COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–Mother’s Day can be a happy time for many. For some, it can be a painful reminder of a person who is no longer with us.
After this past year of the pandemic, counselors have said more people will be feeling that pain than usual.
“You go to the grocery store and there are rows and rows of flowers and everyone’s celebrating mother’s day. If you don’t have a mother to connect that with, a living mother, it can be quite depressing,” said Pamela Gompf, Manager of Bereavement Services with OhioHealth.
For Sequoya Carpenter, this will be her first Mother’s Day without her mom, LaToya. She was shot and killed less than three weeks ago.
“You know, it’s kind of sad. It’s upsetting but it’s like…I can’t change what happened and there’s not really a lot I can do,” Carpenter said. “I just look at her grave and I’m like – this wasn’t supposed to happen to you. These bullets weren’t for you. You weren’t supposed to die this way. I always thought it was impossible for my mom to die. I’m like, my mom’s gonna die of old age or she’s probably going to die of laughter…not two bullets to the head.”
Gompf said the last year has been difficult for those who have had to grieve.
“If you take away that ability to go to a funeral or to have a memorial service, it just doesn’t feel real to the person who had the loss,” Gompf said. “They’re missing that physical connection that will sometimes help us through that grief. So the world as it is right now has changed grief for all of us.”
Gompf said losing a mom is something that no one ever really gets over.
“Mom’s are the ones that heal the wounds. They kiss boo-boos and they put band-aids on and when you lose your mother, then who’s gonna take that pain away? Your mother’s not there to do it. So I think that kind of has a lasting effect,” Gompf said. “People feel these things even years after the death so you may have lost your mother five years ago, but Mother’s day is going to bring that backup, all of that emotion, and it’s going to feel like it was yesterday.”
Feeling those feelings is completely normal.
“Some people during Mother’s Day feel a sense of anger because their Mother is not with them and everybody else is out celebrating or you get this intense sadness,” Gompf said. “You have to just be patient with yourself and allow yourself to feel whatever it is you feel. So, one minute you’re going to feel angry, the next minute you’re going to feel sad, and then maybe the next minute you’re going to have happy memories of things that your mom that make you laugh and bring you joy.
Mother’s Day weekend just might require a little more effort than others.
“Sunday may be a good time to take a walk in the woods or in a park or go someplace that your mother might have been a favorite place for her or cook something on mother’s day that was your mom’s favorite thing to cook,” Gompf Said
“Instead of giving them to her, I will just have to lay flowers on her grave for this mother’s day and I guess…just call it a day,” Carpenter said.