Mother’s Day has been an emotion fuelled rollercoaster for the past 15 years, every year different but yet a void coupled with jealousy.

Jay and his Parents

My mum passed away late-2000 meaning the last time I spent Mother’s Day with her I was 10 – I don’t remember the day but I’ve little doubt it was a lovely day where the family came together.

I’m often told that it’s unbelievable that I went through something so bad, so young and that I must be so very strong.

Thing is, I know I’m not the only one who went through this and there are people much worse off than me.

That being said, along comes Mother’s Day and I’m left feeling weak, angry, upset, jealous and generally wallowing in a pit of my own self-pity.

After leaving school, becoming an adult and more in tune with my emotions Mother’s Day started to become a battle, a day I would never look forward to.

Many of my friends have their parents and social media feeds would be awash with photos, text posts and videos – serving as a constant reminder.

Yes it’s true that my mum wouldn’t want me to feel like this, but I was being selfish – these feelings were for me, not for anyone else. Unbridled self-pity from the depths of my emotions.

What Changed?

Since then and after we split, Mother’s Day has become a day for celebrating and remembering, probably what it should have always been but it took my over 10 years to get to that point.

What Have I Learned?

That it’s OK to be sad, there’s nothing wrong with it but try not let it consume you.

Your self-pity can hurt others, even without intent.

Talking helps, a friend is good and sometimes a stranger is better.

It’s also OK to be happy as you may feel obligated to feel sad – nobody wants that.

Drinking doesn’t help, nor does it solve anything.

Cherish today and try to build new memories with loved ones.

Respect the day and make it a cause of celebration, try not to let it be the elephant in the room.

Ultimately, everyone is different. By definition my best friend and I have both been through the same thing, however situations were different; I was younger then he, we aren’t the same people emotionally and both deal with things differently, we have different family units and what happened at the time differs considerably.

What I learnt through that was we can merely share advice and be a vessel to deposit emotion in the hope it makes them feel better.

Never tell someone what to do, what is right for them may not be right for you.

So, what does it mean to me?

Well, sort of like personal Remembrance Day for my own mum. Yes I sit and reflect but I also don’t let it consume me. Tomorrow I’ll be lifting a glass of white in honour of my mum and ask that you appreciate yours as much as I did.