5 Ways to Cope with Being Motherless on Mother’s Day

This Sunday will be my 17th year being motherless on Mother’s Day.  It’s still one of the hardest thing to deal with but it’s gotten easier over the years.  Through Mommies Without Mommies, I have to be strong as I reach out to the motherless women I work with to make sure they’re okay on such an emotional day.  Taking the focus off of me and my whirlwind of emotions have helped.  Here are some brief tips I share with the mommies on how to get through the day. Take a break from Social Media Everyone’s post will be flooded with “I love mom” pictures and stories about how amazing everyone’s mom is…to avoid the heart ache and envy…just log off for the day. Focus on Someone Else Take this day to volunteer at a local shelter. Do something for someone else to make them feel better about their situation.  Helping others is not just good for the person you’re help but guaranteed to get your mind off your problems and it’s good for your soul. Do Something to Honor Your Mom Whatever gives you the best memories of your mom…do that. If you can’t think of anything, release a balloon into the sky, visit her grave site, talk with her (this really helps or I could be crazy LOL), or look at some old pictures of her. Be Thankful Be thankful for the time you got to spend with your mom. Call friends or family and tell them how thankful you are for them in your life.  If you’re reading this, you’re blessed, if nothing else, be thankful...
Stronger Than I Want to be

Stronger Than I Want to be

Here’s the thing about being independent/strong…sometimes I need want help.  It’s hard to admit it and even harder to ask for it.  It’s so ingrained in me to do things myself that it’s hard for people who want to help to get that chance.  Some of it comes from being afraid to be let down, where I expect one thing and get something I didn’t want…which boils down to me not communicating properly.  That’s a whole other blog.  Another piece of being too strong comes from, not ever wanting anyone to throw in my face that they’ve done something for me and/or I owe them something. Sometimes I just want to be weak cared for.  I don’t want to have to worry about too much.  The crazy thing about it is I used to pray for strength, “Lord, give me strength.”  I guess the saying of “be careful what you ask for” is right.  Your prayer will be answered.  It’s my belief that God doesn’t give  you what you ask for but the opportunity to get what you asked for and man, that’s one prayer request I no longer have.  I’m thankful for my strength though but sometimes I want to relax. Yeah, we can do it but I don’t want to always have...

The Simple Way I Found Courage in Vulnerability

During my last semester in college, I spent one hour of every Tuesday in counseling.  I went with the hopes of trying to figure out my life and my next steps.  I’d been in counseling before so the experience was familiar but my counselor Shiraz made this time exceptional.  We made a few breakthroughs for the stage in life I was in and I was given a lot to think about. A topic we talked about in therapy was of course my mother’s death.  Her absence still affects so much of my life.  One of the major breakthroughs made was sometimes what I miss most about my mother is having that unbreakable connection with someone.  I’ve learned that to create that connection with others, I have to allow myself to be vulnerable. My initial thought was, I am pretty vulnerable but once we talked about it a little more I had to admit I am a bit guarded.   After posting a very vulnerable poem on Facebook and my aunt expressing her surprise by my openness, I realized vulnerability isn’t a place I visit often with anyone.  Just thinking about that experience of posting the poem, I fought with myself about that.  It meant letting the world into my relationship and possibly public opinion.  Since the poem was written after my talk with Shiraz, I consciously decided to be vulnerable and put it out there. There was no backlash or finger pointing at my mess.  It did allow my human to show and I felt good about opening up.  I also felt good about writing poems again.  From that one...

Honoring Your Loss During the Holidays

We believe that a spiritual message is behind the good things that happen in our lives but why is it so hard to put the same spiritual message behind the bad? There’s a balance to good and bad, happy and sad, and joy and pain. As hard as it may sound, we should thankful in every loss, lesson, and painful life experience so that we can reap the benefits in abundance. Losing a mother, or any parent, is a pain that nothing can fill the void of but celebrating life is the best outcome to grieving the loss.  Mothers, you carry your bond with your mother in your heart and spirit. Even though the physical is not here, it’s up to you to keep her alive within you. Honor your cherished memories. You are blessed to keep her spirit alive through your actions, thoughts, and gifts to others. The holidays can be hard, whether it’s the first year without your mom or the 25th year but you are not alone. I used to get envious of other mother/daughters relationships but that bitterness didn’t allow me to heal. That bitterness kept me from loving my children wholeheartedly and blocked my relationship with them. I want nothing but to be the best mother to them but my grieving caused emotions that hindered my celebration of life. Everything happens for a reason and none of our stories are the same but we will make it through this holiday and everyday, as inspiration to our selves and others by celebrating our mother within us. It’s okay to cry and miss mommies  love and hugs; however, when you want it for yourself…how about giving it to your children in return and that’s twice...

A Motherless Mother’s Letter to Self on Depression

Written by Paula Jones Dear Old Self, People tell you all the time to take care of yourself, do what makes you happy, don’t depend on anybody to give you joy, and you have to learn to let people go and live their lives. I wake up every morning with the intent to be happy. But when you struggle with “depression” there are some triggers that can decrease your mood within seconds. It has nothing to do with people stealing your joy and you depending on them to make you happy. It’s an illness that is medically explained, that people don’t take the time to research. They tell you, do other things to distract your mood. Don’t you think, if I could, I would? One trigger, is the death of my mother. I grew privileged but learned everything about life from peers and the streets. My mama was raised a certain way that she gave me the love she received from her childhood.  There wasn’t much affection or attention but a lot of fussing, ridicule and tough love. It was hard some days wishing I had my mother to hug me, kiss me, and say, I love you because she didn’t do those things, she expected me to know. Now that she’s resting in heaven, I wish she was here to give me that tough love. My lifeline is void & I miss her. My heart grieves for my daddy whose home is lonely. I can’t imagine his grief. I have my husband & kids but what’s special to me was becoming a grandmother. It gives me joy having...