Mother’ Day after your mother has died

Stephen Zeoli
2 min readMay 12, 2024
Mom swimming with her dog, Silver.

My mother died just four weeks ago. She was 92 and her body was failing her. She died peacefully. It was a sad day, but not a day to mourn.

But here I am at the first Mother’s Day in which I don’t have a living mother. What to make of this?

All my Mother’s Days to this point have been about showing my mother appreciation — most likely, very feebly. Now the meaning of Mother’s Day has turned back on me. It is a prompt to focus on what my mother meant to me and still means to me.

While mom is gone from this earth, she is not gone from me. She lives on in my DNA, my memories, the influences she had on who I am today. Everytime I read a book, I am honoring her, because she taught me to love reading. When I find myself correcting my word usage, or when I look something up to get a deeper understanding, I am honoring her curiosity about the world and her desire to keep learning.

I don’t intend this to be a littany of all the ways my mother impacted my life. I simply want to acknowledge this point:

Even though my mother is no longer alive, I will always have a mother. I will always be grateful for the unique person she was, and for the ways she made me who I am.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom.