Friday, May 8, 2009

Missing Someone Special on Mother’s Day: Coping Strategies in Action

Mother’s Day is just around the corner and web pages and blogs are full of gift idea do’s and don’ts for your mother. I won’t go there. I think the topic has been covered quite nicely by better shoppers than I could ever hope to be.

You’ve also, no doubt, been bombarded with the plethora of tear jerker emails cautioning you to spend time with your mother while you can. She’s older than you, you know, and may not last until next year for you to make it up to her if you miss this Mother’s Day. That topic’s been covered too.

I’d like to talk with you a little bit about how to get through Mother’s Day after you’ve lost your mother. And I especially don’t want to forget the reverse situation; how to cope with Mother’s Day if you have lost a child, the hardest pain of all to overcome.

So how do you survive this Sunday if half of the equation is missing? You could hide under the covers until Monday. The protective property of the blanket works for monsters under the bed, why not against monsters of the heart as well? You could ignore that the day has any other meaning and treat it like any other Sunday, but that tends to backfire with a nasty trap of emotions smacking you back into reality the hard way at the worst possible time. Don’t let it catch you off guard; the day is coming whether you are ready for it or not. Or you could cry in your beer (over 21, please), but that just makes your eyes red and dilutes the beer.

Here are some coping strategies for bereavement:

Talk about it with a friend or family member you trust to handle the sensitive and powerful emotions you feel towards Mother’s Day

Realize that Mother’s Day is only one day out of the year and it has been commercially blown out of proportion and this too shall quickly pass

Be around friends who understand and can help you cope with the day

Acknowledge it can be a hard day and distract yourself with a movie or something that has a positive and endearing memory of what this day was initially designed to represent

And remember that your mother will always be your mother no matter where she is. And the same goes for mothers who have lost children. Once a mother, you will always be a mother even if you can no longer hold them in your arms.

If you are an eDocAmerica participant, you can send a message to the ePsych Psychologist for individualized coping strategies. Many people use this helpful option with good results whether it’s Mother’s Day or not.

All comments welcome.


Anonymous said...

I miss Mom today, as I do every other day. It's just more of the same. I'm thankful for the time I had her in my life, for all that she taught me, and for all the love that she gave me while she could. I'm thankful that what she gave me was powerful enough to last me throughout my lifetime, even though she couldn't personally shepherd me through the remainder of my own days. "Mother's Day" is just a made up holiday. I hold my Mother's Day in my heart every day.

Anonymous said...

You certainly have the right idea in that "Mother's Day" is a made up holiday. It is touching to reflect on the way that you have stated that you hold your "Mother's Day" in your heart everyday. This is an very important point for all of us to remember. Thanks for sharing such an important way that we can all keeping thinking about our mother's every day on the year! I am certainly going to follow your lead.