Advice Grief, Loss & Bereavement What do you say to someone grieving on Mother’s Day?

What do you say to someone grieving on Mother’s Day?

How to support someone who has lost their Mum, or child this Mother’s Day?

Mother’s Day can be a powerful way of celebrating the Mums in our lives. But for those of us who have lost Mums, lost children or are longing to become Mum, it can be an emotional and isolating day. Knowing how to support the people grieving on Mother’s Day can be tricky, sometimes this means we avoid the conversation altogether.

But it doesn’t necessarily have to be a hard conversation. Don’t avoid it. Start the conversation by asking them “What’s the best thing I can do for you this Mother’s Day?”

We asked this question to people who have been through it themselves. Read on to see their tips on ways to support someone who is grieving this Mother’s Day.

6 ways to support someone grieving on Mother’s Day

Tip 1: Ask them about the person they’ve lost

“Acknowledge my beautiful Mummo. Speaking about her never makes me sadder than I might already be. I love to keep her close and speaking about her and having conversations about her do just that. Even a simple message to recognise the difficult day Mother's Day can be without a mother is very powerful. Keeping our loved ones alive through sharing stories is a beautiful gift.”
From Carly Moosah

Carly is an entrepreneur, writer and advocate, having survived Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Carly lost her Mum, Sharron, to breast cancer when she was 27. Carly has written a beautiful article about her grief of losing her Mum, and her own breast cancer experience, here.

“In the past I've generally tried to bypass Mother's Day, as if it's just another day, to avoid thinking about her. But as time has gone on, I realised that wasn't a very healthy approach, and the more I allowed myself space to talk and think about her, the easier it's been. So my suggestion would be to simply drop me a message, ask me how I'm feeling, and give me that opportunity to talk about her.”
From Katie Wimpenny, Octopus Legacy’s Senior Partnerships Marketing Manager

Katie leads Octopus Legacy’s charity partnerships team. She lost her Mum over 10 years ago and remembers the life, joy and warmth she brought to the world.

Tip 2: Show them love on the days before and after Mother’s Day too

“Sometimes the days before and after Mother's Day are even more difficult than the actual day. Somehow, we KNOW the day itself is going to be terrible, so we're expecting it, but the days surrounding it can take us off guard. It would mean so much to receive a text on the days leading up to or after the actual holiday just to know that someone is thinking of me.”
From Brooke Carlock

Brooke is a grief support author and blogger. She lost her 10-year-old daughter, Libby, two years ago and her Mum, and Step-Mum. Brooke has written about the difficulty of grief during another landmark date, the anniversary of losing her daughter, here.

Tip 3: Drop them a message - simple acts of kindness mean a lot

“Not that I expect it, but the best thing someone can do for me is simply to send me a text message. On the surface, this seems so simple but for me, it shows that someone has acknowledged my loss and understands that it may be a difficult day. Grief support doesn’t have to be complex or require a million and one things to be done. Something as simple as a text can provide so much comfort beyond belief.”
From Jermaine Omoregie

Jermaine is the host of the Thinking Out Loud podcast, which dives into grief and mental health. Jermaine lost both of his parents within a year of each other. Listen to him discuss his grief journey, and how he began to rebuild his identity after loss in this episode of Thinking Out Loud, here.

“Just check in on what I’m doing. Ask if I wanna go out for dinner. Even send me flowers.
But not everyone’s like that. Some people might wanna be left alone but I think it’s important to reach out. I’d rather reach out to somebody and be told to go away, than not reach out and they be alone.”
From Hatty Ashdown

Hatty Ashdown is a comedian, and host of the Funny Mummies podcast. She spoke about losing her Mum, Pat, and her grief journey on The Motherless Podcast, here.

Tip 4: Allow them to celebrate their person

“There’s no ‘right’ way to feel on Mother’s Day after a loss. I might feel sad, but I might equally want the space to remember all of the things I loved about her too. You won’t know unless you ask.”
From Sam Grice, CEO and Founder of Octopus Legacy

In 2016, Sam's Mum died suddenly in a car crash. Dealing with grief was tough enough without everything else that came with it. Sam started Octopus Legacy to try and make the experience of loss easier for those of us left behind. Now Octopus Legacy is the place to plan for death and find support after a loss, offering a range of estate planning services as well as probate and bereavement support.

Tip 5: Give them space, if they need it

“Honestly, on Mother’s Day, I don’t want anything. Even my family knows that I prefer to be alone and have space. My kids make things for me, but I’m not in a space to want any attention or to acknowledge the day. I’m early in my grief and Mother’s Day feels quite impossible still!”
From Meghan Reese

Meghan is a counsellor in training and a grief blogger. She lost her Mum to cancer nearly 2 years ago. Read more of her story about losing her Mum to cancer, in the tender and honest Huffpost article she wrote, here.

Tip 6: Keep showing them support, no matter how long it’s been

“Keep showing up! Whether it’s someone’s 1st Mother’s Day without their person or their 15th. Send them a ‘thinking of you’ or even just a ‘💜’.”
From Amber Jeffrey, Founder of The Grief Gang

Amber is a podcaster, speaker and grief mentor. Amber lost her Mum when she was 19. 3 years later, she started the brilliant Grief Gang podcast, dedicated to helping other people who are part of “the gang they never asked to be a part of”. Listen to her dedicated Mother’s Day episode of The Grief Gang, here.

Still not sure what exactly to do to support someone this Mother’s Day?

Why not ask them: “What’s the best thing I can do for you this Mother’s Day?”

Articles You Might Like

Need a helping hand?

You can ask our expert team who will support you every step of the way.

Photo of Eliza
Photo of Dylan
Photo of Sam
Photo of Zana
Speak to our team

Sign up to our newsletter

Expect inspiring stories from people navigating life, death and everything in-between.

By providing your email address, you consent to your personal data being held in line with our Privacy Notice.