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Mother’s Day can be a beautiful day of celebration. But for those whose mums have died, it can be one of the saddest days of the year, made even worse by endless advertising.
Sure, if you have children of your own, the day may take on a new meaning, but for those who no longer have someone to call ‘mum’, there remains a feeling of emptiness and deep sorrow.
Losing your mother through death or estrangement is a profound loss that never goes away. It is hard to truly understand unless you are indeed motherless.
That’s why Motherless Daughters Australia (MDA) was formed to comfort women and girls and help them honour their mums. In just a few years, MDA has grown to include a network of around 4000 women who ‘get’ it and are there for each other.
The not for profit organisation is unique in its mandate to represent, inform and connect girls and women whose mums have died, to help navigate the everyday and life’s major milestones without the support of their mum.
MDA Awareness Week is usually marked with our annual pre-Mother’s Day High Tea events in various states. COVID prevented these happening but around 200 women from all over Australia still managed to gather and unite over Zoom for an online toast to their mums.
Women were also invited to hold up a piece of paper with their mum’s name and a word that described or made them feel connected to her.
It was a powerful and emotional 30 minutes and those who participated expressed how united and supported they felt, with a level of understanding many had never experienced.
The social media initiative #honouringher is providing women with another outlet and way that they can pay tribute to their mum. Women, girls and even young boys are invited to record a 20-second video talking about how they will be honouring their mum this Mother’s Day.
Some will cook her favourite food, others will be lighting a candle or having a wine, or using her favourite mug. Australian actress Alicia Gardiner is planning on making her mum’s YoYos on Mother’s Day to honour and remember her.
The beauty of MDA is its simplicity—a simple seedling of an idea to connect a group of women and girls based on one thing; the loss of a mother. Sharing with others who have an understanding of your grief can lessen the pain just a little. Who would have thought that this simple idea could provide a huge amount of comfort, reassurance and validation to so many?
A loss with an impact so great, that is so under-acknowledged and unrecognised now has a light shining on it and in turn, has resulted in thousands of women now feeling connected, comforted and a sense of belonging with an army of others in the same shoes.