Today is my mom’s birthday. Happy birthday, Mom!
Since it is Women’s History Month I thought I’d share something that took me a long time to learn. For those who have lost a mother or other important woman in your life, it is important and healthy to honor them on special days or anniversaries, and for years I didn’t know how. When a big day came, I’d feel sad and awkward and like I should DO something but didn’t know what, since visiting a grave was not an option. Then one day a friend told me to light a candle, put it next to her picture, and let it burn all day till it burned out.
What a novel idea. Something to DO.
What my friend was really talking about was ceremony. There is something so healing and comforting in ceremony, but we have lost the concept of it contemporary America. In some cultures they have a ceremony for becoming an adult, for entering menarche, and for all sorts of things. In America, the only ceremonies widely attended and available to most people are weddings. Whole papers and books have been written on this and so I won’t wax scholarly. The important thing for this post is that we need a way to remember our loved ones and teach our children about them, too. And it is very comforting do these same or similar rituals every year.
I may have blogged about this before, but here are few ideas to remember our loved ones on special days. You can do one or all of these things.
- Put their picture in central location.
- Talk about them.
- Have everyone share a memory or story or ask a question about them that you can hopefully answer or get answered.
- Cook their favorite recipe.
- Light a candle and let it burn all day.
- Meditate with the intention of connecting and inviting them to be with you.
- Talk to them. Listen back. They often will let you know they are there.
- Learn more about them by asking relatives, friends, reading journals, etc.
- Go outside and shout for joy that you are alive and thank them for giving you life in whatever way they participated.