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Getting Through The First Mother’s Day Without Mom

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The first Mother’s Day without Mom is a journey through grief, love, and cherished memories. Find comfort amid loss while honoring a mother’s life and legacy.


The first Mother’s Day without Mom can feel surreal, like a dream where the world changes around you but you are left standing still.

Come springtime, it seems like every store, commercial, and social media post is all about celebrating and honoring Mother’s Day. And no matter how long it’s been since losing your mother, the sting is real and constant.

I lost my mother last year, which makes this my first Mother’s Day without her. At 89, her physical health had been declining, but she passed away peacefully, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Emotional Turmoil: The First Year After A Loss

The “firsts” in the initial year of losing someone can be hard, including the first Mother’s Day without Mom. I hope the fond memories and the many good times I shared with my mother will carry me through any hard times in the future, as I move forward and continue to cherish her memory.

One of her favorite sayings was “Carry on,” a phrase my wonderful mother often shared with me and my brothers. She encouraged us not to dwell on past mistakes but to keep moving forward as best we can.

Though my mother’s passing was expected, it was still incredibly difficult. Yet, I know the best way to honor her is to continue carrying on, just as she encouraged us to do.

My mother and me at our cottage in Wisconsin

Handling Loss On Special Days Amidst Social Media

Loss or no loss, for many, Mother’s Day can be a tough day, and there is no right way to navigate the emotional pain from the loss of your mother.

When it comes to holidays and special occasions, social media only magnifies the loss. Platforms like Instagram and Facebook are often filled with happy moments and celebrations, but they can also be a minefield leading up to special days like Mother’s Day.

We may wrestle with our own grief while scrolling through posts with happy messages that wish moms a happy Mother’s Day everywhere.

5 Ways To Find Comfort And Pay Tribute To A Mother’s Memory

Finding positive ways to remember my mom has been essential for my mental health.

Instead of focusing solely on the loss of my mother, I try to remember the full life she lived and the impact she had on everyone around her. From her kind words to her unwavering support, my mother’s presence in my life was a gift I will always cherish.

While the painful memories of her absence are still fresh, I know it is important not to isolate myself and to keep honoring my mother’s spirit in meaningful ways.

I am discovering everyday helpful ways to honor my mother’s memory, and to cope with the emotional and physical toll of grief.


Here are 5 Mother’s Day coping strategies to comfort and honor your mom’s memory.

Friends and Family

Surrounding yourself with dear friends and family members who understand your pain can be invaluable. They can provide emotional support, share cherished memories, and remind you that you are not alone in your grief.


Sharing stories, looking through old photo albums, and reminiscing about the good times you’ve shared with your mother can provide moments of comfort during this difficult time. These activities honor and keep your mother’s legacy alive within your heart.

Visit her Grave

If your mother was buried nearby, consider visiting her gravesite. Cemeteries often offer a serene and peaceful environment, providing a quiet space to sit, visit with your mom, and reflect on the beautiful and cherished memories you shared.

Letter or Card

Writing a heartfelt letter or card to your mother can be a therapeutic way to cope with the emotions of facing your first Mother’s Day without her. It offers a personal space to express feelings, reminisce about cherished memories, and honor your mother’s enduring love and legacy.

New Traditions

Creating new traditions can also be a great way to honor your mom’s memory and to navigate the first Mother’s Day without her. Here are some examples.

  • Memorial Garden. Honor her memory by creating a memorial garden with her favorite flowers, a small but meaningful gesture to keep her spirit alive.
  • Favorite Meal. Cooking your mother’s favorite meal. can be a comforting way to connect with heartwarming memories and feel her presence through the familiar tastes and smells you both loved.
  • Movie Night. Gather a few close friends or family members, ideally siblings, or choose to watch alone if you prefer solitude. Select one of your mother’s favorite movies, grab her favorite movie snacks, and enjoy the film as if she were sitting beside you – because she is, in spirit.
  • Reunion. Sharing stories about your mother to her grandchildren and great-grandkids keeps her memory alive for future generations, and provides a sense of family connection.

Honoring Mom On Mother’s Day

My mother was a dear friend, my confidante, and my rock. I shared both the highs and lows of my life with my mom, sensing that she too had faced many of the same challenges, My mother always empathized, and I never felt judged.

My Mom’s unconditional love was a constant reminder that my brothers and I were never alone, no matter how tough life got. Her beautiful smile brightened our hearts and always made us feel special.

As the first Mother’s Day without my mom approaches, I think about the words and phrases she’d share to comfort me. My mom would often say, “Kindness is the only thing that matters.”

These words resonate deeply with me today, reminding me to be gentle with myself as I navigate a new reality without her.

Despite the pain of losing my mom, I am reminded of the love and life she brought into the world. Her love was unconditional, her laughter infectious, and her presence a constant source of strength.

First Mother’s Day Without Mom

While this first Mother’s Day without Mom will undoubtedly be a tough day, I take comfort in knowing that her love will continue to guide me. As I navigate this difficult time of year, I am learning that it is perfectly normal to have mixed emotions.

It’s okay to celebrate the happy memories while also acknowledging the painful ones. It is fine for me to grieve the loss of my mother while also finding joy in the love she shared with me, and my brothers, and the legacy she left behind.

Carry On – thank you, Mom, for everything.

Happy Heavenly Mother’s Day Mom

Ultimately, the first Mother’s Day without my mom is not just a reminder of the void her absence has left in my life but also a celebration of the love, laughter, and lessons she shared.

While the pain of my mother’s loss is undeniable, her love inspires me to be kind, cherish the happy moments, and embrace the beautiful day ahead.

Here’s to you, Mom, on your first Mother’s Day in heaven. Thank you for my life, my world, and the beautiful memories we’ve shared. Wishing you a very happy Mother’s Day.

Helpful Books On Loss

Here are 5 books I found helpful after my mother died. Perhaps you will find them helpful as well.

  1. Healing After the Loss of Your Mother: A Grief & Comfort Manual
  2. On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss
  3. Things I Wish I Knew Before My Mom Died: Coping with Loss Every Day
  4. I’m Not a Mourning Person: Braving Loss, Grief, and the Big Messy Emotions That Happen When Life Falls Apart
  5. The Year of Magical Thinking

NOTE: As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you. You can read the full disclosure policy.

Let’s Connect

I hope you found this article valuable, and please consider sharing it with anyone you feel it could benefit.

Also, let me know how you celebrate Mother’s Day – with your Mom alive or in spirit, I’d love to know! You can share your thoughts and comments below, as I do read all responses and respond promptly.

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  1. I could have benefited from this insightful and heartfelt article when my mom passed 18 years ago. Thanks for sharing, Dawn! I’m praying for you as you continue to navigate through the grief of losing your mom. ❤️