I was 14 when my mother died, and we were anything but close. She struggled with addiction and psychosis, so I lived with my dad pretty much since the day I was born. To me, Mother's Day was never particularly special. Despite all of this, the holiday somehow managed to change drastically after my mom died. It was met with a new kind of sadness, jealousy, and stress that I hadn't felt before. I have my second mom, who my dad has been with since I was three and is a wonderful woman, yet Mother's Day is a struggle for me . . . every single year.
I had no clue (and still have no clue) how to mention that my mom is dead without making everyone else uncomfortable on a day that's supposed to be happy.
It's been six years since my mom died. I wish I could say it's gotten easier, but in all honesty, I've just gotten quieter with my sorrow. Mother's Day is a reminder of what I'm missing — the friendship with my mom that other women get to cherish. It's a heartbreaking reminder that my questions about work, relationships, and motherhood will go unanswered, because the woman who can give me the best advice is no longer around. No, we weren't as close as I wanted to be when she was alive, but we always had hope for what the future would bring. We had time to make it right, until we didn't. It's sad and hurtful, and while I try my best to be happy — and to show appreciation for my honorary mothers — there is still an ache of residual pain.
I live with the hole of my mom being gone every day, but I definitely don't always live with the jealousy I feel on Mother's Day. I don't wish other people didn't have their moms, but I wish mine were here, and I get upset and frustrated that she isn't. As childish as it sounds, it's not fair. Losing your mom when you're young is the worst reminder of how cruel life can be. While other girls get to gush about their moms being their support systems, I get to put on a fake smile and run to the bathroom whenever I need to cry.
It's difficult to know how to handle this, and it's arduous to act appropriately on Mother's Day. For my first Mother's Day with my partner, I declined to attend his family celebrations because I was far too uncomfortable and prone to crying. I also had no clue (and still have no clue) how to mention that my mom is dead without making everyone else uncomfortable on a day that's supposed to be happy. While she's been gone for a long time now, to me, it still feels like yesterday. I'll be dealing with the loss of my mother for the rest of my life.
Mother's Day is a beautiful day, but it can also be bone-shatteringly painful for so many people. If you, like me, have lost your mom, please know that you aren't alone. Every person who has lost their mother knows how you feel, and we're all in it together. And know that people are often far more understanding than we give them credit for. Reach out for help if you need it, and I guarantee someone will be there.