Not having someone to shower with cards and gifts on Mother's Day can be really tough-going, but there are things you can do to make it better.

Putting aside all notions of Mothering Sunday simply being a marketing ploy, it’s a once-yearly chance to say thank you to one of the most important women in your life.

Gestures don’t have to be grand. A bunch of flowers or a hand-written card can mean just as much as a slap-up dinner or fancy spa day. Sometimes even more.

But for those who don’t have a mum in their life, it can be one of the toughest days of the year.

As anyone who’s lost a parent knows, as much as it’s important to remember them, the grey cloud of sadness that surrounds the fact they’re no longer here doesn’t really go away. The heartache eases as the years go by, but the melancholy remains forever.

So, this Mother's Day, spare a thought for those who have lost – and help them to have a happier day…

Acknowledge the day
It doesn’t need to be an elephant in the room. Everyone without a mum knows how important Mother’s Day is. More so, in fact. Give them a call or a text to let them know you’re thinking of them.

Be more aware
"Perhaps your relationship with your mum isn’t easy and you want to tell your friend about some biting words or unreasonable demands. Spare your drama for another day – there’s no need to say anything about it on the day," says life coach and author of How To Be Selfish, Olga Levancuka.

Make plans
If your day doesn’t involve spending time with your mum, why not make plans with the person who’s lost theirs? Staying busy is the key to staying sane, quite often. You could suggest watching a movie together (but apart) by tuning into a Netflix Party or calling them for a chat on FaceTime.

Don’t say, ‘It will get better’
"On this specific day, there will be renewed feelings of grief," says Levancuka. "It will never be a day filled with excitement and celebration for anyone bereaved. Acknowledge that your friend may be reliving their loss, and don’t say things like, ‘It will get better’, or, ‘You’re lucky you spent so much time together before you lost her’. Losing a mother is a significant loss, no matter how old the person is when it occurs. Asking them to feel gratitude will not cancel out the sadness they feel."

Don’t say anything, just listen
"People get hung up on what they should say, but that’s not the point," adds Levancuka. "The grieving person needs someone to listen. Ask them how they feel and if they want to share anything with you. Just listen to your friend and let them cry or reminisce."

Let it remind you how lucky you are
We’re almost all guilty of taking our mums for granted. Realising how difficult a day like this can be for someone you know, can remind you how lucky you are. Hold on to that. Make an effort to buy that card or give her a ring to say, ‘I love you’. They won’t always be there, and one day, you’ll be glad you made the effort while you could.