For most, Mother’s Day is a weekend full of brunch, flowers, pedicures, and sweet notes demonstrating our deep admiration for our mothers. For others, there is only one thing top of mind this time of year, the inescapable reminder of heartache and pain from the loss of arguably the most significant woman in our life, mom. While Mother’s Day is the biggest holiday of the year here at Fresh Sends, we don’t want to ignore the people in our community who walk into this weekend with heavy hearts. No matter what this weekend means for you, it’s our hope that through TGT each member of our community feels seen, known, and loved. Because we haven’t personally experienced this specific type of loss, we reached out to our friend and licensed therapist, Katheryn Wolf, to share her individual wisdom and strategies as she walks through her own grief surrounding Mother’s Day.
As a therapist, what does walking through a holiday like Mother's Day look like for you after losing your mom?
Being a therapist doesn’t make you more equipped or well-versed in grief. Grief is grief. and it effects us all in vastly different ways. I may know more tools to utilize than people who aren’t a therapist, or haven’t been to therapy, but all of those seemed inaccessible at the time. This is my third Mother’s Day without my mom and it still doesn’t feel right. My mom and I had a difficult relationship, but Mother’s Day was the one thing I always wanted to honor her in and felt like I did right.
What role has your community played in the grieving process? How have the people closest to you shown up for you?
My mom suddenly passed when I was twenty-five, I felt like there was no ground beneath me. Every move felt shaky and uncertain. My job at the time was gracious enough to let me grieve and come back when I felt like I could (shoutout Castle Coffee). I was feeling particularly angry one day and called my brother, complaining about how nothing was right and asking the questions, “How could God allow this to happen? Where is He? Because I don’t see Him in this”. My brother said, “Look at the community moving around you, not everyone has that and they’re showing up, God is providing”.
There absolutely isn’t a “right” way to move through grief, but I can say with certainty that no one should go through it alone. The community in Albuquerque was a cornerstone in building a foundation below my feet again. Between financial gifts, grocery gift cards, plants + flowers, and check-ins from friends and acquaintances alike, I’m certain I wouldn’t have moved through grief without my community. As with any grief, it ebbs and flows. It may not feel like a fresh wound anymore, but will always have a resemblance of a deep scar.
How do you (if you do) celebrate Mother's Day now?
To move through Mother’s Day now, I send a text to moms who love me as their own and have stepped in to offer support and love. I get fresh cut tulips (my moms fav), I make a picnic basket full of all of my favorites, spread out a big blanket, and eat at a park. I reminisce on my mom's laugh, her love for me, and her love for all things outdoors, just like me. I recently found an old, torn, handwritten, butter and cookie-dough stained recipe for my favorite cookies she’d make, “Peanut Butter Oaties”— and you can bet those will def be in the picnic basket from now on.
Any final thoughts or advice?
Do whatever honors you. Eat what feels nourishing and get grounded. Grab a friend or reflect alone. Get in some light movement + breathwork. Be outside, get sunshine, feel the earth. And if it honors you— honor her too.
For more mental health tips + movement, follow @flowbykw!