A MOTHER'S DAY PRIMER FOR THE MOTHERLESS

It's been almost seven years for me. It does get better. I promise.
  1. 1.
    You will cry.
    This year I thought maybe I wouldn't. And then I did. It's just the way that it is.
  2. 2.
    It will feel like the world is picking at your roughest scab.
    Grief is fickle and tempestuous and obeys no one's schedule. Unless you live under a rock, this holiday will bring everything up. Be ok with it. Tomorrow people will go back to being annoyed with their mothers and you can grieve in peace.
  3. 3.
    You will hate social media.
    Stay away from it today if you can. Unless you're ready to be bombarded by a firing squad of mother jealousy.
  4. 4.
    It will seem like everyone has a perfect mother. Except you.
    Remember that this isn't true, and that Hallmark didn't invent this holiday to torture you.
  5. 5.
    But you won't want to ignore the day altogether.
    Ignoring the fact she existed feels awful, too. Do something meaningful to you and for her, in remembrance. Even if it's closing your eyes for a minute and remembering all the love she gave you.
  6. 6.
    You will want people to say nice things to you about her.
    Sometimes my dad would forget her birthday or the day she died or the meaning of days like today. I asked him to set yearly calendar reminders so he wouldn't anymore—it was too important to me to have at least one conversation about her on the days that were most meaningful in her life.
  7. 7.
    You will be filled with aspiration for the new.
    Eventually. At first, you might just want to hate everyone who has a mother. But there's something powerful about knowing you are the current end of your family's lineage. You want to honor her, to make something of all the love she gave you. Let that be fuel.