Category Archives: Death of a Parent

The Mary Mac Show | Death of a Parent

In Episode 80, we discuss the challenges we face after the death of a mother, father, stepmother, stepfather, or other individual who raised us and how we can help ourselves during our grieving process.

One of the most difficult deaths to endure in our life will be that of our parent or parents.

We think about it on and off during our life, wondering when and how they will leave us. But when it happens, we are stunned.

If after a long illness, we may have a sense of relief not just that their suffering is ended, but also that we, personally, are now free of the burden of caring for them. And sometimes, that bring guilt with it.

And if there is a sudden death, such as a heart attack, stroke, car accident or other unanticipated death, we are shocked to our core.

Listen in to Episode 80 where I discuss this sorrowful passing of one of the most important figures in your life.

Additional Notes:

Visit Crisis Connections at my website to telephone a trained counselor to speak with whenever you are feeling overwhelmed, confused, frightened, fearful or any host of emotions.

Get my book “Understanding Your Grieving Heart After a Loved One’s Death” to help you learn more about what you’re going through.

Learn the Emotional Freedom Technique here for Stress and Overwhelm. It will soothe you and calm you physically and emotionally. Also spend time in this guided meditation on Self Compassion, which we all need. Dr. Arianna also offers many wonderful tapping and guided-meditations to choose from based upon which is best for you.

You can watch Marissa Peer’s “I Am Enough” meditation.

Treat yourself to a lovely gift from our Heart of Gold “I Remember” Products from The Mary Mac Store.

Remember, a portion of all proceeds help fund The Foundation for Grieving Children, Inc., the first national non-profit public charity which benefits children, teens, young adults after a loved one’s death which I established many years ago.

And visit my sites www.MaryMac.info for your free book – “21 Things You Must Know About the Grieving Process,” and my podcast website www.TheMaryMacShow.com, where you can subscribe to my podcast on your favorite platform as well as rate and review.

And remember to sign up for my private list below, so we can always stay in touch. Since social media is no longer reliable, please complete the form below so I can connect with you via email.

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The Mary Mac Show | Difficult Discussions

The Mary Mac Show Podcast

In this week’s episode, we speak about the Difficult Discussions that families need to have, but fail to have, surrounding end-of-life care, death and burial.

I realize this is not something that many families consciously do long before it is needed, but it is a topic that we are all more aware of this year, with the pandemic, than ever before.

Since there is a good chance that this is the first time since spring that you will be with your family to celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas and other year-end holidays this year, I am encouraging you to please use that time specifically as an opportunity to discuss these topics and start to think about what your older relatives may want for themselves when they die or become ill.

It might be your grandparents, parents, even you and your spouse.

Listen in to Episode 52 as we discuss how important it is to gather as a family this season to talk about end-of-life preferences and the best ways to carry them out.

Bless you.

xoxo

Mother’s Day

I was on my AskMaryMac Facebook page and found a friend who mentioned how distraught she was that Mother’s Day was approaching and how much she missed her Mom.

She specifically spoke about how she would send her orchids each year and could no longer send them to her.

I decided to comment on her post:

“I have an idea. What if you took the money you were going to spend on orchids and bring Mother’s Day balloons to several women in a retirement or nursing home who have no children to receive anything from. Perhaps their children have predeceased them and they feel the same pain you now feel. Can you imagine all the love you would share when you see the delight on their faces when someone as wonderful as you took the time to make their day. It’s one of the greatest experiences you will ever have. Promise.”

Every moment we have the chance to make someone feel good about themselves, even when we feel so badly. It might take a little research to find a local center, but walking into women’s rooms with a colorful balloon that they could look at for weeks to come will bring joy to them. I can’t think of anything more wonderful than to surprise a strange with such kindness.

Those ‘random acts of kindness’ bring life to others…and to you. Try it. And then comment below as to what happened and share it with all of us.

Happy Mother’s Day to those who are Moms, those whose Moms aren’t with us any longer, all those who were briefly Moms before the miscarriage, stillbirth or infant death of their child or children, those Moms whose adult children have died, and those who want so much to experience the joy of being called a Mom but are struggling to become pregnant.

When Mother’s Day Stings

When Mother’s Day swings around I usually have mixed emotions.

I’m grateful that my own mother is still with me, along with the other ‘mothers’ I have the privilege to still enjoy…my Aunt, my Godmother, and my friend Jeanne, all who really ‘get’ me since I’m anything but conventional in my thinking.

But my heart is with women, today, who are reminded that ‘motherhood’ hasn’t worked out quite as they’d expect. And I’ve met many who have had these experiences; some have had a few.

Like the lady who has lost a child, something she never anticipated. Perhaps her only child or all her children have died. The one who never knew her mother because her mother died before she was old enough to meet and enjoy her.

Or the woman who never had the honor to even becoming pregnant for a whole host of reasons. And the one who is still able to bear children but can’t keep a pregnancy.

We look at loss in many different ways; we see things others don’t see on these types of occasions. We don’t bring it up in conversation, instead we simply let it remain buried deep inside where a lot of that pain still sits.

My mother has graciously gotten to the point where she’ll wish me a Happy Mother’s Day with the caveat, ‘because you are a mother to many’ which is her way of soothing that wound and I’m at a place where I might well up with a tear or two but at least it’s not the piercing pain that I once had years ago.

Sometimes it’s not an actual loss of a mother, for some, that is difficult to grieve. It can also be what hasn’t occurred that can sting on a day like today.

Holiday Grief: My Story by Jenny Montalbano, Astoria, NY

Jenny and Aunt EllieChristmas is my Mom’s favorite holiday.

She would be at Hallmark the day after Christmas for the half-priced ornaments to add to our already full Christmas Tree for the next year.

She would spend hours putting out her Christmas Village house and arranging cotton wads to look like snow.

She would bake her Mother’s Italian Christmas cookies and fill the house with the smells of holiday comfort and love while she listened to her favorite Christmas music, with Frank Sinatra in high rotation.

Each year, when “I’ll Be Home For Christmas” would play, Mom would re-tell me how it reminded her of the Christmases in the early 1950’s as she and my grandparents would wait for word from their son who was away in the military.

My mother, Ellie, passed in October of 2011. As my first Christmas without her was creeping up, I couldn’t believe how much I was dreading a holiday that I used to love so much.

Every Christmas decoration, commercial and holiday scent made me burst into tears. I wanted to hide from it all.

One night when I was home alone, I played all Mom’s favorite Christmas songs and wept as each song flooded my brain with memories of my incredible Mom.

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” brought me to my knees and I allowed myself to sob as long and as loud as I needed to. After that, I began to cry a bit less and smile a bit more.

I’ll never stop missing my Mom, especially at Christmas time but allowing myself to be happy and enjoy the holidays feels as though Mom still is enjoying them, too.

Jenny Montalbano is from Astoria, Queens, New York and enjoys her family and friends. Her mother, Eleanor, was a lifelong friend of my Godmother and thus I had the pleasure of enjoying her company at family events. She was an amazing woman. To read the comments on my Facebook invitation, click here.