How to Celebrate Mother’s Day When Your Mom is Gone

Mother’s Day. It’s the picture perfect holiday, that is until your mother is gone. You are surrounded by mother’s day cards, emails, novelties, and happy people looking for the perfect Mother’s Day gift. I can’t help myself but look at them with envy and wish I could be in their position just one last time. I should be happy that these people still have their moms to celebrate but I just haven’t reached that point yet. 

A couple of months before Mother’s Day 2016 I had watched my mom pass away from stage four Sarcoma cancer.  My worst nightmare had become my reality. I would never get to hear her voice again, she would never get to see me get married or hold her grandchildren. I would never get to hug and kiss her again and tell her how great of a mother she is.

How to Celebrate Mother's Day When Your Mom is Gone

People tell me “she’s with you in spirit” or “there will always be a part of her with you” but I think that’s complete BS. I can’t see her or physically hold her and it just not the same. Some days I panic and grab on to anything of hers or even smell her clothes (yes I really do that) because I’m afraid she’s going to slip away from my mind like she did from my life. 

They say time will heal but you never fully recover from a loss like that of your mom. Honestly, you just get better at managing the sadness. You learn from the ups and downs and what makes you feel better on the days when you’re just overwhelmed with sadness. Although Mother’s Day is kind of crappy now and not the same if you’re motherless, there are ways you can celebrate her and make it through this not so perfect holiday. 

Do something that she would have enjoyed. 

Mother’s Day is about celebrating mom. So do something that she would have liked to do when she was here. Go to the beach, paint pottery, take a hike. or visit her favorite dessert shop. Doing something in her memory helps you not only celebrate her but also cherish those memories of when she was here enjoying the things she loved. This can also help bring more happy thoughts and memories up rather than moping over the bad ones. 

Visit her. 

Bring your mom some flowers and go have a chat with her. Don’t be afraid to talk to a grave. I know she’s not going to respond but it might help to talk to her and let your feelings out. To be honest, I’ve only visited my mom once since her funeral last February. Don’t be hard on yourself either if you just can’t find the strength to visit her. For me, it makes me more sad than bringing me comfort but for some it might bring more comfort to visit.  She would want you to do what makes you happy. 

Hang out with your siblings. 

This is always the best! I mean who else knows what you’re going through better than your siblings? Do something fun with them. Last year my siblings and I went to the Flower Fields up in Carlsbad, CA. It was a place we took my mom the year before and it just brought back the memories of how much she enjoyed it. Then we drowned our sorrows in food later that evening. Sharing your grief with others that feel the same can help you get through the holiday.

Celebrate a motherly figure in your life.

Even though mom is gone I’m still surrounded by motherly figures. Aunts, mother-in-laws, older sisters, or even friends can all be celebrated on this special day. Mother’s everywhere deserve to feel special on Mother’s Day. Make little gifts to give other moms, donate to a mom in need on gofundme, or join a friend to celebrate Mother’s Day. 

Do what makes you happy. 

If none of the above suggestions sounds like they will make you feel better then don’t do them. Doing something that will make you happy on Mother’s Day is the key to getting through this newly dreaded holiday. If that means just staying busy with your significant other or friends then do that. Don’t be ashamed to be selfish on Mother’s Day. Let people know what you need from them or what you don’t. 

I’m still unsure of what I’ll be doing Mother’s Day but I do know that I will be doing something my mom loved. No matter what you do, there is no wrong or right way to spend this holiday. Just try to make the most of this not so great situation. 

If you’ve lost your mother what are some things that help you through Mother’s Day?

Do you have any special traditions that you do?


I would love to hear how you’re getting through it. I could always use more ideas. 




  1. Casey G
    May 10, 2017 / 1:55 PM

    Your blog is beautifully written Christine! You’re mother raised a bright, loving, talented, beautiful daughter & she was an amazing woman to form you into the woman you are today. I’m sorry that the upcoming holiday is hard on you, but it sounds like you have some great ways to help you smile through the day. I love you & am always here for you!

  2. May 10, 2017 / 6:04 PM

    I’m so sorry for your loss and will definitely keep you in my thoughts this Mother’s Day. These are all such great ideas and I really love how you celebrated with your siblings last year.

    The Blush Blonde

  3. This is such a sweet post! I’m so sorry for your loss, but I’m glad you have some great ways to get through the day. Spending the day with family is such a great idea.

  4. May 14, 2017 / 10:11 PM

    One of my best friends lost her mom last year. I want to do something for her and these are all great tips. Thank you for sharing these!

    Greta | http://www.gretahollar.com

  5. May 15, 2017 / 11:23 AM

    Wow this is so touching, beautiful post!!

  6. May 16, 2017 / 3:18 PM

    I’m sorry for your loss – I hope you had a lovely Mother’s Day. XO.

  7. May 19, 2017 / 9:42 AM

    This is a beautiful post! I hope you had a wonderful Mothers day celebrating and remembering a great woman.

    xx Carly

  8. May 19, 2017 / 9:58 AM

    I’m so sorry your mom is gone Christine, but I love this post and know it will help others who might be struggling through the holiday.

    Kayla | kaylablogs.com

  9. Cheryl Ramsay
    May 13, 2018 / 10:45 AM

    I found a family that was down on their luck, I paid their water bill. I actually had the water turned back on and paid the bill.
    This act of kindness would have made my mother very happy. My parents instilled compassion & empathy in my soul.
    We are all one, be kind.

    • Christine
      May 14, 2018 / 11:57 AM

      That is so nice! My mom was also very compassionate. It’s so nice to see others helping families and people out. You’re right we all are one and need to be more kind and loving towards each other.

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