My First Mother's Day Without My Beautiful Mum
A heartfelt and personal piece written by our very own Emma Hayes.
A sea of pink welcomes you into every shop promoting a busy time of year - Mother’s Day.
There are teddies, chocolates, pyjamas, slippers, movies and ornaments for mums everywhere.
Stunningly perfect, strategically placed to encourage sales and to catch your eye.
Mother’s Day, they tell me, is March 31st.
I say “they tell me” because I have ignored all the shelves – the ones I’d usually stop at - and ignored the adverts online and on the TV. If only my online searches could restrict Mother’s Day content, sure don’t they know everything about us? They listen in apparently, yet, they haven’t heard that my mum is dead.
Only eight months ago my searches online were firstly for “how to cope when your mum is dying” before searching Google for a funeral director’s number just two hours after she died.
Why didn’t Facebook pick up on this?
Or the amount of times I shared a RIP page or how I searched online for “how to get over grief” or “how to sleep while grieving” or “is it normal to feel beaten in the days after a funeral?”.
One of my hardest searches was “will I feel normal again?”.
In case you are wondering, I don’t feel normal. I don’t know if I ever will and this scares me. It's as though the grief is a reminder of the true love but it also targets you, beating you down, ripping you to shreds before drawing out floods of tears.
I have never been so emotionally unbalanced then I am now. I would have usually been controlled and tears wouldn’t come easily - even when a doctor told me honestly that she was dying. I thanked him (for his update) and went back to my mum who questioned me on what he had said.
I stood there and blatantly lied to her face because she was terrified of dying and we didn’t want her to be scared. But then, I know she was, and it will haunt me forever.
If my previous searches provided me with personalised content, I’d miss all the adverts, right? And if the shops knew would they have everything so beautifully set up knowing it hurt?
It hurts and there are so many more who it will hurt this year and every year on. The children left behind after their mum dies and the mums who are grieving the loss of their child.
We are all suffering grief and Mother’s Day is a trigger day.
It isn’t the shops' fault, their job is to sell, and it is a business after all. I know that. I understand that. I am a mother too and my children will probably buy such items this year.
And while I’d rather ignore the day, I can’t help but be reminded of the mums who will be thinking of their children in heaven. How lucky I am to have my daughters when other mums have lost their beautiful children.
So, while I am grieving the loss of my mum, I shouldn’t forget to be grateful for the people I cherish that are here with me now.
I missed out on a lot of my daughters' lives while I was busy with mum. My daughters took it all in their stride and never complained even though it meant their days were spent bored around the house.
They visited her and they helped her when they could. They loved her and I only truly understood that when we had to say goodbye.
As a mother, nothing hurts more than watching your kids in pain, and it devastated me. My kids lost her too, too early – she was only 56 years old.
For months, I had watched my mother in tremendous pain and suffering and then to see my kids in their equal pain, I can’t ever be the same person I was. Nothing can prepare you for it. Nothing.
Mother’s Day is a beautiful day though. The day is an opportunity to show mums how much they are loved. We were once those children and we wouldn’t want people to not do that for their mum. It hurts but I love to hear how much my friends love their mums – they should!
They should look after them because, as we know, it doesn’t last forever. Nothing stays the same in our lives.
Mother’s Day was usually a day where I’d get mum some beautiful flowers and I’d land on her doorstep to surprise her! She loved flowers. She also loved cards, gifts - of any sort and cuddles. To visit her (this year) I’ll take a trip to a graveyard and leave some flowers down for her while trying to stop myself crying. They say it gets easier but I’m still waiting.
I wish I could offer some sort of support to other people who, like me, are missing their mum or for mums who are missing their child this Mother’s Day.
I wish I could provide some tips on coping, but I don’t have any answers. What I do suggest is to talk to people who you trust and do something you love on the day itself - treat yourself. Equally, if you want to stay home and cry – do that. We all deal with grief differently.
I find getting to know a few people who have lost their mum or child helps and to share our feelings. If you ever need to have one of those chats get in touch with me. My details are below. Don’t ever feel alone as there are people who can help.
Although nothing can ever heal us, we can live a good life especially for them. Your mum and indeed your child, wouldn’t want you to be sad, they wouldn’t want to see you struggling so as I always say, live well and live life for them now.
I can watch my daughters grow and I can live a good life in the way my mum would want. I’m so lucky to be able to do that. We can all build a life after grief, we can all support one another in our journey, and we can all smile again. Grief is the harshest reminder of our love and we will never forget our loved ones in heaven.
Happy Mother’s Day to mums everywhere and thinking of all the beautiful mums in heaven – we love you and we miss you. Plus, a special dedication to the mums who are grieving the loss of their gorgeous child, the greatest loss of all. XXX
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.