Mother’s Day will soon be here, and for many it will be the first without their Mother. The death of a loved one is difficult and notably so in the time leading up to special events such as, Mother’s Day.
For the surviving parent it can be difficult to know how to mark the day, especially when young children and teenagers are involved. To ease the stress, we have gathered together ideas for Mother’s Day that have been shared by members of our community forum here on Widow.ie.
Making & Writing Mother’s Day Cards
For younger children of primary school age, they will make cards in class. It is important for young children not to feel any different from their classmates and should be allowed to take part. As a parent you may have concerns and if you do, maybe chatting quietly with the teacher to let them know you are happy for your child to make a Mother’s Day card.
If you feel able, making a card at home can be a very rewarding time for both parent and child. It can be a time for sharing memories and a way to help a child open up about the loss of their Mother. Understandably, there may be tears. Cards can also be made for a Grandmother or favourite Aunt.
If you don’t feel up to making a homemade card, remember, you and your child can always pick out a card from your local shop.
If placing the card on the grave, you could ask the teacher if she could laminate it. This will protect the card from the weather. If laminating is not an option, sealing in a plastic freezer bag or any clear plastic would also work.
Flowers for the Grave or Planting a Special Flower Bed in the Garden
Picking flowers for Mother’s grave should, if possible, be a shared event. Children will feel more involved and the flowers will hold more meaning if they have picked theirs out.
If it’s not possible to travel to the grave, consider planting a special flower bed in the garden. The memory garden need not be large, even a flower container can be put to good effect. The special memory garden will always be near for the child to place little trinkets from time to time.
Creating a memory box can be helpful for a bereaved child. Treasured trinkets and photos can be placed in the memory box and the child will have the freedom to add little items when they please.
Copy photos in case they get damaged so that you can always replace them should the need arise. A mothers scarf or other item of clothing that you don’t mind giving to the child will bring much comfort. Let the child decorate and pick the items to go into the memory box.
Letting the child store the memory box in their room will give the child freedom to access it at any time. Don’t be surprised if the memory box ends up in peculiar places, after all, they are children.
A Special Meal or Weekend Away
Some Father’s like to bring their children out for a lovely meal, remember to book in advance as it gets busy in hotels and restaurants. If finances permit, staying a night or two in a hotel or guesthouse can be a lovely change for the family. – this article was written before COVID19 restrictions came into effect.
Visiting the Grave
Some children would like to visit their Mother’s grave on Mother’s Day. This can be a difficult trip for everyone and some children might not wish to go, but that’s okay.
A good tip would be to discuss with your child what they would like to do several days in advance and reassure them that they have a choice. In fact, talk with your child several days ahead of Mother’s Day and find out what they would like to do. Give them some options, they may choose to do several things or just one. Let them guide you.
Travelling to a grave is permitted during the lockdown even if the grave is outside your 5km limit.
You’re Doing a Great Job
I sincerely hope some of the ideas shared here will be of help, you may have some ideas of your own that we haven’t written about above. No matter what options you choose, it is my hope that you have as good a day as is possible and remember, you’re doing a great job.
Article first published on 25 March 2019 and updated on 08/03/2021