By CYN LoPINTO
No matter how old you are, the emptiness experienced after losing a mother can remain an ever-present part of your life. Even if it has been a number of years since this loss, feelings of grief can creep in at the most surprising times. You can be successful in marriage and raising children. Your career and work life are thriving. You have friends and family who care about you. But every once in a while, your grownup self just needs to be mothered.
I remember a day in my teens when I found my mom in tears on the anniversary of her mother’s death. It was many years after my grandmother died and I was surprised to see my mother upset. I didn’t really understand it. She shared that although the death was years ago, the sadness was still raw. She wished that my siblings and I had more years with our grandmother and were able to get to know her. My mom was grieving the loss of watching her children and mother having a relationship.
The occasions that trigger feelings of grief are often impossible to anticipate. While death anniversaries, birthdays and special events are common times to mourn, it is the “out of nowhere” moments that catch you off guard. You are just going through your regular day and there it is. It can stop you right in your tracks.
Many notice the sorrow of not having a mother around as they go through hard times and feel overwhelmed. A mom may symbolize the person who gave good advice and was there when trouble arose. These are the circumstances that trigger a need for nurturing and help. Even though you are an adult and are handling the stresses in your life, these vulnerable situations can leave a void. Sometimes we all need to be taken care of.
I try to concentrate on the love and memories I shared with my mother to get me through these difficult moments. I first allow myself to experience the sorrow – unfortunately there is no way around this part of it. If you open yourself up to be close to people, then you may get hurt. This goes hand-in-hand, but well worth the gamble. Then I try to feel her presence by realizing that she is still “in my corner” in spirit and would be offering warm words of encouragement. I imagine her cheering me on. My mother may be gone in the physical world but she is still a big part of my life.