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It's OK . . . embrace memories of mom

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Losing a loved one, especially mom, is never easy.

Whether the loss is recent or several years ago, many people find that the void created by a loved one's passing never leaves them. Celebrating holidays or milestones can magnify feelings of loss and such feelings may surface on Mother's Day among people whose mothers are deceased.

A floral spray was in front of a local business recently in memory of the store owner's mother. The Shelbyville man wrote on his Facebook page, "Mom got her wings tonight."

The family will mark their first Mother's Day without her this Sunday, as will many.

One Shelbyville woman said it has been 46 years since the passing of her dear mother. She remembers her every day, but especially has fond thoughts on Mother's Day.

Others approach Mother's Day in unique ways, especially if mom is no longer with them. Such an experience is extremely personal.

The experts advise there's really no right or wrong way to mark the occasion.

Yet, it can be challenging when scrolling through social media posts, reading about those celebrating with happy brunches and thoughtful gifts. Some, particularly those for whom the wounds may be especially fresh, may opt to avoid the celebration or go through the motions for the benefit of children or spouses.

Others on that special day may embrace the bonds they had with their mothers by reflecting on their cherished memories.

To help ease the pain, here are five suggested ways to make the most of Mother's Day 2021.

1. What would make her happy? Take a heartfelt moment to really think about what made Mom tick and brought joy to her life. Was it pouring over recipes in the kitchen? Did mom like to trek to the top of a mountain in her hiking shoes? Pay homage to her by walking in her footsteps and you may just feel a deeper connection.

2. Get together with siblings. If you are lucky enough to have siblings, you can share the day together. This way you can remember the happy times, comfort each other and laugh together. If you don't have siblings, consider a visit with an aunt or uncle or another close relative who may be feeling the loss, too.

3. Relay fond stories to others. Celebrate Mother's Day by doing things to ensure your Mom's spirit and personality live on. Bring up fond stories of her with your spouse, friends or your own children. Help blur out the sadness of the loss by focusing on happy memories, such as those depicted in family photos.

4. Put mom front and center. Take out a beautiful photograph of your mother and display it in a prime location in the house. This way you may feel like she is sharing the day with you, and you can think about her fondly each time you see the photo.

5. Enjoy your favorite childhood meal. Whether Mom was a master chef or couldn't boil water, there's bound to be a meal you associate with her. If that special meal is Chinese takeout or a slow-cooked roast, enjoy it on Mother's Day in her honor.

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