Missing Your Mum? A Mother’s Day Survival Guide

By: Joni Boyd

With millions of Australian men and women having lost their mother, and others missing their mum for different reasons, Mother’s Day is tough for many.

Danielle Snelling, Co-Founder and Executive Officer at Motherless Daughters Australia chatted with us about how we can approach Mother’s Day, caring for our own hearts and for those around us who may have lost their mother.

“It is such a hard time for people who have lost their mum or who just don’t have a mum in their life at the moment for whatever reason,” Danielle said, having co-founded Motherless Daughters Australia after losing her own mum when she was just 23.

For those who are grieving

Danielle says that the most important thing a grieving daughter can do in the leadup to Mother’s Day is to reassure yourself that your feelings and responses are normal.

“There’s no right or wrong,” she said. “All feelings are ok and valid – just really nurture yourself during this time.”

Nurturing yourself during this time may look like staying off social media, or limiting your exposure, while Mother’s Day happy snaps are going viral.

Danielle also suggests surrounding yourself with people who are great listeners and who can help you acknowledge your loss, supporting you as you find ways to honour and celebrate your mum in a different kind of way.

Even doing something that your mum loved may be comforting, like making her favourite dish or watching her favourite movie.

For friends of those who are grieving

Danielle advises friends to be proactive in caring for a friend who is missing their mum this Mother’s Day. And a simple text message can be a great place to start.

“Send them a message to let them know that you’re thinking of them during what’s a really difficult time of year,” Danielle said.

“Don’t forget, just because she might have died, it doesn’t mean that she doesn’t exist or that she never existed.”

It can be difficult to know what to say in moment like these, so Danielle offers the following message suggestions:

  • I’m thinking of you.
  • Are you free for a walk?
  • Would you like to talk about it?
  • I’d love to know what your mum’s name was.
  • Is there a memory that you’d like to share?

“Holding space for people who have lost their mum and inviting in conversation is really important,” she said.

“They want people to ask about it because when you start talking about your mum [who has passed away], people are often very uncomfortable… so we encourage everyone to invite conversation and hold space for that chat.”

Most importantly, Danielle says, is to simply “listen without judgement or criticism and just offer a safe space where you can invite conversation from them.”

Article supplied with thanks to Salt 106.5.

Feature image: Photo by Caleb Woods on Unsplash

About the Author: Joni Boyd is a writer, based in the Hawkesbury Region of NSW. She is passionate about the power of stories shared, to transform lives.