Coping On Special Days

Rochelle Bugg shares the things that made getting through significant dates such as Mothers’ Day and Christmas that little bit easier when someone at home is ill.

There’s no escaping the supermarket displays overflowing with Lindt chocolates, special offer Prosecco and Dirty Dancing DVDs.

Yep, that’s right … Mothers’ Day is just around the corner.

Even though I know it’s coming, it doesn’t make it any easier. In fact, after losing my mum and dad to cancer, there are lots of dates on the calendar that I dread coming around year after year. There’s Father’s Day, birthdays, anniversaries and of course the big one – Christmas.

A lot of my friends don’t understand why these things get to me. After all, they’re just another day like any other … and yet, for me, they’re not. It always feels as if something is hanging in the air when there’s an important date looming. But why?

Well there’s social media for a start. Is it me or does it feel like every Instagram photo, Snapchat story and Facebook status is designed to rub your face in it? Everyone else is out there celebrating with their perfect family and plastering it all over their timeline – except you. And I suppose it makes me feel alone. Alone and jealous …

I’m happy for my friends that their life is so easy but I get jealous that I’m missing out and I get jealous at how easy other people’s lives seem to be easy compared to mine. They don’t know what it’s like to have to wake up in the middle of the night to help their mum to the toilet or to lie awake at night worrying about what life will be like without their dad around.

For some reason, I don’t know why, their life is different to ours. And, as much as I wish I could change it for us all, I can’t. Instead, here are the things that I’ve found helped me on special days when I’ve been caring for, or missing, a loved one:

Give yourself a break!

Stop thinking you have to have it all under control or that you’re being silly if all this Mother’s Day/Christmas/anniversary stuff is getting to you. Why not use today as an excuse to treat yourself? Think about what you’d do for your best friend if they were going through what you are – and then do it for yourself. Whether it’s treating yourself to something nice, hiding away from the world and having a Netflix binge, or getting dressed up for a night out. Use the day to celebrate the fact that you’re the son/daughter/brother/sister of someone pretty amazing and, whatever you do, remember you’re doing it for the both of you.

Feel the feels

I’ve found that if I force myself to push my feelings away, they come back twice as strong. Sometimes it’s best to get things out of your system. If you’re angry that your sister is ill, then be angry. If you’re sad that you’ll never get to see dad again, then be sad. If you’re jealous of everyone taking their mum out for lunch when yours can’t move from bed, then be jealous. Give yourself permission to cry, scream, or mope around the house, and you’ll probably find that it’s not long before you stop, wipe your tears and carry on with your day. Not because you have to, but because you’re ready to.

Nothing’s ever so bad that it can’t get any worse

It might sound crazy, but sometimes when I’m feeling down about everything that’s going wrong in my life, I think about what else I could still lose. When I imagine how awful it would be if my house burned down, if I crashed my car or if I lost my job, I suddenly become really grateful for the fact that those things are still ok. So if you’re feeling sorry for yourself, try switching your focus from what you don’t have to what you DO have.

If you want to find out more about me and my experience of coping with caring for, and losing, my parents you can find me at:
Facebook –
Instagram – @rochellebugg

This post was written for us by guest blogger Rochelle Bugg. If you’d like to write a blog post for us let us know.

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