Grief and Loss

F#$%ing Mother’s Day

It’s that time of year again, when America is called to empty their wallets in honor of Mom. In theory, Mother’s Day is sweet – damn right we deserve breakfast in bed! – but for those of us without mothers, this holiday is the equivalent of celebrating Valentine’s Day after the love of your life dumps you for your sister.

Being a mom myself softens the blow; my kids bring home projects they made for me in school and write adorable notes on cards my husband buys at Rite Aid. I usually get presents. I like presents. Yet Mother’s Day still feels like a personal insult, as if the entire country has ganged up to remind me that my mother is dead.

It really sucks.

Here’s the thing, though. Bitterness is a luxury I can’t afford; it costs me friends and gives me wrinkles. So for those who must soldier through Mother’s Day sans mere, I propose a different kind of celebration. A mother, whether she be Supermom or Mommie Dearest, has made an invaluable contribution to the world: You. You carry her DNA, after all, and you took a batch of her cells for the road when you were born. The person you are today is because of (or in spite of) her. So even if your mother is no longer here, you can honor her on Mother’s Day by treating yourself with love and radical self-care. Sleep late. Take yourself to the movies. Get a massage. Splurge on sushi. Do whatever it is that makes you smile inside, that brings you contentment and lightness and comfort. Better yet, do these things with someone in the same boat, so you don’t have to carry the load of Mother’s Day alone.

Or you can binge on Kit Kats and watch Steel Magnolias. Your call.

To all of you motherless sons and daughters out there, I won’t wish you a Happy Mother’s Day; it’s an oxymoron. But I will wish you a gentle one.

See you on the other side.



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