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7 Women On Their Unconventional Mother Figures

Mother's Day is typically a celebration of the women who raised us, but the day can look different for people who have suffered the loss of their mothers or have chosen to part ways from their maternal parent. Ahead of Mother's Day, we spoke to seven women who have lost a mother on how they choose to celebrate the holiday, however unconventionally, with the mother figures in their lives.

Kalpana Kindo, India

Jennifer Coulombe, New York, New York

"My mom passed away of a brain tumor when I was 15 years old (I'm now 37). Betty was one of my mom's best friends from growing up and was in my parent's wedding. When my mom passed away, Betty and I spent more and more time together. In high school, it would be shopping days at the local mall in Upstate New York, hanging out at the pool on hot days in her neighborhood and helping me get ready for prom (she definitely once helped me fix a bad makeup job that I had gotten done at the local mall for prom! She saved the day!) These days, I live in New York City and Betty still lives Upstate. We talk weekly on the phone; I call her with all of my crazy NYC dating stories, talk about my next travel adventure, her book club meetings, new recipes to try and the week to week updates in both of our lives that easily fill our phone catch ups."

Jennifer Zawadzinski, New Jersey

My best friend Jane’s mother, June, who I’ve known since the 7th grade, was there for me as my Mom was dying. She lived near the nursing home and gave me the key to her home and said, “You have a room, use it whenever you need it.” Instead of taking the long drive home after visiting Mom, I’d stay at June’s home where I had many sleepovers as a teenager, and it provided such comfort. June also make me delicious home-cooked Italian meals. I will never forget her acts of kindness and love.

No one could take the place of my Mom, but I am so grateful for my relationships with many women who love and support me unconditionally."

Ashley Purdum, Brooklyn, New York

"My mom passed away when I was 25, nearly a decade ago, but her high school friends (the 'soul sisters' as they have referred to themselves since around 1969) have acted as a network of moms, each fulfilling a trait of hers—the mom that goes thrifting and always has fun treasures to share (that’s Barb, on the left, with my mom in the 70s), the mom that’s always worried in the most caring way, the mom to commiserate with over strong mimosas, the mom to talk about dogs with, etc."

Jennifer Snyder Waco, Texas

Danielle Butler, Atlanta Georgia

Alexa Dosik, Brooklyn, New York

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