Mother’s Day When Your Mother Has Died

Written by : Maheen Asif – M.Sc (Clinical Psychology)

Last updated date : March 07, 2023

It may never get easier to wake up on Mother’s Day when your mother has died, no matter how long it’s been since she died. Not everyone feels the same way about flowers, bouquets, decorated Sunday brunches, and heartfelt cards.

As many of us wish other people a happy Mother’s Day, but for many people, Mother’s Day is a time of sadness and grief. First Mother’s Day without a mother can become a very difficult day. Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram posts about brunch and touching tributes can make you feel even worse.


“Learnt a lot from this course” Sally

51 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use
$9.00 $12.00

25% discount


Chapter 1:

Mother’s Day Grief over the Loss of a Mother

Mother’s Day is a time for many people to honor and celebrate their moms and other important women in their lives. But Mother’s Day can make the painful feelings of grief worse for people who have lost a mother.

It’s not always easy to get over the loss of a mother or mother figure, and on important days like Mother’s Day, feelings like sadness, anger, loneliness, and longing can be very strong.

Grief is more like a process that never ends than a set of steps or stages to get through. Even when it seems like the worst of the grief is over, it’s normal to feel sad again on important days like birthdays and holidays, like Mother’s Day.

Chapter 2:

How to Deal With Your First Mother’s Day without Mom

Some people will feel sad, others may feel happy, and others won’t feel either happy or sad. Some people may want to remember their mothers on that day, while others may want to avoid it. Each year may feel different. Let yourself do whatever makes you happy. There is no good or bad way to feel or spend the day.

But here are some suggestions that might help you.

Don’t Suppress Your Feelings

Whether or not you liked your mother, she was probably the most important person in your life. It’s normal to feel sad on the first mothers day when your mother has died, and there’s nothing to be afraid of. People usually try to avoid strong emotions because they are afraid of getting stuck in them. Don’t run away from your sadness, but try not to let it suffocate you. Being able to mourn shows that you can love.

Share your emotions with the people that matter to you, such as your spouse, friends, and family. Your siblings will most likely relate to your feelings towards your mother.

Plan A Celebration With Siblings

First mother’s day when your mother has died can be very difficult for you! You may find it comforting to spend the holidays with your siblings or anyone else who was close to your mother. Reaching out to them to plan a casual party to honor her life can bring back joy. It’s always a good idea to be with people when you’re sad. It’s unique and memorable, and it can even change you.

Visit Her Grave

Most graveyards are peaceful, quiet places, and there aren’t many better places to think about a loved one who has died. If your mother’s grave isn’t too far away, you might want to take a few hours out of your day to pay love and respect. Moreover, spend some time thinking about wonderful memories with her. You might be amazed by how much peace it brings. I always tell my clients to do this if they can. It’s a way to get back in touch with people.

Make Some Plans For The Day

Don’t hide under the covers all day, avoiding the world because it feels like a Hallmark card. Prepare ahead of time for Motherless Mother’s Day.

Self-acceptance and kindness. If you must spend time alone, spend it on self-care rather than junk food and sad movies. Rather eat well and exercise to feed your body and soul. Maybe you should meditate, work, or look at old photos or movies that bring back happy memories. Revisit a long-awaited book.

Do things that make you feel good, not things that will remind you of your loss. You could go on a hike or do something else that makes you feel good. Have a backup plan if you decide you don’t want to be alone. Set up a plan with a friend or family member who will be happy to see or hear from you.

Be Kind To Yourself

Grief is a hard process. Things won’t get better overnight, and most parents will carry their grief with them for the rest of their lives somehow. Taking care of your basic needs can help you get through the hardest parts of grief, even on days like Mother’s Day. Such as;

  • Getting enough sleep
  • Getting enough water and eating healthy foods
  • Spending time in the great outdoors
  • Getting some exercise and moving your body
  • Limiting alcohol

Be kind To Other People

When we’re in pain, it’s easy to forget how much helping others can help us. Doing something meaningful for other people, like helping or encouraging the women in your life on Mother’s Day, can bring peace and calm to a day that would otherwise be very hard. Even small things can help, like writing a letter of thanks.

Chapter 3:

Take Away

It can feel impossible to work with the complex feelings of loss, love, sadness, and grief that come after death. First mother’s day when your mother has died can be very painful and sad.

Be kind to yourself. Sometimes, the time leading up to important days is even harder than the day itself. Knowing this, being with people who care about you, and making plans for a meaningful, gentle day can help you feel better and get better.

Talk to a mental health professional if you feel like you can’t get through the day on your own or if you’re afraid you’ll never get past the worst parts of your grief. Remember that if you’re sad, it means you care a lot about someone. Even if the relationship is messy and hard, you can find a way to celebrate it even when it hurts.

If you enjoyed reading this article and want to learn how you can make the best out of your life, check out our range of online self-help courses by clicking “Courses” on the navigation bar.

"Learnt a lot from this course" Sally

51 sections

6-Weeks Self-Paced

  • Educational Content
  • Quizzes
  • Self-reflection material
  • Suggestions & feedback
  • Worksheet, tips & tools to use

$9.00 $12.00

25% discount