Mother’s Day without Mom

Mother’s Day was the brainchild of Anna Jarvis of West Virginia. In 1908, Anna held a memorial service to honor her mother’s deep commitment to love and compassion. Her mother epitomized kindness by caring for wounded soldiers. Far from a commercialized event, Anna envisioned Mother’s Day as a day to show profound appreciation through letters of gratitude or acts of love.

Even if your mother is no longer with you, you can tap into this sweet remembrance and honor your mom in many ways:

  • Write a letter. Pick a favorite memory or a quality that you are grateful for. Thank your mother for all that she gave you or modeled for you.
  • Talk with others who knew her. Call or get together and share stories. Whether it’s siblings or friends, embrace those who also still hold your mother in their hearts.
  • Cook a favorite meal or engage in a favorite activity. You may not be able to spend literal time with Mom, but dedicating part of the day to something she enjoyed is a lovely way to honor her memory.
  • Spend time with other mother figures. Perhaps you have an aunt or a mentor who has supported you in a motherly way. Acknowledge that loving, womanly presence by spending time with that mother-in-spirit.
  • Feel your feelings. The wonder of the human experience is the breadth of our emotions. Rather than bottle them up, allow your feelings to emerge and look for the meaning or lesson behind them.
  • Forgive your mother. Close relationships always have their ups and downs. Your mother was human and had her foibles. Even if she was lacking in the mother department, she likely did not intend to hurt you. She, like all of us, was simply doing the best she could.