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Mother’s Day - Transcribed

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Our episodes of the Good Grief Podcast include a transcript of the episode’s audio for people who are deaf or hard of hearing, if you’d like to scan the material, or have low bandwidth. The text is the output of AI based transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors and should not be treated as an authoritative record.

Mother’s Day – Transcribed

[00:00:00] Pete Waggoner: This upcoming May 14th is Mother’s Day, and we are celebrating and remembering our mothers as we should right here on the Good Grief Podcast along with Amber Miller. I’m Pete Waggoner. We’ll get into that topic and more right after this.

[00:00:22] Pete Waggoner: More and more people are pre-planning their funerals to save their loved ones the stress of having to plan after an emotional loss. If you’re thinking of planning for your funeral, but are unsure where to start, you can head to the website, O’Connell funeral homes.com for some free resources. There are 10 things to think about before your funeral.

[00:00:39] Pete Waggoner: PDF comes with a handy worksheet for collecting your thoughts. Some of them might even surprise you. When the time comes and you’re ready to take the next step or just ask some questions. Our team is here to help you take away the guesswork. At any point you can call to schedule an appointment to sit down with a qualified pre-planning specialist.

[00:00:57] Pete Waggoner: Head over to the website to check out their [00:01:00] resources and to set a no-obligation appointment. Now back to our podcast. 

[00:01:05] Pete Waggoner: We welcome you back to the Good Grief podcast along with Amber Miller. I’m Pete Waggoner and Amber, we’re gonna celebrate and remember our mothers on this upcoming mother’s Day month. Not just day, right?

[00:01:15] Pete Waggoner: It should be called the Mother’s Day Month, right? 

[00:01:17] Amber Miller: Absolutely. 

[00:01:18] Pete Waggoner: So, obviously it’s very important. Thanks for jumping in here. We know you’re busy, and you’re the straw that stirs the drinks around here at the O’Connell Family Funeral Homes. And by the way, if you wanna check them online, it’s http://oconnellfuneralhomes.com/ and there’s everything you need from great resources to, if something happens quickly and you need to move, the team here will take care of you 100%. 

[00:01:41] Pete Waggoner: So let’s talk a little bit about Mother’s Day and remembering our moms. 

[00:01:44] Amber Miller: Yeah, I think especially from a death perspective, mother’s day can be a difficult one, especially if our mom is no longer with us.

[00:01:51] Amber Miller: So a lot of people ask, well, “what do I do that day?” “How do I celebrate?” “How do I remember her?” “And how do I celebrate all of the other wonderful women [00:02:00] in our lives? “

[00:02:01] Pete Waggoner: Well, when we do that, what are the things we should be aware of when we are thinking of it? You know, I mean, there are things that our moms will always live within us. But there’s also some other things that go on with it too, and what you should do? 

[00:02:13] Amber Miller: Yeah. Well, first off, before the day even occurs, it’s important to be proactive and prepare. I think, you know, we talked about it in a previous podcast about grief triggers, and those tend to be less intensified when we plan for the day.

[00:02:25] Amber Miller: So maybe reach out to family and friends, see what they’re doing for their help. Get some companionship on that day. But really think about ways that you can honor her. And that all goes back to her legacy. So what traits are in you or traits that she passed down to you that give you strength or courage or determination? Compassion, love. Think about all of those things. Sometimes even creating like a little altar space at home gives you that physical space to remember.

[00:02:52] Pete Waggoner: What does that look like to you? 

[00:02:53] Amber Miller: Pictures, candles, personal things of hers, whether it was her jewelry, her recipes, things that she really liked.

[00:02:59] Pete Waggoner: Do you put that up for the [00:03:00] day? 

[00:03:00] Amber Miller: Completely up to you. It can be for just the day, it can be for the full Mother’s Day weekend. It couldn’t be for the full month. 

[00:03:05] Pete Waggoner: Because it’s Mother’s Day month. 

[00:03:06] Amber Miller: Yeah.

[00:03:06] Pete Waggoner: That’s a really cool thing. And you know, I think what you’re suggesting is, yeah, it’s great to go out and visit grave sites or where urns could be. But this is doing a little bit more than just, I mean, that’s good, doing the time. But this is actually a process. Correct? 

[00:03:22] Amber Miller: Mm-hmm. Yeah. I think physically doing something that day, even if it is just going to the graveside to remember kind of brings about healing and gets you moving. Gets you really thinking. 

[00:03:32] Pete Waggoner: And you know, it’s never too late because when I’ve been reading through this, I’m gonna do this this year, I’m gonna do something of this. Absolutely. This is awesome. 

[00:03:40] Pete Waggoner: So there are other things that we can do to celebrate, honor, remember our mothers who are gone and have passed away.

[00:03:46] Pete Waggoner: Let’s go through some of those things and ideas that you’re gonna give me that I can do for mine. 

[00:03:51] Amber Miller: Yeah. Well I always traditionally think of flowers. Whether I get, you know, my mom a flower basket or just fresh cut flowers. Maybe that’s something where [00:04:00] you have those things at home.

[00:04:01] Amber Miller: So you have this beautiful bouquet of, I say tulips because those are my favorite flowers. Having those on the counter to really remember mom or having them be a particular color that was her favorite, or having hanging baskets out that you tend to as part of kind of your healing journey.

[00:04:17] Amber Miller: But you knew that mom would’ve loved to have these tended too and see how big and beautiful they are. 

[00:04:21] Pete Waggoner: Yeah. Something that she loved too. 

[00:04:22] Amber Miller: Yeah. Mm-hmm. 

[00:04:23] Pete Waggoner: What else? 

[00:04:24] Amber Miller: Well, you can go out on the flower realm. You can go out and buy bulbs too. Again, back to the tulips, if that was something she really liked, plant those out in your garden.

[00:04:32] Amber Miller: Or if you’re not a flower person, maybe a tree or a bush or a shrub, something like that. And then trees give back to the environment. So all good things to do. 

[00:04:40] Pete Waggoner: You can’t lose there. Now you’re a big writer, I think. 

[00:04:42] Amber Miller: A little bit. Yeah. 

[00:04:43] Pete Waggoner: Yeah. I kind of sense that. And maybe writing a letter wouldn’t be a bad idea either. 

[00:04:47] Amber Miller: Right. Yep. And, you know, oftentimes, like a counselor or a therapist will always encourage that. So write a letter to her. Maybe say all of the things that you’re grateful for of her, or things that she did for you. 

[00:04:58] Amber Miller: If that’s something that you [00:05:00] keep for next year, if that’s something you just write a letter and put it in the little altar thing that you’re creating or put it at her graveside or anything like that. 

[00:05:07] Pete Waggoner: Wouldn’t it be cool if you wrote that letter and maybe you put it on an altar? And then you did that every year. If you look over the course of, let’s say, a decade and just kind of put it together and read it almost as though that’s a 10 chapter book over the state. Would that be interesting to see where your head was at and what you wrote? 

[00:05:23] Amber Miller: Or every year thinking about one thing that you’re grateful for her.

[00:05:27] Amber Miller: And over the course of the 10 years or so that you do that tradition, you have 10 grateful traits that you have of mom. 

[00:05:33] Pete Waggoner: I like that. How about, why do we equate food and meals with mom? But we do. Right? I mean, my mom was, my kids will say she’s the best cook they’ve ever known. And so you suggest something about a favorite meal, brunch, or dinner, I mean, isn’t that great? 

[00:05:48] Amber Miller: Yeah. Well that’s the second thing I think of with Mother’s Day is flowers and take mom out to brunch.

[00:05:53] Pete Waggoner: Food. Yeah, exactly. 

[00:05:55] Amber Miller: So maybe that’s, you know, having the family over and preparing her favorite recipes or [00:06:00] things that she would’ve normally made on brunch or even going out to the restaurant that you guys always went out to. Always fun things to kind of share stories and memories over recipes. 

[00:06:09] Pete Waggoner: And you’re suggesting bringing in the grandkids as well? I mean, it’s not just you and your kids, it’s everybody. 

[00:06:15] Amber Miller: Mm-hmm. Bring the grandkids in to help with mom’s recipes or to help set the table. All about community and engagement.

[00:06:22] Pete Waggoner: How about hobbies? 

[00:06:23] Amber Miller: Maybe go for a walk on her favorite walking path. If she was like a sewer, maybe sew something or knit or start a cross stitch, cook or bake, you know, all of the things that she really loved. 

[00:06:35] Pete Waggoner: Do you think we can look at our moms at some point and say ‘she did this like really well’ and you wonder, who else would do that? You know, they have a little knickknack thing that they do. I think it’s really easy for all of us to find something special like that for sure.

[00:06:50] Pete Waggoner: How about music or television or books, you know, those types of forms of entertainment?

[00:06:55] Amber Miller: Yeah. You know, if she was a music person listening or putting on the background, her favorite [00:07:00] artist or a cd, music is such a huge connector. I mean, music therapy in general is a big industry. So listening to some of those songs or watching that movie, reading that book, and even if it’s journaling at the same time, and writing down some of the feelings that you have or memories that connect, like, oh, “I’m listening to the song and it reminds me of my mom. And we were driving in the car to this event, or it reminds me of her out in the garden.” You know, very similar to smells too.

[00:07:26] Pete Waggoner: The food and the smells and the flowers. See we’re getting there. 

[00:07:29] Pete Waggoner: Family traditions are obviously big. And I think there’s the greatest tip of the cap to one’s legacy is to continue on the things that they started, but it’s also to build on it too, right?

[00:07:39] Amber Miller: Yep. Build on it, invite new people, expand the scope of it. What we mentioned before, continue going to that same restaurant that maybe she really loved, or bringing the restaurant to the house and having it catered and having the full family there. Making new traditions too, is important. If creating the outstanding traditions is stressful. 

[00:07:59] Pete Waggoner: Well, this [00:08:00] is an interesting one. Tell stories. And there’s something here before you kind of get into that I think is interesting. My mom used to talk a lot about, obviously my grandma, her mom and dad. And then also their parents. And so that’s getting back into the mid 1800s.

[00:08:16] Pete Waggoner: So I’ve got some lineage of how things were with them in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Right. Or in the area. And then you fast forward ahead to today, and I haven’t shared that with my kids. So that whole, I’m gonna now. That whole dynamic is lost. What a great lineage and historical thing though. That’s what telling stories can do to keep things present as to who we are and why. 

[00:08:39] Amber Miller: Mm-hmm. Ancestry is such a big thing and a popular thing right now. Mother’s Day is a perfect time to do that. Pull out the ancestry, the old photos, the old memories, the stories that were shared with you and keep passing them on, 

[00:08:52] Pete Waggoner: Have you ever noticed, like on older photos, like from the late mid 1800s, no one’s smiling, right? Is that like, [00:09:00] how does it, soon as you look at it, you go. 

[00:09:02] Amber Miller: Were they that unhappy? 

[00:09:03] Pete Waggoner: Or does anybody smile? Or like, do we laugh here? 

[00:09:05] Amber Miller: Yeah, I know. Yeah. 

[00:09:06] Pete Waggoner: Okay, so it’s not just me, right? 

[00:09:08] Amber Miller: No, not just you.

[00:09:08] Pete Waggoner: Cool, awesome. I like this too. My mom used to do a lot of volunteer work. And a lot of things that were maybe under the radar type things, and there were causes that were important to her and you talk about donating and volunteering. 

[00:09:21] Amber Miller: Absolutely. Supporting her favorite charity, or just volunteering your time to help others. Or to help others that she wished to help. You know, maybe if she wasn’t involved with a charity, think about those causes that were really important. So if she was a teacher, volunteering at the local school, or going to the local library and reading children’s books during story time, or coordinating, you know, clothes drives at the school.

[00:09:43] Amber Miller: All of those things that were always an important topic and cause for her, but maybe she didn’t necessarily donate to a particular charity. 

[00:09:51] Pete Waggoner: I’ve got a long list myself and I’m sure people listening can and will too with just that topic alone. Which is really awesome.

[00:09:57] Pete Waggoner: How about gifts to others? 

[00:09:59] Amber Miller: Yeah, so [00:10:00] sometimes when you have people over, whether it’s the grandkids or family or friends, even gifting them a small token, you know, maybe mom was really big into jewelry, and that’s something that you have out on the table and people can take if that’s something that you want.

[00:10:12] Amber Miller: Or even a small token. My grandmother was a huge sewer. She was a very accomplished seamstress. So even having a button, and keeping it in my pocket and something that I grab onto and hold onto. Or maybe it’s having a bunch of rocks from her garden. And people can write a little note or memory and put it in a vase.

[00:10:29] Amber Miller: And every single mother’s day you contribute to the vase. Or it’s a rock that they can keep in their pocket. Sharing, bringing photos with them to this brunch and maybe creating a collage or they get to take a photo home if you’re bringing out all of the albums and looking at those really old photos.

[00:10:44] Amber Miller: So all of those kind of random acts of kindness too. Going to the coffee shop and paying for the person that’s behind you or baking for a neighbor, dropping off donations to the food shelf or homeless shelter. All of those things that we’re gifting to others in this time. 

[00:10:59] Pete Waggoner: Can [00:11:00] you extend that to grandmothers too?

[00:11:01] Amber Miller: Oh yeah. Yeah. 

[00:11:02] Pete Waggoner: So it’s not just one, right? I mean, you can do a couple in one, which would be really cool. 

[00:11:06] Pete Waggoner: How about support groups? 

[00:11:08] Amber Miller: Well, there’s lots of support groups for those that are specifically for those who have lost a mother. But we’ve kind of talked about in the past those meetups.

[00:11:15] Amber Miller: So maybe on Mother’s Day you go out hiking with a group of people and you may be a mother yourself too. So really looking at that whole spectrum. 

[00:11:25] Pete Waggoner: You know mothers give you the gift of life, and the gift of faith, if you’re faith driven. And without it, you’re really nothing.

[00:11:33] Amber Miller: Right. 

[00:11:34] Pete Waggoner: So even though they’re presently not here with us, it really makes a lot of sense to be able to continue to personally be able to recognize the depth of impact that’s had on you as a person. And to continually reminding yourself and your kids that there’s a lot more to this than just what meets the eye.

[00:11:55] Amber Miller: Right. Yep. There’s so much of what makes up me and I wanna share it. And my mom [00:12:00] was one of those and grandma and so on. Lots of important women in our lives.

[00:12:03] Pete Waggoner: How’d you come up with this topic? 

[00:12:05] Amber Miller: Well with Mother’s Day here this May, we get a lot of questions about it.

[00:12:09] Pete Waggoner: Do you? 

[00:12:09] Amber Miller: Yeah. You know what to do on Mother’s Day, especially from a grief perspective, so it’s just an important topic to address. 

[00:12:15] Pete Waggoner: Do you have a PhD in psychology? 

[00:12:17] Amber Miller: No. 

[00:12:18] Pete Waggoner: But I mean, you kind of do, right? I mean, even though you don’t, right? When you think about like what you do. It’s fascinating, and so I ask you these questions because I know your wealth of experience is so deep in the depth of what you know, no textbook could teach, right?

[00:12:33] Pete Waggoner: And I think it’s really awesome that you’re able to share these things, come up with these ideas. And really go outside of the box. 

[00:12:41] Pete Waggoner: Because it could be very, very simple four corners, four pillars of what you know, well this is what we do. But I love how you go out of the box and say, okay, what is May?

[00:12:50] Pete Waggoner: It’s Mother’s Day. Geez, we get a lot of questions. Let’s attack this and approach it. And I think it’s awesome. 

[00:12:55] Amber Miller: Well, we wanna be a good resource to everyone in the community and all the stressors that they face, and [00:13:00] grief and loss and all of that. We just wanna be a really great resource and a place, a safe haven for them to come to for their questions.

[00:13:06] Pete Waggoner: Well, that you are. 

[00:13:07] Amber Miller: Thank you. 

[00:13:07] Pete Waggoner: Awesome stuff. Thanks for joining us here today. 

[00:13:09] Amber Miller: Yes, thank you. 

[00:13:09] Pete Waggoner: Enjoy Mother’s Day month. We should remember what really got us here and how we are, and we’re all very lucky, for sure. 

[00:13:16] Pete Waggoner: Amber, take care. Have yourself a great day. 

[00:13:18] Amber Miller: Thanks, you too. 

[00:13:19] Pete Waggoner: I’m Pete Waggoner. So long everybody. 

[00:13:22] Pete Waggoner: We hope you enjoyed this episode, and if you did, we’d greatly appreciate if you left us a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or share this episode with your friends. Please don’t hesitate to tell us what topics you would like us to cover in future episodes, and you can do so by leaving a comment in the comment section or send us a message on social media.

[00:13:41] Pete Waggoner: We’ll see you next month.