How to Support a Friend Missing Her Mom on Mother's Day

How to Support a Friend Missing Her Mom on Mother's Day

How to Support a Friend Missing Her Mom on Mother's Day

I was an eighteen-year-old child when my mother died in March 1989. I was the youngest of our mother’s six children. None of us had a relationship with Christ back then, nor did we seek any counseling. And so, we dealt with our mother’s death the best way we knew how.

It's been 31 years since Mommy passed, and I still miss her. And with Mother's Day coming soon, her absence from my life is even more pronounced. I often feel sadness, and even jealousy, while scrolling through Facebook and seeing the pictures people post of dinners with their mothers. Going to restaurants and seeing women with their mothers is difficult as well.

Knowing I’m not alone in feeling this way, I reached out to a few women and asked about their experiences celebrating Mother’s Day when their mothers are no longer with us. Although many of the women I spoke with are mothers themselves, they still miss their moms, especially during special holidays like Mother’s Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, and their mother’s birthdays. I asked these women how others could support them during these difficult times. While the responses were as varied as the women themselves, there were some commonalities. If you want to know how you can support your friend who misses her mother during Mother’s Day, here it is:

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<strong>1. Know Your Friend</strong>

1. Know Your Friend

“Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart: so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel.” (Proverbs 27:9)

Everybody is different. Before you can help your friend, you have to know her likes and dislikes, her preferences. Don’t assume all women want to talk about their mothers. Some women want to talk about their mothers. Some women want to be left alone. It’s not that she’s depressed. She just wants to be alone with her thoughts so she can remember her mother her way. Sometimes in our haste to help, we can harm instead of help. If you’re unsure what your friend prefers, ask.

2. Listen to Your Friend

“Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.” (Proverbs 27:17)

Some women will want to talk about their mothers. Your friend may want to take a walk down memory lane and share snippets of her mother’s life with you. Your friend may show you pictures of her mother, share her mom’s favorite songs, or tell you about hardships her mother overcame. Your job is simply to listen; listen with interest, compassion, and empathy. Simply listen and lend support. 

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<strong>3. Support Your Friend</strong>

3. Support Your Friend

“A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.” (Proverbs 17:17)

My sister visits our mother’s grave on Mother’s Day and Mommy’s birthday. Also, she buys flowers and places them on Mommy's tombstone. Doing so comforts my sister. However, I prefer not to visit the grave. I find comfort by journaling about our mother, and telling my children and husband about her. If your friend needs your support to visit her mother's grave, and if you're willing and able to lend that level of comfort, you should do so. Buying flowers and placing them on the grave, along with your friend, is a beautiful gesture of love and respect. On the other hand, if your friend wants to visit the gravesite alone or not at all, support her in that decision. Again, the best way to help your friend is by knowing her preferences.

When I told my sister about this article, she suggested having a girls’ day as another way of supporting your friend. Perhaps you can treat your friend to mani-pedis and lunch. Or if you live close to the beach, you could drive there and spend the day on the boardwalk. If your friend enjoys going to the movies, you could incorporate that as well. The key to a successful girls’ day is asking your friend what she wants to do.

 4. Be a Shoulder to Cry On

“A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

No matter what you decide to do for your friend, expect tears. Be a shoulder for your friend to cry on. Hold her hand, rub her back, or don't touch her at all (again, it's all about knowing your friend's preferences). If she needs to cry, let her. Don't tell her not to cry. Check your discomfort at the door. Watching someone mourn or grieve isn't easy. It makes us uncomfortable. However, if we want to be strong, supportive friends, we have to allow our friend to mourn and grieve how she needs to mourn and grieve.

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<strong>5. Remind Her Family</strong>

5. Remind Her Family

“But He answered and said to them, ‘My mother and My brothers are these who hear the word of God and do it.’” (Luke 8:21)

Perhaps your friend is a mom herself and isn't interested in celebrating Mother's Day. Yet, her family is anxious to honor her, unaware your friend is grieving her mother. If you have a close relationship with your friend's family, perhaps you can inform them of what your friend is experiencing. A gentle reminder can help your friend's family give her the space and the support she needs. In other words, your friend may not be thinking about her Mother's Day celebration. She may be thinking about her mother.

6. Pray for and with Her

“...the effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” (James 5:16b)

Regardless of what you do or don't do for your friend, prayer is the best gift you can give her. Losing a parent is one of the most challenging losses one can ever experience. So, pray for your friend. The Bible teaches that the prayer of a righteous person avails, or accomplishes, much. Your prayers have power. Therefore, ask God to strengthen, heal, and comfort your friend. Ask the Lord to restore joy to her (if she's lost her joy). Ask the Lord to help you be a better friend, one full of love and compassion. Ask God to show you what your friend needs and how to support her. When you lift your friend in prayer, God will answer your prayer and help your friend.

Photo Credit: © Unsplash/Mike Scheid

<strong>How to Especially Support Younger Girls without Mothers</strong>

How to Especially Support Younger Girls without Mothers

Many young girls have lost their mothers as well. Mother's Day is especially hard for them because it's a reminder of who and what they've lost. As I write this, I’m thinking about the seventeen-year-old girl across the street from me who lost her mother to cancer about eight years ago. I also think about my daughter, who was afraid of losing me when I was going through my cancer battle. I can't comprehend the loss my daughter would have felt if I'd passed away. Don't forget young girls this Mother’s Day. If you know any girls or young women who have lost their moms, reach out to them through one of the ways I suggested and show them love. Although you can’t replace their moms, you can try to show them a mother’s love by being there for them, loving them, and helping them through a rough holiday.

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and many women and girls all over the world will be missing their mothers. Some of them will suffer in silence with a smile planted on their faces. Think about your friend, the one who's lost her mother—the one who may be experiencing sadness right now because of Mother's Day. Imagine the aching, longing, and grief she's going through.

The Lord desires for to use you to alleviate some of her heartache and pain. Will you let Him use you? I pray you do. Love and compassion are two attributes needed most in the world on Mother’s Day. Showing them to your friend who is missing her mother on Mother’s Day will encourage and comfort her through an otherwise sorrowful day.


Aretha Grant serves her local church as a bible teacher and elder. She loves writing and is the author of Overcomer: 25 Keys to Walking Victoriously. Aretha resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband and two youngest children. You can read Aretha’s blog at www.arethagrant.com.

Aretha Grant serves her local church as a bible teacher and elder. She loves writing and is the author of Overcomer: 25 Keys to Walking Victoriously. Aretha resides in Hagerstown, MD with her husband and two youngest children. You can read Aretha’s blog at www.arethagrant.com.