Coping with bereavement this Mother’s Day

Published on: Thursday, 4th March 2021
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Sadly, a large number of people are about to experience their first Mother’s Day since losing their mum, many to Covid-19.  With this in mind, counsellors at Relate Derby & Southern Derbyshire have put together some advice for those grieving on Mother’s Day.

Relate Counsellor Dee Holmes said: “Losing a parent is a terrible thing to go through at any time, but when numbers allowed at funerals are restricted and you’re unable to see family and friends for support or a hug, it adds a whole new and unwanted dimension to the grieving process. 

“If you’re experiencing your first Mother’s Day without your mum this year, it’s likely to bring back memories of happier times which could be painful to deal with.  This is understandable and it’s important to put yourself first: perhaps you’d like to do something to remember your mum or maybe you aren’t ready.  Do whatever’s right for you and don’t be afraid to reach out for support should you need it.”

Relate’s advice for coping with your first Mother’s Day after bereavement

  • Treat yourself with kindness.  Think of how you would treat a really good friend in this situation. You would probably want to look after them and be very caring – you should try to do this for yourself, too.
  • Do what feels right for you.  You may feel like having a quiet day and curling up on the sofa, or you may want to do something specific to remember your mum.  Maybe you want to do something active or creative to distract yourself.  Go with whatever feels right.  
  • Know it’s common to experience a range of different feelings.  You may have been doing ok and feel you were coming to terms with your loss but suddenly feel extremely sad when you realise what day it is.  Perhaps you will have moments of joy and laughter as you remember your mum or other moments where you feel irritable.  You may experience anger or guilt. All of this is normal.
  • Find creative ways to connect.  If you feel you would like to be with others but can’t due to restrictions, think about what you can arrange online to remember your mum together.   For example, could you create an online memory book or organise a video call where you share memories? You might want to share something about your feelings on social media, but if seeing other people’s posts about their Mother’s Day experiences is likely to trigger you then step away from your phone and find another way.
  • Seek support if you need it.  A counsellor can help to work through painful feelings and provide a safe space to work through your grief.  There are a number of options that may work for you including webcam, phone or email counselling, or a 30 minute WebChat session.  Find out more at  

Relate Derby & Southern Derbyshire is providing family, relationship and bereavement counselling to people living in Derby, Southern Derbyshire and East Staffordshire during this time.  Visit to find out more and to access a range of information and self-help.  Relate is also offering FREE 30 minute WebChats with Relationships and Wellbeing Advisors to anyone aged 18+ who is living in England and affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.  Find out more at

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