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From Grief to Gratitude: Finding Joy on Mother’s Day Despite The Loss

Tawana Fields
Apr 27, 2023

Mother's Day is a time to celebrate the women in our lives who have nurtured us, loved us unconditionally, and shaped us into the people we are today. It's a day filled with joy, gratitude, and appreciation. However, for those of us who have lost our mothers, this day can be a painful reminder of what we have lost. 


On Wednesday, October 12, 2022, at 5:52 PM, I held my beautiful mother in my arms as she took her last breath and went to live with Jesus forever. It was the most painful thing I have ever experienced, but it was also the most beautiful thing I've experienced because God granted me the opportunity to usher her into His presence. I'd spent that entire day singing to my mother, playing worship music, praying, and simply loving on my mother. The doctors and nurses assured me that my mom could hear everything I was saying. That brought me comfort. 

The Sunday before my mom's passing, she told me she was tired, and although I wanted to crumble at that moment, my spirit understood what she meant. So I assured her that it was OK to go and be with Jesus. My faith reminded me of 2nd Corinthians 5:8, which says, "We are confident, I say, and would prefer to be away from the body and at home with the Lord."

Although I am sure that she is now resting in the arms of our Heavenly Father, it doesn't diminish or erase the pain and heartbreak I feel every day. This will be the first Mother's Day without my mom, and the very thought of that is devastating. My mother and I both loved this holiday. I loved buying cards and adding my touch to each of them. I loved surprising her with something special or having a special meal. The thought of being unable to do any of these things, spend time with her watching our favorite shows, or talking and laughing together is all painful and, if allowed, depressing! 


The other morning, I asked myself, "How will you handle this first Mother's Day without your mom being here?" But, of course, I recognize the decision is up to me. I get to choose how I respond to whatever emotion may come over me. When my mom was well, she was lively, a woman of faith, strength, courage, and a lover of God and people! My mom wasn't one to easily give up or give in to situations or difficulties that would arise. Instead, she would get on her knees and pray. Then get up and say, "It's in God's hands now." After that, she would move on with life, resting in the fact that her Heavenly Father would take care of it! This is the level of faith I witnessed growing up. 

As I took a moment to reflect on this, I decided to celebrate the memory of my mother by embracing and dwelling on the beautiful memories we created together. The first Mother's Day without your mom can be an emotionally challenging experience. It can bring up feelings of sadness, grief, and loneliness. However, it's essential to recognize that these feelings are normal. Permit yourself to grieve in your own way. Your heart may be broken, but understand you are not alone. Psalm 38:18, we are reminded, "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." I pray the following helps.


  1. Allow Yourself To Feel Your Emotions. It's important to acknowledge and validate your emotions. Allow yourself to feel sad, angry, or whatever feelings come up for you. It's OK to cry and express your grief in whatever feels natural to you. Don't try and suppress them or pretend that everything is OK. Feel everything, and when the moment passes, release it, and let it go until the next time. Grief will come again. 
  1. Find Ways To Honor Your Mom. Find a way to honor your mom on Mother's Day. This can be as simple as lighting a candle in her memory or writing her a letter. You could also create a unique memorial, such as a scrapbook or photo album, that celebrates her life and your shared memories. Honoring your mom can help you feel connected to her and keep her memory alive. 
  1. Reach Out To Others For Support. Feel free to reach out to friends, family, or a support group for help. Talking to others who have experienced a similar loss can be comforting and reassuring. It can also be helpful to connect with others who understand what you're going through and can offer support and encouragement. Something that I have found beneficial is writing in a journal. 
  1. Take Care Of Yourself. Grief can be physically and emotionally exhausting. It's vital to take care of yourself during this difficult time. Ensure you get plenty of rest, eat well, and engage in activities that bring you joy and comfort. Don't feel guilty for taking time for yourself and doing things that make you happy. 
  1. Focus On The Positive. While Mother's Day can be difficult, it's also an opportunity to celebrate the positive memories and experiences you shared with your mom. Focus on the happy times and the love you shared. Remember, your mom's love and influence will always be a part of you. Allow it to now live through you. 

Losing a mom is life-changing, and the first Mother's Day without her can be extremely arduous. But with time and support, you will learn to navigate this new reality and find a way to honor and celebrate your mom's memory. Remember, grief is a process, and there is no right or wrong way to grieve. Be patient and compassionate with yourself, and know that healing is possible. Gravitate to the words found in John 14:27, "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not be afraid."


Here are a few resources to encourage you this Mother's Day season:

  • MESSAGE: God’s purpose for your life is for such a time as this. You are the right person to navigate the complex situations in your life. “You Got This, Queen!” - Click Here
  • ARTICLE: Pursuing the Joy Of Being Present - It can increase happiness, reduce stress, and greater application of life’s simple pleasure. To read more - Click Here
  • ARTICLE: Are you struggling with worry and anxiety? Here are 10 Bible Verses to help you with How To Handle Anxiety - Click Here