Mother's Day without a mother: One woman shares her experience

Francesca Specter
Yahoo Style UK deputy editor
Daisy England wishes she could celebrate Mother’s Day with her late mother Olive, pictured. [Photo: Daisy England]

When Daisy England, 32, saw the words “Mother’s Day” flash up in her inbox, her first instinct was to feel sad.

Because while for many of us such marketing emails simply prompt a mental note-to-self, for others like Daisy, it was an unwelcome reminder she no longer had a mother to buy a card for.

When her mother, Olive, passed away at the age of 64 from brain cancer in June 2017, Daisy was left feeling lost.

My first Mother’s Day without her was last year and it was very difficult,” she tells Yahoo UK“We were extremely close and were almost more like sisters than mother and daughter.”

In previous years, Daisy was used to buying Olive a card and lilies – her favourite flowers.

But last year, for the first time in her life, she actively avoided the Mother’s Day aisles in every shop she went into – “so I didn’t have to see children buying presents”.

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Nor could she get any relief when she was scrolling through her inbox, or watching television: “It felt sometimes as if I couldn’t escape, reminding me that I didn’t have a mum to celebrate with.”

Her first year without her mother was one of constant frustration, especially when she heard other people criticise their own mothers, who were still alive.

I got frustrated inwardly that people were complaining about their mum. It made me wish I had my mum to complain about. At the time, I didn’t know how I was ever going to cope without her.”

The constant bombardment with Mother’s Day marketing left her feeling even more isolated.

“It did make it harder for me to recover,” she adds. “It makes me sad that I can’t thank my mum for everything she did for me.”

I wish [brands] gave a little nod to those who have lost their mum or never knew their mum. It’s a sensitive subject.”

Daisy is not alone in her experience: this year, brands such as florist Bloom & Wild and stationary brand Papier sent “opt out” emails to customers on their mailing lists, allowing them to block Mother’s Day reminders.

Coming across the Bloom & Wild email – which has been widely praised on Twitter –  so soon after losing her mother, Daisy welcomed the initiative. “I wish more brands did this,” she said.


This year, Daisy feels more positive about the day, which has taken on a new significance, as many of her friends have started to have children.

“When I see my friends celebrating their first Mother’s Day with their little ones, it makes me happy for them and the memories they get to create with their own children.”

She has also resolved to use the day to remember her mother, celebrating in much the same way as she did when she was alive.

“My mum was never one for flashy days: as long as I could show her my love and appreciation, the day was always perfect. I would never have done it any differently.”

“This year, I’ll buy her a card then put it next to her picture. Then, I’m just going to head out to eat one of her favourite meals – chicken tikka masala or a jacket potato with tuna and sweetcorn – and remember her at her best times.

Yahoo UK’s series, Yahoo Stories, shares real-life experiences. Have you got one to share? Tweet us via @YahooStyleUK.