Remembering Parents and Easing Grief on Mother’s Day & Father’s Day

Mother’s Day and Father’s Day can be hard holidays to handle when a person has lost one or both parents. If a recent loss, the omnipresent messages of these holidays may feel like too much to bear. If more time has passed, they may inspire some special way to honor the memories. Regardless of the amount of time that has passed, there are several ways to manage grief while remembering Mom and/or Dad this May and June. Here are seven ideas to consider:

1. Buy a Card.  Go ahead and buy a card that helps put emotions and thoughts into words. Tap into memories and write a note in the card. Then bring the card to the gravesite or keep it in a special place at home.

2. Share Stories.  On Mother’s Day and Father’s Day, keep your parents’ stories alive for future generations by recording some favorites or retelling stories to younger family members.

3. Bring Flowers.  Bringing flowers to gravesites is a nice way to pay tribute. 

4. Visit another Father or Mother.  Consider visiting a senior in a nursing home or senior center who might not otherwise have any visitors on Father’s Day or Mother’s Day.  If appropriate and permitted by the facility, younger children can also enjoy the visit.  Instead of feeling alone, use the day to bring joy to another.

5. What Would Mom or Dad Do?  Spend the day in tribute to your mother and/or father by taking part in activities they would have enjoyed.  Sharing their favorite activities may feel a bit like being with them on these special days.

6. Set a Place.  Set an extra place at the dinner table for Mom and/or Dad.  Include a photograph at the place setting to create the feeling that they are still included in the family meal. In addition, have each family member share a special memory before beginning the meal.

7. Donate Your Time.  They say charity begins at home, and many parents leave a legacy of giving.  Keep this legacy alive by volunteering with a meaningful local organization on Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.        

Missing Mom and Dad on Mother’s Day and Father’s Day is natural. However the day is spent, grief experts agree that it’s most important to listen to your heart and allow yourself to do as much or as little as you are able to do. Giving yourself permission to grieve for or honor parents in whatever way you need is essential to managing your own grief and well-being.

Written by Courtney Lynch, Manager, Gates, Kingsley & Gates Praiswater Mortuary
Abel Gonzales, Manager, Bastian & Perrott, Oswald Mortuary


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