Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for anyone whose mother, stepmother, grandmother or child has died. It can be a time of mixed emotions because you may still be celebrating in some way. It’s okay to feel happy, guilty and sad. You may just need some extra time, space and support to help you cope.

Below are some tips that you may find helpful this Mother’s Day.

Acknowledge your feelings as they come
Loss and grief can impact people in different ways and there is no right or wrong way to feel. Some people experiencing grief think that if they start crying, they will never stop. But you will stop, and it can be an important part of the process and help you to not bottle up your feelings. Focus on trying to acknowledge and experience those feelings as they come, whatever they may be.

Choose how you want to spend the day
Don’t be afraid to put yourself first and don’t feel like you have to do anything you don’t want to. If you want the day to pass by without acknowledging it, that’s okay. Be kind to yourself though and if you feel you can, do things you know you enjoy as this may help your mood.

Know when to take a step back
It can be difficult to see photos of mother’s and families celebrating together when you’re coping with grief. If you feel overwhelmed, consider taking a break from social media and television, and finding entertainment in other ways, such as listening to podcasts, audiobooks or the radio, or doing puzzles.  

Reach out for support
Reach out to others for support if you need it. If you’d prefer a one-to-one chat with someone close, let them know that’s what you’d like. You could go for a walk or a coffee, or meet at one of your homes – whatever you feel most comfortable with. 

Celebrate their life
Spending time with your friends and family to look at photos and share memories can be an emotional, but touching way to remember your loved one. You can create a tribute page, or light a candle in their memory.