With Mother’s Day having passed recently and Father’s Day around the corner, it is important to touch on the fact that these celebrations do not land the same with everyone. Being a therapist gives me the privilege to witness how painful these two days can be for someone who has experienced loss or who has been hurt by primary caregivers. It is a good reminder that while some may be planning and holding conversations with excitement for these celebrations, for others it is a time of grief.
If you are someone who has lost a parent or child, or someone who has been harmed by parental figures, it is okay to feel the sadness and let it move through you while being gentle with yourself. This can also be an opportunity to honor those loved ones who are no longer here in different ways. Room can be created to hold rituals that feel comforting and allow you to feel connected to those who have passed. It can also be helpful to explore ways in which you can create connections with yourself and other relationships. This can be a time where you surround yourself with others who you are close to or show yourself love by creating a “you” day.
For those of us who know people who do not have the opportunity to celebrate Mother’s Day or Father’s Day with loved ones, we can find other ways to show up for them. Sometimes it can be helpful to simply reach out and see how they are doing, rather than sending a happy Mother’s Day or Father’s Day message. You can also ask those you know in these situations what they need from you during this time.
These holidays can be difficult to navigate for many and we can show up for ourselves and others to show love and support. It is also okay to not know what we need or to feel the grief and loss without doing anything. However you choose to celebrate Mother’s day and Father’s Day, it is important to hold compassion and gentleness with yourself.