Motherless Daughters and Holidays

Today is a very intense day for me for two reasons. It is Yom Kippur, a very holy Jewish holiday, and on this evening I light a candle in honor of my mother. I sit and look at the flame knowing that my mother’s life was over way too early. A part of me was lost when she was lost and I think that I am different in so many ways because of my loss. I must say that I am writing about my feelings to honor motherless daughters everywhere. As a friend and a clinical psychologist, I know about the unique feelings of motherless daughters quite intimately.

On this holiday I am reminded once again about my particular sensitivities. Other people talk about their mothers and I wish that I could join in, but of course I have nothing to contribute. I watch as others talk to their mothers about the minutiae of their day and I really don’t think that there is anyone who would care about my day to that extent. Yes, I do have wonderful people in my life, but there is something very unique about the mother-daughter relationship even though it is likely fraught with lots of ups and downs. Sometimes I am in a situation where I am not quite sure what is customary to do, wear, etc., and I wish that I could, well, just call my mother. And, sometimes I get very disheartened when I feel misunderstood because I have this sense that my mother would understand me. And, on holidays I feel a certain sadness because my mother is not around. I know that this is expecting way too much but I expect that others will somehow know that holidays are a bit rough for me. Sometimes a little thing will set me off and turn me into a puddle on the floor. It might be a poorly-timed joke at a time when I am sad that certainly wasn’t meant to offend me.

I wonder at times if I am just a bit too feminine because I am trying so hard to be the right kind of woman and I don’t have a very solid role model. What I really want to say is that you might want to put your arm around a motherless daughter during the holidays. You might just brighten her day a bit and give her that extra bit of care that she craves. Thanks for listening.