For some grieving families, Mother’s Day represents time to draw closer to one another and experience healing. For others, it brings on overwhelming or distressing grief waves. As the second Sunday in May approaches, Judi’s House offers the following suggestions.
Planning ahead is one of the best things families can do to take care of themselves when potentially difficult times are approaching. While self-care, connecting, and memorializing may help some, others just want to get through the day. Either is okay.
Talk to kids about what they want to do. Maybe they don’t want the whole day to be about Mom. Maybe they want to celebrate grandma, a close friend, or each other. Maybe they just want to go to a movie or do something to take their mind off Mom’s absence.
Connecting looks different for every family. The benefit is creating positive interactions and memories, even while navigating intense grief waves.
Here are some suggested activities for creating family connection while combatting isolation and loneliness.
· Make a family activity grab-bag. Have each member of the family write a group activity on a slip of paper. Combine all the activities in a bag, jar, or hat. Take turns choosing from the mix. In addition to practicing getting along and following rules, playing together as a family facilitates healthy brain development and bolsters confidence.
· Paint a mural together. Being creative together as a family can lead to a growth mindset. Tape butcher paper to the wall and paint or draw a collage or a panorama. It can be something that honors Mom’s memory, or something entirely new!
· Cook a meal together. Maybe it’s Mom’s favorite food, or a special dish she made. In addition to being better for you, home cooking provides a space for sharing family memories, traditions and culture.
· Exercise together. Physical activity reduces sadness and worry. It helps kids focus and think clearly. It doesn’t have to be extravagant—take a walk, play soccer, or dance in the living room.
Memorializing Mom might look like doing something she liked to do, going to her favorite restaurant, or playing her favorite game. It might look like buying her favorite flowers, or visiting her gravesite. Kids could write Mom a letter. More than anything, just acknowledging her role and importance in the family may help meet grief waves head on.