It was Palm Sunday, and her daughter sang in the Youth Choir. One of her sons added to the dramatic music by sharing his percussion skills. Tears clouded my eyes and heart as I remembered that this Mother’s Day would be so sad for this family; for, the children’s young mother had died just a few months ago.
I believe that individuals, like this family, whose mom is no longer here, except in their hearts, would greatly welcome and value knowing that others acknowledge their grief and would appreciate that you fondly remember their deceased mother. Here are five ways to show kindness to individuals whose mother has passed away.
Tips for Caring for a Friend Whose Mother Died
- In a note or in person, you might say, “This must be a very difficult time for you as you remember your dear mother. I am so sorry about your on-going sorrow. I will be thinking of you this week.” (It would be extra meaningful if you included a fun or touching memory of the mother.)
- Give your friend a small gift that reminds you of her mother. For example, when I was a child, my mom always had beautiful African violets. So, it was heart-warming when my sister-in-law gave me an African violet plant on Mother’s Day after my mom died. The sweetness and beauty of the small violets reminded me of Mom’s sweetness and beauty, and whenever I saw those flowers, I smiled and remembered a loving moment with her.
- Make a donation to an organization which the mother supported. For instance, if the mom was a teacher, find a classroom to support–maybe donating some books or art supplies. Then write your friend a note describing the donation and why you chose this particular donation.
- When appropriate, our family has given memorial garden stones to bereaved friends. I especially like the Butterfly Garden Gift Box, with its lovely memorial garden stone.
- It can be healing to share photos or fond memories of someone’s mother who has passed away. If it is your mother, you can ask for people to share their memories; if it’s a friend’s mother, you can offer up a photo with a personal note – “I found this photo of your mom; she was always smiling!”
So as Mother’s Day approaches spend some time caring for those individuals who are grieving the death of their mothers. Although the feelings of loss are greater during the first few years after a mom’s death, an empty space and sadness in one’s heart may always be there. Be sensitive to all individuals whose mothers have died. Remembering them with spoken words, a note, flowers, or other appropriate gifts lets them know they are not alone with their memories. Your kind recollection will be a love-gift to them.
And, I’ll add this: thank you, Laurel Box, for providing beautiful gifts to express our caring for those who are grieving. My husband and I sent your beautiful, handcrafted copper Wind Chime and a note to the family mentioned in the introduction of this article.
Karen is the founder of Wisdom of the Wounded, a ministry that inspires and equips people to care for others during life’s difficulties. Click here for a digital copy of the guidebook 122+ Ways to Care Well. Or you may request a free print copy by completing this form.