The Daily Illini

Surpassing grief to celebrate Moms Weekend

By Minju Park, Columnist

This weekend was Moms Weekend; a celebrated tradition where the University invites the students’ moms to campus to enjoy “musicals, (a) craft fair, flower shows, art exhibits, vocal performances and athletic events.”

It’s also a way for sons and daughters to invite their moms to campus, spend time with them and show them what college life is like.

Since Moms Weekend seems like an innocent event, many have difficulty understanding how it could become a controversial topic.

However, some people have responded negatively to Moms Weekend, condemning it as insensitive to those without moms. Some students’ mothers may be deceased, divorced or absent from their lives, and so a day where everyone else brings their moms to campus can be painful.

I am no stranger to this myself — having lost my own mom about two and a half years ago, I’ve felt similar feelings of pain when seeing my friends upload pictures with their moms on campus, or observing girls bringing their moms out to the bars on Saturday night.

But for me, this pain was not hostility or anger, but more a nostalgic, bittersweet feeling. Seeing my peers enjoying their time with their own mothers made me wistful for my own mom, but by no means did it occur to me that they were flashing their happiness in my face in an obnoxious or insensitive manner.

Rather, I felt grateful that such a day exists at our University to cherish our moms and show appreciation for the number of sacrifices they’ve made for us by giving back in a small way. I wish I’d recognized and acknowledged my mom more, so seeing other students having the opportunity to do this makes me infinitely thankful that they don’t have the same regrets that I do.

I realize that grief is a process, and that at its stage of anger, it may cause us to lash out at others who are ignorant of the situation that we’ve dealt with. I’ve gone through the same process, and it’s not easy to stay positive in those circumstances.

Eventually, you’ll get through the grief. It isn’t that you don’t feel the sadness anymore — you will. But you can look back onto your circumstances without feeling the need to condemn the world for your misfortunes, seeing that your life can move on from what happened.

And a Moms Weekend, or the upcoming Mother’s Day, can be celebrated without your mom being physically present. Commemorating her through your thoughts or prayers is just another way of thanking your mom for giving you life and helping you to become the person you are today.

Realizing that taking away another’s happiness won’t benefit you in the slightest will just help you to appreciate your own life in the end.

Minju is a freshman in Media.

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