Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and Grief.
Grief is a pain or emotion that we usually can’t see in other people. We can only see the hurt or heartache if someone allows us to see their pain. However, if their pain is so great that they can’t hide it any longer, you might see signs of their emotional pain.
Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are wonderful holidays. However, with a broken heart, holidays can magnify the pain of losing a loved one. I realized that the first Father’s Day after my father’s death. The familiar statement of “Happy Father’s Day” didn’t feel so “Happy” to me. I didn’t even want to look at a Father’s Day greeting card. It took years for me to feel comfortable about Father’s Day again. I am back to loving it again, but I had to survive the grief first. Father’s Day celebrations had taken memories that were once happy and painfully transformed them into moments of sadness for a while. Now, thankfully, I realize how blessed I am to have the memories and love to live on in my heart.
Also, for parents who have lost a child, these holidays can be exceptionally hard to manage from an emotional standpoint. Any day can feel very lonely as a parent of a child who has passed away, but on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day the reality that your child is gone forever is something from which you can’t hide. Certainly many other specific reasons and circumstances exist as to why these holidays seem to intensify the feelings of grief and heartache for the survivors. However, once you are a mother or father, you are forever a mother or father. Remembering the love you shared may lead to shutting down on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or even their birthdays, but remember that these feelings are part of grieving. The reason for this grief and pain is the result of experiencing such a strong, loving relationship. Spend time recalling the special bond that you once shared with your loved one, a bond that is still alive and well. Try to honor their lives as a part of who you are and by trying to always move forward, by living, and never losing hope.
Please remember to always try and find hope during these holidays. Even if these holidays shine a spotlight on your pain of missing them, we challenge you to make this holiday one to remember or to help someone else you know that might be missing their loved one. Here are a few ways to honor and remember them:
-Create a scrapbook, photo album, or just find some older pics of them.
-Volunteer your time to an organization that you love and support
-Carry a special keepsake with you so that you will feel close to them.
-Write them a letter (that only you will see) and express to them how you feel. You can relay that you miss them, or that you are mad they are gone. Maybe you even want to share a story you remember about them.
-Talk about special “rituals” or “inside jokes” you might have with them.
Remember to find someone who you can talk openly with about how much you miss them.
We are not going to say Happy Father’s Day or Happy Mother’s Day, but we will continue to say that we hope you have a Blessed Day. Love your loved ones who are still with us and honor, remember, & share memories about the ones that were taken from us too soon.