Without your mum on Mothers Day

This is a guest post by Leigh Van Der Horst, author of without my Mum

Leigh sent me an email a few weeks ago telling me about the release of her new book without my Mum.  She didn’t realise that I had also lost my mum a few years ago, suddenly to a brain tumor, so this really book really touched my heart. My Mum is in my thoughts everyday but my heart aches around this time of year with Mothers Day approaching.  It’s hard not having a mother for guidance and having her fuss over my kids. In the book Leigh share her inspiring story of coping with motherhood after losing her mum.  This is a lovely post and exactly what I needed to read, over to Leigh….


Mothers Day is a tough one without a mum to spoil. I lost my mother to cancer in 2008. I was 32 years old and had 3 young sons who adored her. It devastated me to say the least. I loved my mother immensely. She was my best friend. As a young girl I would always sit at her feet as she knitted. As long as I was close to my mum I felt safe. I smothered her in adoration on Mothers Day, as I knew how special she was. I will never forget my first Mothers Day without her. It was torture. It was a very long day and I just wished the minutes away. My husband and my boys were so beautiful, making sure that I felt special and giving me hugs all day long but the lump in my throat grew larger and larger as the day wore on and I only felt relief when it was over and I no longer had to feel that gaping void of not having a mum to celebrate.

It’s now six years down the track and I still struggle. It certainly is not as hard to see out the day as it was years ago but I do still carry a heavy burden with me each year. The lead up guarantees an array of emotions within me. Often I don’t even realise that my moods are so unstable. It’s something that I have no control over. This build up results in a good cry sometime during Mothers Day itself and by the end of it all, I’m exhausted, apologetic and again, relieved that it is over.


For me, distraction is a wonderful thing to try and keep a smile on my face. I have to enjoy the day for my boys. I am their mum and they have every right to spoil me, as I did my mother. Usually the day is action packed with no time to sit still and dwell. I did attempt to lay low one Mothers Day in recent years but I think it is safe to say that after the grilling my poor husband got, he will happily support our high activity traditions from this point on.


There is no right or wrong way to deal with days like these when you deeply miss someone you love. I have come to realise that I just have to accept the unreliable wave of emotion and I also have to be kinder to myself at certain times of the year. The beautiful thing is, as time passes, we do become stronger and our hearts do heal and each year brings with it more happiness. I honour my mum each year but not just on Mothers Day, I do this every day. Although I can’t see her, she is with me and I am certain she is sitting back, with a huge, proud smile watching on as my boys smother me with love on that one special day just as I did with her. That would make her so happy. And that makes me happy. 

A mothers love is forever and I have no doubt that our mums are aware of how much we love them, even if we can’t tell them on that special day. They know. Of course they know. It’s a bond that never breaks.

Happy Mothers Day to every amazing mum, here in person and in spirit.



Leigh Van Der Horst is a mother of four boys who lives at Victoria’s beautiful Mornington Peninsula. Leigh discovered a passion for writing when her beloved mother passed away from cancer and now regularly writes for her inspiring website ‘Leigh V Loves’. Leigh believes that with a positive attitude, life can be a wonderful adventure and hopes to encourage others to live their best lives and believe in themselves. Leigh has recently released her first self-published book called ‘Without My Mum’, dealing with the loss of a mother.

‘Without My Mum’ is available to be purchased at all good bookstores Nationwide or at www.vividpublishing.com.au/withoutmymum


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