Saturday, May 12, 2012

mother's day blues

One more sleep and it is Mother's Day here in Australia; in the eyes of some it is a day of consumerism and commercialism, others see it as a day of honoring and celebrating mothers and grandmothers.

Today I've been struck down with a case of Mother's Day blues. I've had it before but this year it snuck up on me. It's been sixteen years since my mum Natalie passed away very unexpectedly. It was a saturday, she went to work and then in the evening went out to see her sister and it was while with her sister, mid-conversation that mum had a sudden heart attack. In some ways, all these years later the experience of losing my mum when she was just 44 years young and I 21 years young still seems surreal.

The first Mother's Day without her was undoubtedly the hardest. The intensity of the longing and grief lessens over the years and some years pass by without the slightest trigger of heartache.

This year it is my mother as grandmother to our boys that I am missing. Innocent conversations with other mothers at River's school gate have caused a few twangs, I listen as they candidly share their day with me, such things as 'we called into mum's and had a cup of tea' or 'I dropped my youngest into mum's and had an hour to do some shopping'. The reality is that even if my mum were here today she may not live locally to me or be available to help out in the way these other grandmothers do. But still, I miss at least having the possibility.

For daughters grieving their mothers and also for mother's grieving children the things I've learnt about grief is:

it runs on its own time and there is no way around it only through
the intensity of the sadness and/or anger lessens
walking helps
yoga helps
talking helps
crying helps
laughing helps
sharing stories helps
writing helps
looking at photos helps
expression of your grief is important and necessary, make time for that
grief can be a wonderful source of creative expression
go gently
take care of yourself - move your body, rest, drink water, eat well, surround yourself with beauty, surround yourself with people who 'get it'

today I walked my blues along the beach, cried my blues in my husband's embrace, went back to bed for a while, looked at photos of my mum and then in the afternoon warmed our house and cooked buckwheat pancakes with our boys.

The wonderful mantra of many mothers "this too shall pass" totally applies to the feelings of grief.

And to any of my aunties or friends reading this I am ok but wanted to share this here as it is honest and sharing our stories helps others. So to anyone feeling their grief this Mother's Day, go gently. And to all mothers - passed, present and future - Happy Mother's Day! And bring on Monday!


  1. Oh Nikki,
    I am so sorry your mother is not around to see your beautiful children and see you as an awesome mother. Sending you a cloak of warmth, love and gentle kindness. xxxxx

  2. Thank you Jay you're a sweetheart for your words and cloak, I'm touched and comforted. Hope you are having a lovely day with your lovelies. xxx

  3. Oh my sweet Nikki I never knew how your mumma passed what an enormous shock for you. I felt so teary reading your story, so deeply touched by your words and sharings. I can relate about the loss of grandmother to my boys, my mum was rarely around as she lived interstate and as u know I relocated her a yr ago but she now comes with dementia which brings so much other grief. I love u darling xxx

    1. Thank you darling Mel I love you too and am so happy to have you in my life. I hope you have had a beautiful Mother's Day and that you were able to spend time with your mum xxx

  4. Oh Nikki. Our stories are very similar. I also lost my mum very suddenly. She had a brain haemorrhage and that was it. My daughter was 8 months old and it was a week before my birthday. It's wonderful that you have done such good work with working through the grief. I am sure your mama is very proud of you. Happy Mother's Day. Xxx


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