As Mothers Day rapidly approaches we pause to think about our remembering the mothers we lost, the strong women who have built, lead, grown and nurtured their own families. Being a mother is a unique role, there is no one like your mother.
Mothers are jugglers, first aid officers, diplomats, mediators, friends, emotional eiderdowns of sorts, a place of soft warm hugs; they are often a bright ray of sunshine in our lives. Parenthood by definition is a selfless act. Women pre-children shift from being the centre of their own universe, to encompassing children into their lives.
There are endless words devoted to describing the role mothers play in our lives. Think of it, if you will, of all the words you use to describe your own mum.
Revelries of mothers and motherhood can be traced back to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who held festivals in honour of the mother goddesses. The clearest modern example for Mothers Day is the early Christian festival known as “Mothering Sunday.”
Eventually, the Mothering Sunday tradition shifted into a more secular holiday, children would present their mothers with flowers and other tokens of gratitude and appreciation. In Australia the tradition of gift giving to Mothers began in 1924 and now celebrated annually on the second Sunday in May when we can lavish mum with flowers, cards and other gifts.
But when a loved one passes away… isn’t something we are ever really prepared for. How do we navigate this new direction without our mum, beside us?
This time of year, much like Christmas and Birthdays, are an emotional minefield; a smell of Mum’s perfume floating past your senses, as you dart past a stranger in the shopping centre. The supermarket chatter at the check out “any plans for Mothers day” takes us back to that still, raw place, the reality that Mum has died, not sure how to move forward as everyone else chatters away about their own Mothers day.
It really isn’t the same anymore.
Something important to remember: just because she is gone, doesn’t mean it is goodbye.
Our Mothers day service provides love, hope and opportunity to honour the relationship between Mother and Child.
I cannot forget my Mother. She is my bridge. When I needed to get across,
she steadied herself long enough for me to run across safely. ― Renita Weems
Our beautiful secular service is held in one of the stylish art deco chapels of Woronora Memorial Park in Sutherland, this is a time for all those to come who have lost their mothers and remember the beautiful gifts they left us in their legacy of love.
We ask families to write some beautiful words to their Mums during the service, these notes are placed on the Tree of Hope and later cremated, placed in a container with the year date and buried in the Mothers day Memorial Garden, located in the courtyard of the South Chapel.
This tradition began at Olsens approximately 12 years ago, in The Olsen chapel at Sutherland. The service is now held at Woronora and we honour the impact our loved ones have on us as we remember them.
So easily, life moves on and our support network moves forward with their own lives, hot meals stop being made, people stop ringing, they stop talking about your Mum, still the depth and devastation of loss visits and revisits in waves. So, if you find yourself a little lost and missing your Mother, why not join us on this Mothers Day. Come and join us as we remember our Mothers that have passed, acknowledge the emptiness that they left in the hope that the next wave will be a little smaller.
To describe my Mother would be to write about a hurricane in its perfect power.
or the climbing, falling colours of a rainbow. —Maya Angelou