I never thought about this before – perhaps because I’m in my thirties and both my parents are still alive, thankfully – but I just discovered through blog conversation analysis that Mothers Day and Fathers Day are the two days of the year with the highest frequency of references to deceased mothers and fathers, respectively.
In the Blopulse chart below, the blue trend line indicates the percentage of all blog posts over the past six months that include one of these phrases: “my mother died” or “my mom died” or “my mother passed” or “my mom passed”. The orange line indicates posts that include one these phrases: “my father died” or “my dad died” or “my father passed” or “my dad passed”. (Click on the image for a hi-res image.)
The concentration of references on May 14 and June 18 makes a lot of sense, but it puzzles me that there are 50 percent more references to dads versus moms. Are dads remembered more on Fathers Day versus moms on Mothers Day?
Of course, the answer to that question is complex, as individuals express remembrance and tribute to parents in numerous ways – online and offline. (Check out my earlier writing about the online mourning process here.) Regardless, this is strong evidence that children mourn deceased mothers and fathers in very different ways. (There also are obvious nuances in how parents mourn sons versus daughters.)
What do you think?
[Thanks to Stephen J. Dubner, co-author of Freakonomics, for linking here in his post about funeral attendance impacting productivity. Freakonomics is one of my favorite books, but the blog is even better because it’s living, engages the readers, fulfills my addiction to weird economic questions and tackles many feared realities of a society in denial. Check it out!)