RICHMOND, Va. -- Surrounded by the sound of wind chimes and the aroma of incense, Kim Flournoy DiJoseph began her day by centering her state of mind.
The significance behind Sunday, May 8 carried a little more weight than the average day for her.
“Mother’s Day can hold a lot of complexities for a lot of people," she said.
DiJoseph lost her mom in 2012.
“She passed very traumatically of a homicide ten years ago this year, and I've spent a lot of time over the last few years really kind of reconciling all of the feelings," she explained.
Since her mother's murder, DiJoseph said she's transformed heartache into healing through a holistic health journey.
“I think the point is the process. The point is in how our life unfolds and how we impact others and all of the ripple effects that things like grief, but also the process of healing, can give to the world," she said.
DiJoseph recognized many others had complicated emotions to sort through on Mother's Day and that the word "Mom" doesn't fit into the same box for everyone.
“It's complicated by really any kind of loss. It doesn't have to be death. It can be from estrangement, abandonment, real or perceived or by choice," she said. "Some of us have lost our mothers or our mother figure to their own depression and their ability to show up for us.”
To help those who may be in a similar situation, DiJoseph hosted a sunrise meditation circle Sunday called "The Mourning of Mother's Day."
She said it was a way for people to ground themselves, make space for heavy feelings, and be in the company of others who understand.
“It's one thing to acknowledge and sit with those tough feelings ourselves," DiJoseph said. "But to be able to do it within community is just dramatically even more healing.”
She encouraged people who might be coping with loss to be mindful and present and take the time necessary to grieve.
"What is it you need to release so that you can receive? You can do that mindfully by taking a walk, cooking, writing, reading poetry," she said. "There's a million different ways you can do it."