To the Grieving Mama on Mother’s Day

I keep cards. I have this box under my bed that’s full of memories and notes from friends and family who have given me wishes on special occasions. I picked up this habit from my mother. She always kept cards we kids gave her.

When she passed away we found many boxes and containers full of cards and memorabilia that she kept through the years. Cards with our names scribbled on them from elementary years. Quick one-liners when we were in high school. Long note filled ones from our adulthood. She kept many of them.

I think she kept them to remind herself that she was loved by her children, even though we didn’t always treat her like we loved her.

I also believe she kept them because she knew one day she would be gone and we would need them. She had a habit during the last few years of her life of giving us things and saying things she wanted us to know before she was gone.

She knew we would need those cards as a reminder of how much she loved us.

Today I went to the store to buy cards for all my sisters for Mother’s Day. This is the first year I am not buying a Mother’s Day card for Mom. Had I known last year was our last one together, I wonder what I would have done differently. I stopped in the middle of the aisle, trying to keep it together. Trying to keep myself from crying. Trying to keep all the memories at bay that come with Mother’s Day.

You know what I remember feeling and thinking the most on Mother’s Day growing up? I always had the abundant feeling knowing my mom loved me. I thought about all that she did for me. All the rights. All the wrongs. The gifts. The notes. The fights. But I always knew she loved me. No matter what, I could come to her as I was, flaws and all, and she accepted me with open arms. We had our fights and we certainly weren’t perfect, but I still knew.

I bought this for mom for Mother’s Day back when I was in high school. She kept it hanging by her chair in her front room.

I often wonder what days like this will be like for me ten, twenty years from now. Will the grief feel as raw? Will the holidays have a small emptiness that won’t ever fill?

A friend of mine once said that the rawness of grief never really goes away. There are times when it becomes less raw but it’s there, ready to bleed with the slightest prick. You might even go days without thinking about your lost loved one. But then the moments come. Moments you can’t help but embrace on days like Mother’s Day.

Maybe you’re a mother who is missing one at her table as you celebrate your day. Your heart aches, wondering if your lost daughter would have had your hair. Or maybe your mom has been gone for years but when you wake in the morning on this day you can’t help but make pancakes to keep up the tradition she started when you were a girl.

Maybe you lost your sister and her family is walking through this holiday without her sweet presence. Maybe you lost your husband and he’s not there to celebrate with you and your children.

Maybe you’ve lost someone close and all you can think about are the what ifs for them on this day.


Know you are not alone.
Know that there is a mother down the road who woke up with tears in her eyes, missing a part of her that is gone from this earth.

Don’t let all the Hallmark platitudes get to you this year.
Throw out all the rules of what you’re supposed to feel on this day.

Instead of walking through this day thinking of all the things you should be doing, just take a moment, stop and breathe.

Even if you don’t feel like. God doesn’t need our hearts to feel perfect in order to come to him with our anger and frustration.

Take your heavy heart to the foot of the cross and nail it there.
Nail the anger of loss. Nail the sorrow that Satan won’t let you shake. If you need to wrestle some more with it, then do it. God’s waiting and He’s not going anywhere. He can handle your grappling.

And as you open your heart, let the One who holds your heart hold your sorrow. Let him grieve with you

You may not feel like being grateful for what you have on Mother’s Day because all you can think about is what you’ve lost.
And that’s OK. The thanks will come.

Our grief doesn’t hang on a single holiday experience.

This morning I took out my box of cards. I have one card from my mom on Mother’s Day. She was alive for my first year of Mother’s Day and it was the last one we had before she left. And while I held that card in my hands, I couldn’t help but look up and nod. Nodding to mom, whispering to myself “I know, Mama. I know.” I now understand the importance of a mother’s love. And I knew I wasn’t alone in that moment.

Who are you missing this Mother’s Day? As always, I love hearing from you. Much love to you friends,

Are you grieving this Mother's Day? Me too. Read on for encouragement and how to handle this holiday.

13 replies
  1. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I am bawling reading this. My precious mother-in-law passed away 3 years ago on May 9th. We buried her on Mother’s Day. So, now it is a day we celebrate AND mourn. Thank you for your transparency and openness in sharing about this difficult topic. I am lifting you up this Mother’s Day. May the promises of the Lord comfort you.

  2. Cammeo
    Cammeo says:

    This is such a beautiful tribute to your mom. My dad passed away 12 years ago and it does still feel
    so raw at times, especially on holidays. You have a wonderful perspective and I’ll pray that you can someday feel a little less sad on another’s day ❤️

  3. Theresa Bailey
    Theresa Bailey says:

    I can’t even think about a day without my mom. That will be so hard. I’m so sorry for your loss, but I’m glad you find comfort in the small tokens she left behind. I do miss my grandmother’s for sure, and holidays can make you very reflective of those memories.

  4. Erin Roberts
    Erin Roberts says:

    I also lost my mom two years ago. My heart and prayers go out to you this Mother’s day, I know how painful it is. I cried this year picking out Mother’s day cards, for my Grandmother’s, and so desperately wished I could buy one for my Mom. You will be in my thoughts this weekend.

  5. Kim
    Kim says:

    Even though my loss was not my mom, your words on grief struck a chord. It’s hard to put all of the grief cycle on paper, but you did so beautifully. Nail it to the cross – loved that part. I needed to hear it too. Hugs!

  6. Rosanna@ExtraordinaryEverydayMom
    Rosanna@ExtraordinaryEverydayMom says:

    I’m sorry to hear that you’ve lost your mama. I can’t imagine how hard that must be. I’ve thought about it, at times, how it would feel if I lost my mama. A couple of years back, she ended up in the hospital and it scared me. Now I don’t take her for granted like I did before. Happy Mother’s Day to you!

  7. Heydy Lopez
    Heydy Lopez says:

    You’re pain does not go unnoticed 💕 I have no idea what this is like. You’re mom sounds like she was one strong fierce maJust know She’s watching over you 💕

  8. Coppelia
    Coppelia says:

    Wow. I have tears in my eyes as I type this. My mom had a mastectomy last year and I’m incredibly thankful that I still have her here this year. We both love Jesus and we both save greeting cards, just like you and your mom! Thank you, Gloryanna, for sharing your heart and reminding me, no matter how busy it gets, to make sure I make the time to love on and cherish my mom and my mother-in-law. If you have a moment, please pray for us. My mother-in-law lost her mom within the last month. Her relationship with my hubby is strained. I would love prayers that we are able to show both of our Moms just how precious they are to us. Honestly, I’m glad I stopped to read this. I think God put you in my path! And I’m thankful. 🙂

  9. Alice Mills
    Alice Mills says:

    While grieving is so painful, it is also a testament to the value of the loved one. I think grief is like a giant ball of snarled string. We take one out a time and let it go. I won’t have another Christmas with her. She won’t see my children grow up. I won’t go shopping with her again. The ball diminishes very slowly, but it does grow smaller, So many little griefs to let go when anyone loses a mother.

  10. Diana
    Diana says:

    I went to boarding school as a teenager ,graduated college and got married at a young age. I was counting how it has been 20 long years since I left my parental home,and have missed all the Mothers Day, and birthdays. We live in two different continents, so I have is memories from my childhood.
    Gloryann, I cannot even begin to imagine the pain you are going through but the blessed hope we have that we will see your mama again real soon is amazing.

    God comfort every mama who is grieving ,

    Diana -


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