by Allison Drew

Your wife used to look forward to Mother’s Day, with the kids bounding into bed with a breakfast they lovingly made and an afternoon out with her mother. All that changed when her mom died, and now you’re going through a Mother’s Day without your mother-in-law for the first time. It’s a painful day for your wife, and trying to pretend like it’s a normal Mother’s Day won’t help the grieving process. The following activities can help her acknowledge the pain and loss, and cope with the grief so she can move beyond the emotions she’s feeling.


Visit the Gravesite

Your wife may mourn best at the gravesite, allowing her to spend some time with her mother at her final resting place. Find a company that has flower delivery and order in an arrangement to give to her mother at the grave without having to worry about taking the time out of this stressful day to make a florist run. Carnations are the traditional flower for Mother’s Day, and white carnations are used for a deceased mother, according to Manner’s Mentor.

Revisit Her Favorites

One way to help your wife feel connected with her mother is by revisiting her mom’s favorite things. The Guardian suggests getting a collection of her favorite books and reading passages from the pages. Alternatively, help your wife cook some of her mother’s favorite comfort food or baked goods. It won’t be the same as having mom there, but it does help to add some familiarity back to the Mother’s Day routine.

Keep the Card Tradition

If your wife gave her mother a card every Mother’s Day, keep the tradition alive even after she’s deceased. Grief counselor Edy Nathan, M.A., L.C.S.W., recommends your wife write a letter to her mom that details the events throughout the year, life changes, how she’s feeling and other aspects of her world that she wishes she could tell her mom.

Live Out Her Dreams

While your wife shouldn’t try to emulate all of her mother’s dreams and aspirations, as she has her own, you can help her stay connected by picking a crazy road trip or far-flung vacation to a land that her mom was never able to visit. If it’s a day trip, plan Mother’s Day weekend around the event. If it’s a more extensive vacation, such as an overseas one, pick up the tickets for some of the travel preparation and give them to your wife as part of your Mother’s Day celebration.

Create a Tribute Website

Our digital age gives you many ways to continue honoring a lost relative. Help your wife create a website that she can fill with pictures of her mother, stories about her mom’s life, her influence and why she was so amazing, and other notes to share with the world. This website also can house tribute videos and writings from her other children and relations, making it an extended family activity for everyone to share and celebrate.

– –

Allison Drew is a health and wellness expert, mother, and dirt biker.