This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.
Mother’s Day is supposed to be a joyous occasion, but for those who have lost their mom, it is a constant reminder of her absence.
PHL 17’s Demetria Green talked to a local psychotherapist who gave us three tips on how to cope with Mother’s Day blues.
People are bombarded with happy commercials and radio ads leading up to the holiday. Psychotherapist Elise Gaul with Healthy Mind Resources says if you are grieving, you need to ignore those ads and focus on you.
“Sometimes we get caught up in thinking about what we should do and how we should feel and not how we really feel,” said Gaul.
Gaul’s mother died in 2006. She now uses her loss to empathize with patients. Her first step to cope with Mother’s Day blues is to give yourself permission to grieve. Since everybody’s grieving process is unique, Gaul suggests practicing compassion.
“I think of grief as a process of gas and brakes. You have to have energy and rest.”
The next step is to reconnect with society, but only if you are comfortable.
“It could be connecting with friends and family. It could be connecting with nature. It could be connecting with God or a spiritual being. It could be connecting with myself and my own inner wisdom,” Gaul said.
Step three is to remove the words “always” or “never.”
Gaul says there is no timetable for grief so you cannot expect to feel one emotion over an extended period.
“People tell me, ‘I will always be sad. I will never be happy.’ That’s not true!”
It is important to remember that grief moves. How you feel this Mother’s Day will probably be different next year. Give yourself space and permission to grieve.
For moms who have lost a child, Gaul explains some days may be worse than others.
“If we find a way to move on with our lives in terms of staying connected with the people we lost, stay connected with your own feelings and how you want to manage your lives.”
If you, or someone you know, is having a tough during the grieving process, call a trained grief counselor.