Facing my first Mother's Day without my mum

Mother's Day: For some it is a day of grief instead of celebration.
Mother's Day: For some it is a day of grief instead of celebration. Photo: Getty

Dear friends,

I know you're looking forward to Mother's Day. If you're a mother yourself, I know this day is doubly as important.

But when you're talking and planning and sharing, please spare a thought for little old me – the girl who's lost her mum.

Everywhere I look there is a reminder that Mother's Day is approaching. Signs, cards, emails, reminders that I should be buying my mother a present because she is wonderful.

Buy her a mug with your face on it. Buy her some comfy pyjamas. Buy her a beautiful frame of you and your siblings so she can wake up to it everyday.

Everywhere I look there is a reminder that my mother is not here to celebrate.

I wish I could buy her a present. I wish I could shower her in cheesy gifts to show her how much I love her. Because she is the most magnificent mother a child could ever dream of having. And she was taken way too soon.

Just remember friends, that this year will be my first Mother's Day without her. Know that I am dreading it.

Please understand that I have no children of my own so there truly is not one single thing to look forward to.

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Don't worry, I'll listen as you tell me of your plans. I'll smile and tell you to have a good time. I'll tell you to hug your mum a little closer. Tell her that you love her just that one extra time. Remind her that she is beautiful and that everything you are, every fibre of your being, is because she made you that way.

Yet understand that secretly I'll be so saddened that you get to make those plans. I'll feel a sense of loss that I can't make those plans too. There will be a touch of jealousy. And I'll be upset that while you're out smiling with your mums, I'm at home weeping for mine, because no matter how old you are, there will always be days when you just need your mummy.  

Know that every day I ache for my mum and this day will be so much worse.

Know that this day is a reminder that there are so many things in my life I wish my mother were here to share.

Understand that you should never take any moment for granted. Be there with your mother. Be totally and one hundred per cent present – mentally, physically and emotionally.

Remember that no matter how long my mother has been gone, my bond with her is unbreakable. Yet today, is a reminder that I cannot physically see her, touch her or talk to her.

Also know that this doesn't mean you have to hide your plans from me. All I ask is that you recognise that I'm hurting. Hold my hand a bit, give me a smile and that little nod which shows me you're thinking of me. 

Don't try to tell me that you understand. I know you mean well. You know I'm broken. You know that my heart is falling into a million pieces. You know how sad I am.

But the truth is, you don't. Nobody knows. Even if you have lost a parent, you don't know how I feel to lose my parent. You're not me losing my mummy. My incredible mummy who taught me so much. My best friend.

Every time I'm faced with another email or another card display I just want to throw my computer at the wall or smash the billboard with my very own hands. On Sunday, I'll face my first Mother's Day without my mother. And my first Mother's Day without my nana. And I'm heartbroken.

We never really put that much importance on any particular day to celebrate our parents. Every day is Mother's Day and every other day is Father's Day.

Remember friends, cherish every moment with that fabulous woman you call Mum. Because now I wish, more than anything in the world, I had taken advantage of every Mother's Day I had with her.

Because I'll never get those Sundays back.

And I'll never again get to wake up, pick up the phone and say 'Happy Mother's Day Mum.'


Last year, in my mother's memory, my family and I founded #PurpleOurWorld, raising much-needed awareness for pancreatic cancer. My mum was diagnosed in March 2013 with the disease. In August 2014 she passed away. During our journey with pancreatic cancer, we felt so unbelievably alone because no one ever talks about their experiences with it. There are so few survivors to champion the cause. Through #PurpleOurWorld, we're hoping that no-one else will ever feel this way. We're determined to get people talking about pancreatic cancer. And every little achievement, every little step, every 'Like' or 'Share' on Facebook, every ambassador we sign-up, every charity we partner with, is all for Mum. Because she gave me the greatest gift of all – having her as my mum.