8 Ways to Cope with Grief and Loss on Mother’s Day


Miami, FL — Mother’s Day is a welcome opportunity to celebrate a loved one, but the day can also trigger feelings of grief and loss for those whose mothers are no longer alive. VITAS® Healthcare, the nation’s leading provider of end-of-life care, and its grief specialists offer insights and coping tips for those who approach Mother’s Day with a sense of loss.

Coping with loss on Mother's Day? Visit VITAS.com/MothersDay

“When someone doesn’t have a mother and is grieving, Mother’s Day can bring up the pain, almost as a reminder that it’s been a year or 10 years or 20 years or even 50 years since she’s been gone,” says Robin Fiorelli, director of bereavement and volunteer services for VITAS. Many of the hospice company’s programs offer Mother’s Day events, including “Missing Our Mothers” programs since 2007.

Although coping with the loss of a loved one can be a long process, some ways to cope with being motherless on Mother’s Day include:

  1. Tell stories or share memories of Mom with others
  2. Create special crafts, photo albums or scrapbooks to remember her
  3. Cook or share Mom’s special recipes
  4. Write a letter to Mom, or journal about her
  5. Meditate as you “take a walk” with Mom or visit her grave
  6. Read stories or poetry about mothers
  7. Donate to a charity or volunteer in her honor
  8. Find closure for unresolved issues by attending a grief support group

One of the best ways to infuse Mother’s Day with new meaning, Fiorelli advises, is to expand the definition of “mother” to include honoring women who have served as mother figures— grandmothers, aunts, cousins, mentors, friends, teachers, adoptive mothers, anyone who has been nurturing in positive ways.

“It can be really healing on Mother’s Day to honor the person who was motherly to you, someone who was protective and had your back,” she says. “While we know our mother is gone, we still have a relationship with her, based on memories, a shared history and the fact that we can still feel her presence and support.”

Explore additional coping tips at VITAS.com/MothersDay.

Find VITAS groups, classes and events near you.


Join our email list for webinars, Hospice care news & more.