Carol Roth: Mother's Day comes with sadness for many. This is what I want to share with you

I have been dreading this day for weeks now. The emails started hitting my inbox in a steady stream last month with subtle to pushy reminders to get something nice for my mother this Mother’s Day. And while I would love to send my mother something thoughtful, special and amazing this Mother’s Day, I don’t know where to send it.

My mother passed away the day after her 51st birthday when I was in my early 20s. This will be my 23rd Mother’s Day without her, and while it gets easier, it is never easy.

The challenge of Mother’s Day is compounded by surrogate mother loss. My mother-in-law passed away about six months after my own mom, and then I lost my stepmother a few years later when she was just 55. So, while people everywhere are celebrating, I am just trying to minimize the reminders.

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I am not the only one. In addition to people like me who have lost their cherished moms, there are plenty of others who are estranged from their mothers or never knew them at all.

There are women who have wanted to become mothers, but because of medical issues or other circumstances, never had an opportunity to realize that dream, not to mention those women who have endured the devastating tragedy of losing one or more of their children. While any of these circumstances can make this time of year less-than-pleasant, coupled with the extra stress that we have been enduring from dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, the somber feelings seem heightened right now.

Speaking of the pandemic stress, dealing with COVID-19 is impacting Mother’s Day plans for many people, as well. Mothers and children may be physically separated, unable to travel or share a meal, all of which creates additional anxiety, particularly for those whose mothers may be older or in ill health.

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Mother’s Day is an important day, one that celebrates love, bonding and family. Nobody should feel badly about celebrating and, on the contrary, they should feel immense gratitude in having such blessings in their life.

But, for the others, the ones- like me- who find Mother’s Day a bit challenging- I want you to know that you are not alone.

I am not here to provide lectures or advice. I won’t be telling you to cherish the memories or to make new ones or to do something in your mother’s honor or anything like that.

I just want you to know that you are seen, your pain is normal and you should do whatever is best for you.

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The barrage of celebratory information around you may make you think otherwise, but there are millions of people going through something similar right now. 

So, a very happy Mother’s Day to those who are celebrating it and please appreciate it while you can. And, for the others, I send you strength and love.

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