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Mother's Day; Sometimes the hardest day of the year

I grew up thinking Mother’s Day was the invention of Hallmark cards. Not so, although they certainly did cash in on the day. Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis, one of 4 children of 13 born to Ann Jarvis, who survived to adulthood. Anna, never a mother herself, created this day to honor her mother who worked to assist other mothers care for so many unwell children in the early 1900’s and pay tribute to all mothers who care for children. It was to be a day of gathering. She announced this in 1907. In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson named an official day to celebrate mothers on the second Sunday of May. Anna then devoted her life to trying to ward off the commercialization of the day.

Enough history. Mother’s Day is complicated. For those who have loving families and living moms to honor and celebrate, the day can be joyful. For some who have a difficult relationship with their mothers, the idea of gathering is somewhat conflicting. And for those who have lost mothers, it brings back that sense of grief. Our moms are the first relationships we have. Missing them remains as painful as the day they became no longer with us.

Grief has no timeline. It comes and goes in waves of sadness, sometimes tears, sometimes a total meltdown. It may be years since you lost your mom or yesterday. Don’t let anyone tell you “You’ll get over it” or “she is in a better place.” She is your mom, now and forever, wherever. I hope, as in the words of the grief specialist, David Kessler, that you can take the time to feel more love and less pain. Moms don’t need cards or flowers or fancy brunches. Know that every day is Mother’s Day and that you were loved.


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