Daughters without moms find support in each other’s grief | Tracee M. Herbaugh / The Associated Press

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When my mother died suddenly 30 years ago, I was 13. I’d spend the next 20 years attempting to understand what it means not to have a mother. And I did this basically alone. Know more:

When my mother died suddenly 30 years ago, I was 13. I’d spend the next 20 years attempting to understand what it means not to have a mother. And I did this basically alone.

But the silence around grief also was a product of the times. I am encouraged to see that now a mom’s death is generally not handled the same way it was in 1993.There are many kinds of support today, from the organized to the grassroots. Grief can be talked about and shared more publicly, experts say, and is acknowledged to last a long time.

Podcasts on the topic of parent loss, and support groups both virtual and in-person, have proliferated. “It really grew exponentially over Covid,” said Hope Edelman, author of several grief books, including the bestsellerEdelman has led motherless daughters’ groups, and her books have helped usher in a new way to live with loss. “The death of a mother affects a daughter profoundly, but what comes after can affect her as much or more,” she said.

“I have enormous gratitude for every woman who reaches out to me. It helps me in my grieving and has brought me a community of people I feel so connected to.” “And so the widespread online support gives people a broader space to share in that grief and meet people with similar experiences,” said Megan Kelleher, a historian who has studied grief and bereavement practices.Sasha Brown-Worsham of Acton, Massachusetts, has written about losing her mom as a teenager. She penned a viral essay and followed it up with a memoir, Namaste the Hard Way.

 

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