Tuesday, 26 March 2019

The Dark Side Of Mother's Day




As I walk through the shopping centre one afternoon in early March, I feel my heart begin to pound out of my chest, and a strange sensation of wanting to burst into tears and scream simultaneously waves over me.
Wherever I look there are signs reminding us all that Mother's Day is fast approaching. 
Reminding us to buy cards, flowers and gifts. Book a fancy Sunday lunch perhaps.... and of course then will come the hundreds of gushing captions and pictures of stranger's mothers all over our social media feeds.

There is a dark side of Mother's Day that isn't seen or promoted, but it is there lurking within lots of us. 
Behind the advertising, captions and busy restaurant tables filled with happy families, there are many people at home hiding away, keeping away from any public areas where it doesn't feel safe. 

You see, I lost my own beautiful mum in 2015, when she died of breast cancer at the age of just 56. I was 26 years old at the time, and felt completely and utterly lost. A tiny insignificant soul lost in a huge overwhelming world, without the one person that we rely on for safety.

Grief is a messy emotion and something that many people choose to bury away deep down, but I think that it is important to be honest and perhaps provide an insight into how some people may be feeling this Mother's Day.

Envy is said to be one of the Seven deadly sins, and is another emotion that I wish I never encountered, but sadly it does like to rear it's ugly head.
I don't think it's something that many people would want to admit to, but it is there for me. I cannot deny that on Mothering Sunday I feel envious. Envious of anyone and everyone who has a living mother, and who they are able to share a meal with and buy gifts for.
I don't want to see their gloriously happy afternoon and read their stories, when I shall be spending my afternoon at a cemetery.
Sure I am still able to post a picture and write a gushing caption myself, but it is painful to have to write in the past tense. My mum isn't in my present, at least not physically.

I am also of course aware that I would be doing the exact same if my mum was here, and have no ill feelings towards anyone who does the wonderful posts. It is just pure unadulterated envy.

Each year I try and avoid Social Media and any reminders of what I just don't have, but it is impossible to avoid it all and I do look even though each picture brings yet another tear and another stab at my chest.

So now I allow myself that one day. One day to feel everything. Envious, utterly sorry for myself, mad at the universe and just deep rooted sadness. It is OK to feel these things, and not to feel dirty for doing so. 

A lot of people will mutter the words 'I'm fine' to you, but perhaps it would be nice to send a little love their way too, as well as your mum this Mother's Day.
It is also ok, FYI, to just tell your mum to her face how much she means to you, and not have to post about it online too. I am aware that this may make me sound bitter, but actions do speak louder than words, and one less post out there is one less post to make someone else sad.

Trust me, a day that solely revolves around someone who isn't here anymore can break you. But that little text or thought could bring some light into their day, and stop the envy for just a moment.  

For anyone who is dreading Mother's Day this year....it is only one day. It will pass. 
Keep yourself busy, but it can be easier to stay away from restaurants and very public areas. 
Do think of your beautiful mum's, even though it will make you sad, but sharing funny stories, looking through photographs and raising a glass is cathartic. 

You were lucky to have them in your life, for however long it was for. 


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