Park
Visit your mom’s favorite restaurant or park for the day and remember the good times you had with her at that location. Create new memories with your own kids or family to add to those special memories of your mom in that cherished place.
14. Listen to her Favorite Music
If your mom was a music lover, spend time listening to the songs she loved. Just sit and listen or have them play on your phone as you take a walk or run.
15. Read her Favorite Book
Spend time reading her favorite books on Mother’s Day if she was a bookworm. Enjoy some relaxation and find out for yourself the secrets of the book that your mom loved so well. This is a great way to practice self-care while remembering your mom.
16. Practice a Hobby Your Mom Loved
Joining in special interests your mom enjoyed might make you feel closer to her, and even if it doesn’t, it may bring a smile to your face as you recall seeing her being happy while doing the hobby.
17. Purchase a Painting/Picture in Honor of her & Hang it up in your House
Buy something your mom would have liked and place it your house such as a painting or a decorative item. This will be something you have up year-round to remind you of your mom. (I actually haven’t done this one yet, but it’s on my bucket list).
18. Plant Your Mom’s Favorite Flowers
Go to the nursery and buy your mom’s favorite flowers and plant them in a pot on Mother’s Day. Set it out on your front porch as a beautiful blooming honor in memory of your mom. If your weather is cooperative, you will get to enjoy the flowers all summer.
19. Use Your Mom’s Dishes to Serve Food at a Special Mother’s Day Meal with Your Family
Make a special meal (or order takeout for a break from cooking) and use your mom’s favorite dishes to serve the food to your own kids and family. If you do cook, you could make her specialties as I mentioned above.
20. Talk About Your Mom with Other Family Members Who Also Miss Her
Reminisce (or cry) with other family members who are also suffering from the loss of your mom. Be there for one another and give each other support and love. Remember, you all still have each other and you all miss her. Talk about your mom and celebrate her together through your own words. Or, if it’s easier, sit together in silent thought about your mom.
21. Spend Time with a Family Pet Your Mom Loved
If your mom had a pet she loved, spend some time with that pet on Mother’s Day. If it’s a dog, take it for a walk. Or, simply sit with the pet and either talk about your mom or just sit and snuggle with the pet. Maybe you can watch your mom’s favorite movie or show with the pet.
I hope you have found some useful tips to help you cherish memories of your own mom in this post of 21 Ways to honor your mom on mother’s day after she has passed away.
There are many ways to honor your mom on Mother’s Day after she has passed away. If you have more ideas, I know others would benefit from you adding your own special traditions below in the comments section.
I wish you the very best Mother’s Day and I sincerely hope you find peace in some way this Mother’s Day.
For more posts on grief and Motherhood plus Mother’s Day, please visit A Letter to my Mother in Heaven, A Letter to My Three Boys on Mother’s Day, and my post How to Help Your Children if Your Spouse Dies on Her View From
Copyright ©2018 Julie Hoag. All Rights Reserved.
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