Grief & Loss > Tips for Managing Mother’s Day Grief

Tips for Managing Mother’s Day Grief

The YourLoss team is dedicated to sourcing and providing Australians with free and easy access to relevant and helping information and resources to assist them in all areas of death and bereavement.

After starting out in 1907 as a small West Virginian church service organised by Anna Jarvis to honour the life of her dead mother Anne Reeves, Mother’s Day is now celebrated around the globe.

For many, it’s a day of happy family gatherings, where mums are showered with gifts and love to recognise the important role they play and to give thanks for all they do.

But for those whose mother has passed away, the day can be painful and fuelled by feelings of despair, depression, anger or sadness. This is further exacerbated by social and traditional media filled with heartfelt homages to mums worldwide.

While feeling sad is perfectly normal, there is a range of tips available to help those who have lost their mums find some comfort on the day.

Strategies for finding comfort without mum on Mother’s Day

According to Hope Edelman, author of #1 New York Times bestseller Motherless Daughters and expert on grieving parental loss, managing the day – and maybe finding some comfort – can be eased by: displaying a photo of your mother and surrounding it with candles and flowers; wearing a special piece of her jewellery; telling friends and special family stories about her, or writing down a special memory from your life with her.

The concept of writing to help with grieving is supported by many counsellors, who consider it a healthy way to channel painful emotions.

There are many ways you may use writing to assist with grief, however writing a poem can prove to be a powerful and sophisticated way to assist, due to its contemplative and spiritual qualities which capture essential truths about the human condition.

The power of poetry in grieving

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert Frost once said, “Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words”. In short, poems can help us better understand emotions.
Understanding what we feel is profoundly useful during times of grief when we experience confusing or paradoxical emotions. Mourning through creative imagery can be highly cathartic. By putting your feelings into words, you open the door to self-discovery.

Diana Raab, a Ph.D. in Psychology who discovered the healing power of writing when given a journal at the age of 10 to help her cope with her grandmother’s suicide, offers some advice on how to get started in an article she wrote for Psychology Today.

“To write a grief poem, it’s important to get in touch with your own emotional truth and write about what you’re experiencing. You can do so by tapping into your heart centre and asking yourself what’s ‘really’ going on. When writing this type of poem, try to get all your feelings on the page in poetic form, and then consider organizing them after the fact.”

How to start a poem for mum

Here are a collection of tips to help you get started with writing a poem to help with your grieving on Mother’s Day and other occasions.
Take your time: The topic of death is a difficult theme and requires utmost vulnerability. Don’t push yourself too hard; breathe and ensure you are in the right frame of mind before attempting to organise your thoughts.

Withhold nothing: When you are ready to start writing, bring everything to the fore. Let it out. This poem is yours and needs no validation from anyone else. Jot down all the words and feelings that come to mind.

Compose yourself. And your poem: Once you have your words down on paper, it’s time to compose your poem. Consider consulting a range of resources available online, such as 5 Poems About Loss Guide, to help with the flow of ideas and provide you with extra inspiration.

Don’t be afraid to share: Your poetry can not only help comfort you but also assist others around you. Be open to sharing it, and don’t worry about what others may think. After all, poetry neither has to rhyme nor be logical.

Remembering her smile
If you’re unable to write a poem, you can always turn to already published poetry that resonates and helps to bring some comfort, such as Her Smile (Author unknown):

“Though her smile is gone forever
and her hand I cannot touch
I still have so many memories
Of the one I loved so much.

The information on this website is for general information only and are not (and nor are they intended to be) a substitute for professional medical or mental health advice, nor is it used for diagnosis and treatment. You, or anyone you are concerned about, are encouraged to seek professional medical or mental health advice and treatment from suitably qualified medical and clinical practitioners and providers. 

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If you are in crisis or think you may have an emergency, immediately call Emergency 000. If you're having thoughts of self-harm or harm to others call Lifeline on 13 11 23 to talk to a skilled, trained counsellor. If you are located outside Australia, contact your local emergency line directly.


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The YourLoss team is dedicated to sourcing and providing Australians with free and easy access to relevant and helping information and resources to assist them in all areas of death and bereavement.

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