Mother’s Day can be an incredibly tough day for children and teenagers who have lost their mum.
This special day for so many can bring up a lot of emotions for grieving kids. It can make them feel isolated and can be hard for them to navigate without feeling overwhelmed.
Grieving kids are not alone
It is important for them to know they are not alone. There is a community of other kids in similar situations, feeling similar emotions, that get it.
Sadly, 1 in 20 kids in Australia will experience the death of their mum or dad before they turn 18.
Feel the Magic exists to create a community where grieving kids and their families can connect, feel supported and empowered, to begin to live healthily with their grief.
As one Feel the Magic parent said, “We can’t believe this network exists to provide free programs for kids just like her.” And from another parent, “Going to Camp helped Jesse understand he’s not alone in his grief journey. Being grouped with other kids who have experienced a similar situation to losing his mum has given him the opportunity to share his feelings and experiences with people who truly understand how he feels”.
Children can take comfort knowing that they can keep their mum’s memory alive and celebrate her love and legacy in their own way.
Feel the Magic Camper Emily remembers her mum in her own special ways.
Emily cooks her mum’s sausage roll recipe, just like she used to make. Emily has even taught her nanna and cousins her mum’s recipe. Every time Emily makes them, it brings back memories of her and her mum cooking in the kitchen.
Emily also likes to play her mum’s favourite songs “I Believe In a Thing Called Love” and “Lady Marmalade” – they are both on Emily’s Spotify playlist.
Emily with her dad and mum
Emily with a photo of her mum Susan
How to support a bereaved child on Mother’s Day
Special days, anniversaries and events can be a tough time for anyone who has experienced the death of a loved one, especially for children without a parent. But remembering a lost loved one can provide comfort and meaning during challenging times.
Each child experiences grief differently. It’s important to remember that they might not have the emotional tools or words to express their feelings which is why finding special ways to remember mum on Mother’s Day can be helpful.
This guide is designed to help children and teenagers to honour and remember their mums on Mother’s Day, with helpful strategies to navigate the day.
- Do things that remind you of your mum on Mother’s Day
Doing things that remind you of your mum on Mother’s Day can help you feel closer to your mum. Putting your mum’s favourite flowers in a vase, cooking your mum’s favourite dinner, listening to her favourite music, or doing an activity that she enjoyed or you used to do together, are different ways of remembering your mum on Mother’s Day and maintaining your connection with her.
- Do whatever you want on Mother’s Day without pressure or expectations
For some people, it will be a sad day, for others it may be a happy day, and some people will feel neither happy nor sad. Similarly, for some people it will be a day to remember mum, whilst others may want to avoid it. Each year, one’s feelings and desires will change and be different for everyone. It is important that you do what feels right for you. There is no right or wrong way to feel and there is no right or wrong way to spend Mother’s Day.
- Make a special card in memory of your mother
In the lead up to Mother’s Day, the shops and Mother’s Day stalls at schools may be overwhelming for children bereaved by the death of their mum. Even if your mum has passed away, you still have a mum. Buying a card allows you to think about your mother and connect with her. Writing a message to her, whatever you want to say, is a beautiful way of expressing your love for your mum. You could write an update about your life, or share a special memory you have together, or simply talk about how you’re feeling. This process might make the shops and Mother’s Day stalls at school a little easier. Children and teens might also want to celebrate other important women in their life on Mother’s Day, such as an aunty, grandmother or caregiver.
- Talk about your mum
Mother’s Day can be a good opportunity to talk about your mum to family, friends, or people who knew your mum. Talking about your own memories with your mum or hearing about other people’s memories is a beautiful way to remember her on Mother’s Day. You might learn things you didn’t know before, such as what she was like as a child.
- Avoid social media on Mother’s Day
For adolescents in particular, it may feel like they are bombarded with social media posts of friends and their mums. If you think that seeing other people’s Mother’s Day posts might cause you distress, try to limit your use of social media on Mother’s Day.
Mother’s Day can be a difficult time for kids who have lost their mum. Although their physical presence may be missing, their mum’s love and presence can stay with them in their hearts. Remembering the happy times spent together and the love mum gave can bring a sense of comfort and healing.
For further guidance, read our blog on Supporting Children and Teens through Grief, Anniversaries and Significant Events.