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A week after Mother’s Day last year — I lost my mom.

I remember asking about what she wanted to do for her holiday – to which she answered, “Manood tayo ng movie, sama natin sina ninang mo. I remember her excitement vividly, but never did it cross my mind that that was the last Mother’s Day I’ll ever get to spend with her. What was a simple and fun outing has now become one of my fondest memories, which is why celebrating the day a week short of the first anniversary of her passing stings extra hard.

I planned on ignoring this thing altogether, but I’ve decided to acknowledge that the slow process of healing requires taking on painful obstacles if I should get to wherever I’ll get to go. Someone got me a couple of materials suggesting that I am allowed to not make a spectacle out of that Sunday in May. Instead, I can do modest things dedicatory of our great memories and connection. Here are some of the ideas I opted to do in celebration of my mom:

Give her a visit

The first and most important thing to do to actually pay respects is a few hours of just being present. Some flowers, scented candles, and moments spent reflecting are enough to bring inner peace. It’s a way to be connected in the purest way possible.

Get together with the family

Dining in with the closest relatives, cooking her old recipes, and reminiscing good times — a surefire way to do mom good on Mother’s Day. Looking back at some of her memories in different perspectives will probably give a good shot of the wonderful life she had.

Post something on social media

She won’t be able to appreciate the tribute anymore, but she does deserve to be shown off for her works as an unsung hero through and through. A good photo and some personal anecdote just might do the deed.

Roll out old traditions

Embracing this holiday means getting face to face with really personal vestiges and recollections, so going down memory lane to recreate customs might be a whole lot of struggle. I’ll make do with the simple things like ordering her favorite burger, finally buying that cute trinket we saw at the mall, etc. Anything just to keep her spirit alive is enough — but not whatever’s going to be mentally straining.

A lot of firsts are impossible especially if you haven’t reached the one-year mark of a massive familial loss yet. Know, however, that it’s perfectly fine to not get yourself doing anything you aren’t 100% mentally-charged for. Grief is on the topmost level of subjective, so it takes different variations of recovery. Take anything that is good for you in this trying time, and maybe live the best life your mom would’ve wanted you to have. I know I will.

Illustration by Madel Crudo

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