I lost my Mum 10 years ago and I miss her terribly, although most of the time I am OK, there are certain times of the year I start to feel the grief well up inside of me. One of those occasions is Mother's Day.
The advertising in shops and on the TV, the sales e-mails, telling me about all the amazing things I should be buying my Mum to show her I love her, the constant posts on Social Media, it all combines to feel like a real assault on my emotions!
Mother's Day is tough, not only if you've lost your Mum, but especially if you're a Mum who has lost a child.
I used to pretend that everything was OK and just hide myself away, but I realised that was actually doing me no good, so I've come up with a few things that work for me and help me cope. I thought I'd share just in case they might help you too.
Unsubscribe from Mother's Day E-mails.
A lot of companies give you the opportunity to unsubscribe from their marketing e-mails for Mother's Day / Father's Day, I always do this. It doesn't mean that I wont receive stuff from them in. the future, but it wont be anything targeted towards those occasions.
It's really simple to do, just click the button on the e-mail - job done.
2. Take a Social Media Break.
On the day itself, I tend to avoid Social Media, either by deleting the apps from my phone or turning off the notifications.
It just gives me a bit of space from it all.
3. Do Something in Her Memory.
Me and my sister tend to donate some money to a charity that our Mum supported in her honour, we use the money we would have spent on a present. It makes it feel like we're doing something positive.
4. Have a Simple Act of Memorial.
That might be taking some flowers to their final resting place, or lighting a candle.
Lucy and I cook Mum's favourite meal and toast her with a glass of Chablis (her favourite wine)
5. Don't Feel Guilty.
Do whatever you need to do, whether that's staying home, watching your favourite films, reading a book, having a bath, going for a walk, do what you want, something that you will enjoy.
Also if you don't feel like responding to messages, then don't! People mean well, but sometimes you just need to be in your own space - don't feel guilty about ignoring them, respond when you're ready, they'll understand.
I think the biggest thing is not to ignore how you're feeling, or how Mother's Day might make you feel, do whatever you need to do and seek support if you need it.
If you're really struggling then please talk to a professional, there are a number of places that offer support and advice, your local GP, The Good Grief Trust, Cruse Bereavement Care, or Child Bereavement UK.