I probably would scare people away if I introduced myself with this manner-of-fact tone, but honestly there is no easy way to let people know you are a motherless daughter.
Not having a mother on Mother’s Day is not the difficulty. I live each day without my mother, what’s one more day.
The difficulty with Mother’s Day is that everyone expects you to have a mother. By the way, this is true for people who never have had mothers or have no relationship with their mothers. Not having a mother on Mother’s Day is not the expected norm. Especially when you are young. The fact that my mother is dead is not just something I have to deal with, other people have to deal with it too.
I love talking about my mother. It’s my way of honoring her life and keeping her alive in my memory. But I don’t like having to tell people she is dead. I know it makes people uncomfortable. Heck, it’s an awkward conversation for me too!
“Hey, did you do anything special for your mom on Mother’s Day?”
“Actually, no. My mother’s dead.”
Those who know me, truly know me, usually know I don’t have a mother when Mother’s Day rolls around. It’s not the bombshell of our friendship that I drop on people after a certain period of time, but I do sometimes forget who I have “officially” told and have not. It isn’t something that comes naturally to me. She was, I am, that’s just the way it is.
My mother was such a huge part of my life when she was alive; there’s no reason that should change now that she is gone. So much of who she was makes up who I am today. If anything, I don’t talk about my mom less, I talk about her more. It actually probably confuses people/makes people uncomfortable. I don’t pretend she’s still alive, but I don’t avoid talking about her either.
So yes, sometimes I wish I could save us all the trouble and just announce to everyone:
“Hey world, my mom is dead. I know you are sorry, but it’s okay. You’ll get used to it. I know I have.”
My mother’s death is not taboo. You can ask me about her and I won’t break. I’m normal just like you, even on Mother’s Day. I may not buy my mom a card and make her breakfast in bed, but I still love her and am grateful for the woman I call mother. No amount of time will change that.