Losing a parent is always hard, but losing your mom just before a holiday is especially painful. Easter is not only a religious celebration but a cultural and familial celebration as well. You may have fond childhood memories of sharing Easter with your mom that can make the day feel even harder. Though Easter is typically a joyous holiday, it is normal to feel sad on holidays when you are grieving. Especially if it is the first year without your mom.
Even though you may not feel up to joyous Easter festivities this year, there are still many ways you can celebrate Easter while honoring the memory of your mom. We’ve come up with 12 ways to incorporate her memory into your Easter traditions.
1. Continue Her Favorite Traditions
If your mom always worked to make Easter memorable for you, keep up her favorite traditions with your own kids, nieces and nephews, or even the adults in your life.
Perhaps she made the greatest baskets. Maybe she was a pro at hiding eggs. If she had the whole family gather around the piano for some festive songs, keep the tradition alive!
Continuing your mom’s most valued traditions is a surefire way to keep her spirit alive in your hearts every Easter.
2. Go to Mass
If your mom was religious, going to church on Easter Sunday is the perfect way to honor her memory. Many consider the Easter Vigil to be the most beautiful liturgy of the year. Attending services can help you feel closer to your lost loved ones.
At the heart of Christianity, Easter is a day of remembrance as it commemorates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Being in church, surrounded by the presence of God, faith, music, and community, is a beautiful way to mourn your mom.
3. Arrange Lilies
Lilies are a traditional Easter flower because they symbolize innocence and rebirth. They can also have a religious connotation when used to remember the dead — the soul of the deceased has restored their innocence when they reach Heaven.
If your mom loved flowers, make an arrangement of lilies in her memory. Lilies smell lovely and make for a great centerpiece at an Easter celebration.
4. Visit Her Grave
Many people find comfort in visiting the final resting spot of a loved one on a special holiday. Even though you are not together in body, being at your mom’s grave can help you feel like you are with her in spirit. Once your Easter celebration is over, visit your mom to wish her a Happy Easter.
You could bring an Easter basket to share with her, spend some time talking to her, or you could just sit in peace with her memory all around you.
Pro-Tip: Decorate her gravestone by leaving the arrangement of lilies that you made for your celebration.
5. Create a Living Memorial
As part of your Easter celebration this year, create a living memorial in honor of your mom.
Planting a tree is a beautiful, long-lasting, and environmentally-friendly option. You could also plant an herb, vegetable, or flower garden. Another alternative is a make-your-own bird feeder activity or creating a butterfly garden. As a bonus, these are fun and meaningful ways to get kids involved.
A living memorial is a truly special way to remember your mom.
6. Fly a Kite
Creating and flying kites is a cherished and traditional Easter activity in the Caribbean. Kite flying is also a wonderful way to remember a lost loved one.
Construct a kite in your mom’s favorite colors and designs. Head to an outdoor location that she loved to take it for a spin.
Flying a kite and looking up at the sky can help you feel closer to your mom and the heavens. As you watch your kite dance amongst the clouds, imagine your mom watching over you. Even though we don’t know your mom — we know moms — and we know she would be proud.
7. Make Her Famous Recipes
Almost every family’s Easter Sunday includes gathering around a large table to eat. Some consider it a late lunch, while others call it an early dinner.
Either way, keep your mom’s memory alive by cooking and baking her favorite recipes for your feast. Smells and tastes have a way of eliciting memories, comfort, and laughter.
If she wasn’t much of a chef, make something that you think would wow her! We always want to make our moms proud, even when they’re no longer with us.
8. Play Her Favorite Songs
Pop on some tunes that remind you of Mom as you cook and prepare for the day. Create a “Remembering Mom” playlist, and keep it going all day. Play it through lunch and Easter activities so the whole family can be reminded of your mom and all of the joy that she brought to your lives.
9. Honor Mom in Your Easter Baskets
Easter baskets are a time-honored tradition. They can be filled with grass, tissue paper, candies, chocolates, Easter eggs, toys, and more.
There are many ways that you can honor your mom in these baskets. Here are a few options to choose from or combine:
- Put a beautiful picture of her in the basket for all to remember her by.
- Perhaps she had an absolute favorite type of chocolate or candy you could include. Write “Love, Grandma” to help the kids feel close to her.
- If she wrote poems or created other forms of art, place a copy in the basket.
- Make the basket a theme or color palate you know she would absolutely love.
10. Make a Toast
Remember your mom through a toast. Pour a glass of her favorite beverage, hold it high, and share your favorite memories.
Invite others to share why they wish she could be here to celebrate with you today.
11. Say a Prayer
Say a prayer, hold a moment of silence, or read a psalm or poem in honor of your mom.
Taking a moment to be still and reflective is an easy and impactful way for everyone to hold lost loved ones close to their hearts.
Pro-Tip: If this feels too awkward or uncomfortable for you, consider combining it with your toast.
12. Give Back
There is no better way to memorialize a loved one than by giving back. If your mom loved to support others and give to her community, honor her memory by volunteering at her favorite cause or giving to a charity she felt passionately about.
Giving back on holidays can be a meaningful way to remember a loved one, and it can also make holidays less hard for someone in need.
If you are not able to volunteer in-person, here are some extraordinary ways to give back virtually this Easter.
If You Need Extra Support
The holidays have a way of making grief an even tougher pill to swallow. If you’re feeling like you can’t even think about planning Easter because you’re so low, consider finding a grief counselor to support you through this difficult time.
Know that you are not alone, and there are many resources available to you if you need some extra support.
- “Easter.” BBC Religions. Updated 7 May 2011, https://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/christianity/holydays/easter.shtml#h1
- “Easter in the Caribbean.” Endless Caribbean. 1 April 2018, https://www.endlesscaribbean.com/easter-in-the-caribbean/