Ask Denise: Where Do I Spend Easter Morning?

Dear Denise,

Easter will be the first holiday for us that my mother is not able to attend church. I’m struggling with how I should manage the day. I have an aide who could stay with her while my family and I attend services. But, then I wonder: Should I stay home with her instead? How do I make the right decision?


Oh, this is a tough one–you truly want to be in two places at one time. You want the day to special for everyone in the family which is why it’s understandable that you feel guilty leaving your mom at home without you.

When faced with situations like this, I like to propel my thoughts into the future and ask, “Next year, when I look back at this Easter, what did I do that will make me feel proud?” The question helps me understand my priorities as well as my options.

My other suggestion would be to create a compromise of sorts. Although your mom can’t attend Easter service, she can be involved in other festivities throughout the weekend. Perhaps she watches as you make a special flower arrangement for your Sunday meal or helps you put together the Easter baskets. The goal is to spend quality time with your mom in a way that she can enjoy. In essence, you’re tailoring a festivity just for the two of you that works for just the two of you. Then, do the same with your family: Spend quality time together in a way that you all enjoy, such as attending church services together on Sunday.

I hope this helps. Wishing you and your family a very special holiday.

Stumped by an on-going struggle? Searching for meaning in your journey? You’re not alone! Family caregivers ask Denise M. Brown, Editor and Publisher,, for her insights and suggestions to their caregiving conundrums. Have a question for Denise? Just e-mail her. Denise will do her best to answer questions within 24 hours.

If you or your caree are in a crisis, we urge you to call a health care professional immediately for assistance. Denise only provides general insights about general situations. You should always consult your own lawyer, financial planner, health care professional and other professional advisors for advice specific to your situation.

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About Denise Brown

I began working with family caregivers in 1990 and launched in 1996 to help and support them. Through my blog, I share words of comfort and offer coping strategies and tips. I also write opinion pieces about recent research, community programs and media coverage of caregiving issues. I've written several caregiving books, including "The Caregiving Years, Six Stages to a Meaningful Journey," "Take Comfort, Reflections of Hope for Caregivers" and "After Caregiving Ends, A Guide to Beginning Again." You can purchase my books and schedule a coaching call with me in our store.

2 thoughts on “Ask Denise: Where Do I Spend Easter Morning?

  1. jay

    What would mom want you to do? It sounds like attending church with your family is very important to you. Perhaps you could share some of the service with her when you get home, or even find a minister or lay minister to come to your home to have a very short service with your mom. Taking a break from caregiver rejuvenates the mind, body and soul. I suggest you leave mom with a trusted caregiver, go to church, and find ways to include mom in the rest of your Easter activities.

  2. Avatar of JaneJane

    Doesn’t your church have online services? I know the church that I have attended has live services. Just a thought. I hope it all works out for you. Just do what you have peace about.

    Jane ~ mom to Nicole, 17 yo, VSD, PAH, Eisenmengers (dx 1/22/10) BHJS (dx 2/4/11)
    “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”


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