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Navigating Mother’s Day

Nicholas L. M. Allen

May 15, 2024

After losing my mom to cancer, this past Mother’s Day felt quite different.

As Mother’s Day approached, I found myself caught in a whirlwind of emotions unlike any other year. This past January, I said goodbye to my mother, my confidante, to cancer. Her absence looms large, casting a shadow over what was once a day filled with warmth and celebration.

The lead-up to Mother’s Day was the hardest part. Everywhere I turned, reminders of the impending celebration bombarded my senses. Store displays adorned with flowers, advertisements urging us to “show Mom how much you care,” social media flooded with tributes and memories. Each reminder is like a knife to the heart, reopening wounds that have yet to heal.

In the midst of this pain, I grapple with conflicting emotions. On one hand, there’s the desire to honour and remember my mother, to keep her memory alive in any way I can. On the other hand, there’s the overwhelming sense of emptiness, the feeling that no gesture or tribute could ever fill the void left by her absence.

As Mother’s Day dawned, I found myself uncertain of how to mark the occasion. Having a conversation with the small urn of ashes that I keep felt like the right thing to do, a chance to share a few words of love. But I also craved the comfort of family and friends, the shared stories and memories that remind me I’m not alone in my grief. 

I know that it’s okay to grieve, to feel the pain of her absence and to acknowledge the void left in her wake. And as the day unfolded, I took solace in the memories we shared, in the lessons she taught, and in the love that continues to bind us together, even across the vast expanse of eternity.

In the days and weeks that follow, I imagine I will find that the pain of Mother’s Day begins to ease, replaced by a sense of quiet acceptance. While the ache of her absence will never truly fade, I will learn to carry it with me.

So this Mother’s Day, as I navigated the turbulent waters of grief, I find comfort in the knowledge that I’m not alone. Somewhere, in the quiet corners of my heart, my mother’s love lives on. And though she may no longer be here in body, the memories I have of her remain a guiding light, illuminating the path forward as I continue to navigate life without her by my side.

I miss you every day. I’ll always love you.

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