Lost Your Mum? How To Sail Through Mother’s Day…Via Catharsis

Posted: May 7, 2018

Mother’s Day is a special time of the year…and it arrives soon – on Sunday, May 13th this year! If you have lost your mother, here’s help on coping with the pain.

For those who have mothers, everyday is a Mother’s Day. One day is just not enough to celebrate your mother; still, the second Sunday of May every year is devoted to HER honour – since she is second only to God. But what about those whose mothers have merged with the Divine?

“My heart falls apart, my body trembles when I see the markets full of flowers, chocolates, greeting cards, etc. I know Mom is no longer there; it has been ten years now, but the pain will always come alive whenever I see such celebration of motherhood,” asserts Saniya Malhotra, my former colleague and a close friend. I am so attached to my mother, and I almost lost her to a breast tumour in 2006…Thus, I know how unbearable it is to be away from a parent – life-long. I can very well relate to Saniya’s pain.

Nothing can fill the vacuum, but psychological experts as well as a few women (who have lost their mothers) say that there is something that can bring relief. What’s it? Let’s find out.

1. Bereavement Charity

Psycholigist Ziva Gupta explains, “This includes doing what your mother loved to do, eat, travel and even sing! But with those who have no parents. Share the love, the time, the joy you would have with your mother – with orphaned children. Bereavement charity isn’t just about donating money, it is also about spending quality time with those who need it. You can also spend it with mothers in old age homes, who have either lost their children or have been abandoned by them. This mutual exchange of love is cathartic!”

2. Pen a message for your mum

Radhika John Neil lost her mother way back in 2007. She sank into depression and was in a very vulnerable state till 2012 when one of her colleagues helped her deal with it in a different way. Radhika was very talkative with her mother. When she passed away, she could not share the same things with any other person in her family, not even her husband, whom she married in 2010 after a six-year long courtship. She needed to vent out! And her friend Zoya suggested that she start penning letters to her departed mother.

“At first I thought it was a foolish idea, but a few days later the ink began to flow, and so did my tears. It has been six years. Zoya has connected me to a publisher who wants to publish a book based on a few selected ones. But more than that, I believe these letters ensured my survival, they ensured that I got back to my senses. I have moved on, thanks to these letters. The pain will stay, but I have found the way to catharsis. I will release my book, Letters to My Departed Mother in May 2019,” a very nostalgic, yet joyful Radhika informs me.

3. Memorial for mom

“Be it an award in her name, a tree at her grave, a film on her life or anything else – choose an act that keeps her alive forever, even when you are gone ” – This is my way of keeping my maternal grandmother alive in my memories, since I was as attached to her as to my mother. So we instituted an excellence award in her name at my Alma Mater. I do not go to hand over the running trophy to the winner each year along with the cash award, but the images sent to me every year, bring a sense of relief to my mind. You can do the same in your mother’s honour. Keeping her name alive, will be extremely cathartic.

4. Celebrate Mother’s Day with elan…in her memory

“Mother they say, never leaves, her soul stays around her child forever. Thus, whether she is in mortal form or not, celebrate her life. Call her friends home, throw a charity dinner or lunch at home, recite her favourite poems, sing a song in her honour, cook her favourite recipes, etc, etc. Mark my words, it will relieve you, heal your soul. It is much better than crying in her memory or shutting yourself in a room in her memory. A life that has given you life, must be celebrated throughout life!” says a very positive Raman S Nair. Raman is a senior psychiatrist at the Apollo chain of hospitals and had sunk into depression for a year after he lost his mother last year. But his study about how to come out of it, took him to resort to this mode. And today, rather than sulking over the loss, he celebrates the joyful life has lived with his mother.

But then, another psychiatrist John O’Brien from Canada writes to me saying, ” You must also recognise that while the above tips may help you, the vacuum will stay, the grief will stay. The point is to acknowledge this fact, to fight the depression and to celebrate your mother’s life. It is not a problem that these tips will fix it, rather it is a situation that you will have to deal with, by striking the inner chords of peace through external choices!”

Top image via Unsplash

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