Guest Blogger: Empty celebrations

Does Mother’s Day, and indeed your birthday, lose meaning when your mother is gone? asks Annie Broadbent


Guest Blogger: Empty celebrations

It’s my birthday this month. It’s strange celebrating birthdays when the person who actually did the ‘birthing’ is dead.

Since Mum died, a part of me has always felt like I’m somehow cheating on her if I celebrate my birthday. There is an air of betrayal in the day. Of course I know she’d want me to be happy and organise huge extravagant parties (she was the greatest party-lover I’ve ever known) and I try to act on that rather than the guilt, but sometimes it’s not that easy.

It’s also Mother’s Day at the end of this month. While my mum knew it was all really a commercial ploy, like most mums, she secretly always hoped (expected) we’d make a fuss. The first two years after her death I felt incredibly excluded from the day, like I should hide away and wait while everyone with mums did their thing.

This year, on both my birthday and Mother’s Day, I am going to include Mum and participate in some way. I’m not sure how yet, but I definitely want to mark her absence and presence. If you’ve got any ideas let me know.

Missed Annie’s first blogpost? Read ‘A dialogue with death‘ here. Annie Broadbent (@anniebroadbent), our guest blogger lost her mother two years ago to breast cancer and began writing about her experience of grief. Her book, We Need To Talk About Grief, a guide for friends of the bereaved, will be published next November by Piatkus. Read her blog here.

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