My first Mother’s Day without my mum

“I wish Mother’s Day wasn’t happening,” says Shareen Dussard from London.

It is 10 weeks since her mum Lorraine passed away and she is not looking forward to it.

Mother’s Day takes on a different meaning if you have lost your mum.

At a time when you might still be coming to terms with your loss, social media is flooded with posts about mothers that can be hard to avoid.

There are constant reminders in the shops with cards, flowers and gifts aimed at celebrating the one person you can’t be with.

Lorraine and Shareen

“Knowing this day has been coming up has been hard, along with planning what to do and thinking about avoiding social media,” Shareen says.

The 28-year-old says she’s aware a lot of people have avoided talking about Mother’s Day with her.

She tells Radio 1 Newsbeat that she’d actually like it if friends sent her a message, acknowledging the day instead.

“The most important thing is that people check in and make sure I’m okay, I will need that,” she says.

“My mum loved steak, so we’ll definitely be cooking that. It’s a day to reflect and remember but I’ll be trying not to get upset.”

Christie Ford and her mother Mandy
Christie and her mum Mandy

A few weeks ago Christie Ford’s mum died unexpectedly. She says she is finding it hard to be surrounded with all the cards and presents in the shops.

“Usually I get her a card every single year, some kind of jokey card. I never buy her anything soppy.

“You see loads of Mothering Sunday cards and gifts and you’re just like ‘oh wait, actually, she’s just not here anymore.'”

Christie has actually found social media helpful though: “There are a few people on there I know that have lost their mothers recently so it has made it a bit easier.”

What she doesn’t want is other people to hide their own happiness because of her grief.

“Don’t avoid the subject because you’ve got your own mum. Enjoy yourself. I don’t want others to be miserable.”

Mother's Day cakes

Sara Bennett is from Balloons, a charity that helps children, young people and their families with their grief.

She says: “If it’s the first Mother’s Day without mum then everything has changed. When mum dies then families are left uncertain about what to do on this day.

“Some will make it a memorial day and celebrate their mum’s legacy, others won’t want to mark it at all.

“It’s important to acknowledge that it is a hard milestone, and that families and friends are able to talk about how they are feeling and that their worries are validated.

“Sit and listen. It hurts and that’s okay. Losing your mum is painful.”

Maria, Andrea and Raphael
Andrea with her mum Maria and her son Raphael

For Andrea Toth, the best way to cope is to surround herself with friends. Her mum Maria died in October last year.

“I’ve had knots in my stomach. Just seeing ads for afternoon teas and all the cards in the shops is difficult, so I have organised to go to the pub with some friends.”

Andrea confesses she spends a lot of time on social media, but will be switching off today.

“I know there will be lot of Mother’s Day content online and I just don’t need that constant reminder,” she says.