Mother's Day and Grief

If you are celebrating Mother’s Day today, I’m wishing you a day filled with things that bring a smile to your face and warmth to your heart.

If you, like so many women I know, are struggling today, I’m wishing you peace and healing. And, still maybe a day that you can intentionally do things to help you feel connected and supported.

I recently came across a post I wrote in 2015 sharing how mother’s day was feeling for me. Since then, most years are better but it’s still relevant and I know many of you will be able to relate.

We are not alone. ❤️


Today I realized I have lived more of life without a mother than I did with one. It reminded me of the loss and a stirring of feeling abandoned came up.

My mother died before we had the chance to discover whether we could have the kind of mother/daughter relationship I think we both wanted. The kind we both deserved.

The kind I often envied.

My mother was never abusive or cruel to me. Which in some ways made it more confusing.

I still felt unloved and uncared for. It added to my belief of unworthiness.

My mother neglected me. She also suffered with migraines and other medical issues which made me more of the parent and caregiver in our relationship. For much of my childhood it was just the two of us.

(I share this with you as an example of the impact of "subtle" things that are easy to deny or minimize and can have an incredibly significant impact)

While not "abusive", my mother told me I was dreaming when at the age of 8 I told her my stepfather tried to kill me after he tried to keep my crying quiet by putting his hand over my mouth...which was also over my nose since he was so much bigger than me. It was the first and last time I tried to tell my mother. I didn't realize how significant this was to my ability to trust myself until a few years ago. ---back to original post...

Looking back, I realize I didn’t know my mother very well…I guess this is true for many early 20-somethings.

I find myself wondering, especially today (Mother’s Day), what might have been.

As I healed and changed the way I interacted with her, would she have been inspired to heal? As I became more confident and talked to her openly, would she have done the same? Maybe even changing her relationship with her own mother? As my children grew would she be a better grandparent than parent?

As long as a parent is alive there remains a part of us that yearns for the love, respect, and validation we didn’t receive. Holding on to this hope can feel devastating as time goes on. Especially if you are repeatedly reminded this will likely never happen.

But, hope remains.

I, of course, will never know what might have been. And sometimes that creates the most sadness.

Categories: My trauma healing journey & lessons learned along the way, Blog