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Mother’s Day Reflections: Embracing Grief and Legacy

For those of us who have endured the loss of a mother or motherly figure, Mother’s Day can evoke a complex mix of emotions. Losing my mother—who also suffered from dementia—when I was just 35 and a mother to young children was a profound and challenging experience.

Honoring Motherly Legacies on Mother’s Day

Grieving a loved one who experienced cognitive decline does not follow the conventional patterns of grief.  We begin to say goodbye to aspects of our loved ones long before they physically depart, leaving us with longing and unresolved emotions.

Coping with Loss in the Face of Cognitive Decline

With cognitive decline, unlike other losses, we may miss the chance to say goodbye or reconcile unresolved issues. Cognitive decline often robs us of those opportunities. The person we once knew fades away, leaving behind fragments of memories and a deep sense of loss. The lack of closure is one of the most difficult aspects to handle. On Mother’s Day, it’s important for anyone mourning the loss of a mother or motherly figure to acknowledge the complexity of their emotions and embrace the grieving process. Grief is a natural and necessary process, and it’s okay to feel a wide range of emotions, from sadness and anger to acceptance and peace.

Prioritizing Self-Care Amidst Grief

Self-care is crucial during a time of grief. We must nurture ourselves physically, prioritizing sleep and emotionally, including seeking support from loved ones or professionals. I have added 40Hz flickering light to my self-care routine for a better night’s sleep and to help prepare for the day ahead. Engaging in healthy activities like meditation can also aid in the healing process.

"I have added 40Hz flickering light to my self-care routine for a better night’s sleep and to help prepare for the day ahead. Engaging in healthy activities like meditation can also aid in the healing process."

Embracing Hope and Healing Amidst Loss

Amidst our loss, there’s a glimmer of hope for healing and acceptance. As we honor our mothers and motherly figures on Mother’s Day, let’s reflect on the love they shared and the legacies they left. Finding meaningful ways to honor their memory can help us as we navigate the journey of grief and healing.

Creating a Sanctuary of Healing: A Guide to Memory Gardens

Creating a memory garden provides a space for reflection and healing. Here are a few steps to guide you:

  • Select a peaceful area that feels right. If space is limited, this could be a section of your yard, a community garden, or even containers on a balcony.
  • Select plants that mean something to you and your mother or that are known for their calming effects, such as lavender, chamomile, or mint. 
  • Consider colorful and fragrant plants that attract butterflies or birds, adding life and movement to the garden.
  • Add wind chimes or a water element for healing sounds