Adult children who don’t live near their moms, and especially those who have lost their mothers, already know what it’s like to spend this holiday apart.
So how can you feel connected to her even when you’re not physically together? We asked people to share some ideas that might bring you closer, even from a distance. Here’s what they said:
Responses have been lightly edited for clarity and length.
1. Teach your kids something your mom taught you.
“My mom, my best friend, passed away three years ago. She was very into gardening. She taught me about many trees, plants and flowers. When I take a walk, I notice everybody’s plants and I love being able to name exactly what they all are. I point them out to my daughters, just like she always did for me. It always makes me feel close and connected to her.” ― Heather P.
2. Play an online board game with her.
“I live on the East Coast and my mom lives on the West Coast. To stay connected, we do text and talk on the phone, but the best thing we have been doing for years is playing Scrabble on our phones. We are both a bit competitive, but it’s fun!” — Paula H.
3. Organize a virtual brunch for the mamas in your life.
“Break out the mimosas and invite your mom, aunts, grandmother, in-laws and others to a Zoom brunch on Mother’s Day. Everyone can say why they are grateful for their mom.” ― Samantha Rodman, psychologist and couples therapist
4. Bonus points if you use a picture of mom’s house as your Zoom background.
“I had my mom send me a photo of the dining room table and I used it as a Zoom background so that when we had a Zoom dinner, it looked like I was at home with them too.” — Arielle S.
5. Send her handwritten cards.
“She will enjoy opening them and displaying them at home. Be sure to write a personal message.” ― Tina Tessina, psychotherapist
6. Cook her favorite recipe.
“My mom passed four years ago. Each year since, on her birthday in April and on Mother’s Day, I get out the recipe card she wrote and make her favorite meal. I don’t even need the card but I enjoy looking at her handwriting.” — Jennifer H.
7. Turn a treasured photo into a piece of art.
“Since my mom had her heart set on visiting me in my new home of Barcelona, I decided her Mother’s Day gift had to be something travel-related, to remind her of our amazing past and future trips together. I found a digital artist based in India to ‘paint’ one of our vacation photos together, then sent it to a printer to have it made into a wall poster and shipped directly to her!” — Alyssa Ramos, blogger at My Life’s A Travel Movie
8. Look for little signs that remind you of her.
“My mom passed away suddenly less than a year ago. Butterflies were always our ‘thing.’ I look for butterflies, make her favorite foods, and tell my children stories about her.” — Jamie B.
9. Write down some of your most cherished memories together.
“Aim for three to five detailed memories. Your mom will be truly touched. Send this to her in a card or type it out in a letter that can be framed.” ― Samantha Rodman
10. Go through old photos and let the nostalgia kick in.
“Find an old picture of you and Mom, or a picture capturing a favorite memory from your childhood, and send it to Mom with a brief description of what it means to you.” — Kurt Smith, therapist
11. Order a digital picture frame and load it up with your favorite family pics.
“Then drop it off outside her door or mail it to her. You can video chat with the frame in the background, watching the pictures together and reminiscing, a reminder of the fun and depth of your connection.” ― David Narang, psychologist
12. Use or wear something that once belonged to her.
“I have my Mama’s favorite chair, which I always sit on. She passed many years ago.” — Mary-Ann K.
13. Write your mom a letter — even if she’s passed away.
“For many people who have lost their mothers, Mother’s Day can be a more painful reminder of that loss. This year, spend some time communicating to her as a way to connect and express some of that loss and the love. Whether it’s using the technique of writing a letter or simply having a silent conversation, answer the following questions as though you were speaking to your mother directly: Tell her what she would do that made you feel special and loved; identify what she would sometimes do that you had a harder time with and why; share a memory that involves you both that will always be special, and why.” ― Juan Olmedo, therapist