Every holiday has its parallel griefs, as much for what isn’t present as for what is. In the New Yorker, Ruth Margalit writes beautifully about experiencing Mother’s Day, after her mother is gone:
Meghan O’Rourke has a wonderful word for the club of those without mothers. She calls us not motherless but unmothered. It feels right—an ontological word rather than a descriptive one. I had a mother, and now I don’t. This is not a characteristic one can affix, like being paperless, or odorless. The emphasis should be on absence.