Mother's Day Can Be Hell If You've Lost A Child. A Bereavement Counsellor Shares Advice On How To Cope

"If you’re grieving for your child, it can often be difficult to find a way to look and move forwards in life."

With Mother’s Day just round the corner, many parents might be feeling some heavy emotions, especially if they have experienced the death of a child.

Seeing posters and adverts everywhere can be triggering for those going through grief. Navigating around the day may feel overwhelming, and even the days leading up to it can be more difficult.

But bereavement counsellor Sue Ryder says these feelings are normal and there are a few things you can do to get through the difficult days.

Sue says: “If you’re grieving for your child, it can often be difficult to find a way to look and move forwards in life. You may find yourself doubting or questioning what you thought you knew about the world around you or reliving what you did or didn’t do in the lead up to your child’s death.

“These types of thoughts can cause people to blame themselves or their partners, or feel angry with healthcare professionals or anyone who has cared for their child. These feelings can particularly intensify in the lead up and during occasions like Mother’s Day, Birthday’s or anniversaries.

“Coming to terms with the death of your child goes against the expectations you held for both of your futures including celebrations like Mother’s Day, so it’s not unusual to feel anxious during these times after your child’s death.”

How can I cope with grief on Mother’s Day?

As everyone processes grief in different ways, a one-size-fits-all piece of advice may not work, explains Sue.

Instead, she has offered a few ways parents can try and use to help them through the days.

“Sometimes getting our feelings out on paper can help us process the complex emotions we are feeling. If you want to feel closer to your child, you could do something that you used to do together to remember them. That might be a meal from your favourite takeaway or simply a walk you liked to do together,” she suggests.

Thought it may feel like everyone in your life is celebrating with their kids — it’s important to know that you are not alone in your grief.

“If you are really struggling with the thought of Mother’s Day, you could ignore the day completely. Take the day off work if you can, mute your social media apps for the day and do things that make you happy — maybe that’s baking, watching a Netflix show, going on a walk or simply having a lazy day,” Sue advises.

Sue’s most important advice is to be kind to yourself, she says you shouldn’t place too much pressure on yourself to be “ok”.

“Emotions come and go like waves; they can wash over us and seem overwhelming. Allow yourself to feel and experience and know that in time, the waves will eventually recede.”

She also suggests to find a support group, this can help you find comfort by talking to others going through similar experiences. You can even join Sue Ryder’s Online Bereavement Community, where you can find that many other people are experiencing the exact same feelings as you.

Even sharing memories and feelings through a memory book or photo book could help. This might give you something to look back on in the future.

Sue Ryder is encouraging the nation to be Grief Kind, so no one has to go through grief alone. Visit to find out more.

Help and support:

  • Sands works to support anyone affected by the death of a baby.
  • Tommy’s fund research into miscarriage, stillbirth and premature birth, and provide pregnancy health information to parents.
  • Saying Goodbye offers support for anyone who has suffered the loss of a baby during pregnancy, at birth or in infancy.