Holidays after a loss are pretty crap. There is no getting around it. This first year after my Mom died, I have just gone through the motions and tried to get through it. I nearly always feel better once it’s over and I don’t have to put on my happy face.
Yesterday was Mother’s Day and frankly, it sucked. Not only did my husband not plan very well (he’s just not good with ‘special’ days or gifts, frankly) and my kids didn’t know what day it was (they claim they forgot)…but they were who I was relying on to make it a bearable day. Not wonderful, just bearable. This was my first Mother’s Day without with my Mom. I know it will get better. I know my pain is still very raw.
Regardless, I woke up…a mess. I cried nearly all day. I thought about my Mom all day and just felt really sorry for myself. I kept seeing and thinking about all the other people who were happy visiting their mothers or spending time with their children and feeling wonderful (because it was actually gorgeous outside) and just couldn’t manage to muster those happy feelings in myself. I oscillated between weeding and going inside to basically stare and try not to cry. I finally just decided that happy wasn’t going to happen and just limped through it.
And I’m reading this book where one of the characters is infertile and talks about how Mother’s Day is the worst day of the year for her (It’s called What Alice Forgot and it’s really thought provoking). It got me thinking about how we forget that certain days and holidays, which can be so joyful for many, can just be downright painful to others. Like, you just want to stay in bed until it’s over and even avoid the whole next day also so people don’t continually ask you , “So, did you have a nice Mother’s Day?”. I actually responded, “not really” to a Dad who asked me that this morning and needless to say he quickly moved on to something else. Nobody wants to hear your sad story.
And what about these poor kids in school whose mothers have died or given them up or whatever, being made to make Mother’s Day cards and necklaces? And the same goes for Father’s Day.
Ugh. When people haven’t had to deal with that kind of loss, they forget that other people have and how days like this are not always so joyful. At all. I don’t blame them for not understanding. I used to be that person. I guess this is why older people seem so wise. Because they know.
On an interesting side note, the woman who created Mother’s Day, died despising it.