April 24, 2024

New Traditions for Mother's Day Memorials

by Lanna Britt

As we talked about in the last blog, Mother’s Day has been a national holiday here in the US for over 100 years. It’s a day set aside to honor moms as well as those mother-figures in our life. Mother’s Day for those who have lost their mom will obviously look different than traditional celebrations. In this blog, we’ll talk about how to honor your deceased mom on Mother’s Day as well as offer new traditions for honoring mothers who have passed away. 

Traditional Mother's Day Memorials

Remembering mom on Mother’s Day can happen in a variety of ways and it’s important to know there is no “right” or “wrong” way to honor someone. The first Mother’s Day without mom is probably going to be the hardest and most challenging to navigate. There is something about fresh loss that reaches into the corners of your heart and leaves you feeling off balance and bereft. Give yourself lots of grace in this season and know you don’t have to put on a brave face and pretend. Let your family and friends know if this is really hard for you. Allow yourself to grieve however you need to. Traditional Mother’s Day memorials could include visiting your mother’s grave and placing flowers on it. Some might choose to donate to a cause or nonprofit the deceased was passionate about like cancer research, her local church or something similar. Another way to honor mom would be to write her a letter describing how life is different without her here and what you miss most. Journaling and putting pen to paper is therapeutic and can be a helpful way to cope with Mother’s Day grief. While these traditional memorials are great options, we wanted to include some fresh ideas on how to honor mom on Mother’s Day in unique and meaningful ways. 

Ideas for New Mother's Day Memorials

Creating a Memory Garden

Gardening has documented physical and emotional benefits that could help in the grieving process as well as create a lasting memorial to honor mom. A memory garden is simply a dedicated green space to honor someone. It can encompass an entire backyard, or be an indoor potted plant area for apartment dwellers. From seed packets to butterfly gardens to memorial garden stakes, there are numerous ways to honor mom with a memorial garden this Mother’s Day. 

Crafting a Memory Jar or Memory Box

Memories are the invisible strings that attach us to each other. They are a powerful tool in continuing to feel close to someone, long after they leave this earth. Sit down and write down some memories of your mom and add them to a mason jar or wooden memory box. Don’t feel like you need to fill it up on the first day. Allow space and time to bring back special memories. If available, look through old photos and add your favorites to the jar. A new tradition could be on special holidays like Mother’s Day or her birthday, take a few minutes and sit in the silence with your memories and write your favorites down. In the moments when you miss her most or feel disconnected from her, light a memorial candle and read through the past and share those memories with those around you.

Hosting a Remembrance Brunch

This could be such a sweet time with close friends and family to begin a new Mother’s Day tradition after loss. Don’t overcomplicate it. Just invite a few people closest to you and/or her and consider incorporating some of her favorites foods or likes. Bring out some old photos or home movies. Have each person tell a story in which she impacted them or a special moment they shared. Be authentic and don’t shy away from the hard stories too. Have a box of tissues close by and good music in the background. You could even pass out a custom Forget-Me-Not seed packet to each guest. Make sure to take a picture of your group and Remembrance Brunch to look back at down the road! 

Incorporating Technology into Mother's Day Memorials

Creating an Online Memorial

An online memorial is simply a digital space to allow friends and family to honor the loved one after his or her death. This list has a breakdown of their top 10 online memorial websites. The benefits to an online memorial is that anyone with the internet can access it and join in sharing memories, condolences and photos. It’s also a low time commitment. Users need only take a few minutes to be a part of the digital community honoring the deceased. Many of the platforms allow for customizable templates to personalize the page. 

Virtual Memorial Tributes

A virtual memorial tribute could cover a range of options. You could host a virtual service whether through Virtual Memorial Gatherings or even Zoom or a WhatsApp Group. You could also create a special tribute post that you’d share via Facebook or Instagram. You could even create memory videos and share them via Tik Tok. I remember a heartwarming story about sisters who went viral for sharing funny confessions to their mom who had passed away from pancreatic cancer. They joked about not filing their mom’s taxes or knowing they needed separate car insurance. People connected to the transparency and humor they incorporated in their videos. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box as you navigate your individual grief journey. 


If you are experiencing Mother’s Day grief, we hope this blog has been helpful and hopeful in offering ways to honor your loved one. Be open to creating new celebrations of life ideas for mom and incorporating special ways to honor her legacy. Remember, we’ll all have a unique grief journey but we can unite together around our shared experiences. What are some ways you’ve honored women in your life who are no longer here? How will you honor your mom this Mother's Day if she’s passed away? Let us know by emailing info@laurelbox.com or connecting with us on social media. For all those grieving this Mother’s Day, know we are sending virtual hugs your way. 


Lanna Britt was a national news producer in Washington DC for nearly a decade covering politics, breaking news and current events.  She now lives with her husband and three children in Richmond VA. She has two sweet babies she’ll meet again in heaven.

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