Part of being a human is accepting that your parents will die. When you are a woman and you have the typical strong bond with your mother, the idea of losing her can seem Earth-shattering. I know my mom is the most important woman in my life, and the idea of going just a few days without her strange texts seems crazy.

But not all of us get to keep the things we cherish. When death strikes us we are almost always unprepared, and it leaves us feeling hopeless and lonely in so many ways, especially when the person who passed was the one relied upon so heavily for unending love, advice, and company.

A beautiful new HBO documentary aims to weave together the stories of  women who lost their mother's unexpectedly, to show the pain and necessary strength born from such a loss.


The documentary The (Dead Mothers) Club follows three women who lost their mothers during adolescence. One is becoming a mother herself, another is an artist struggling with her work, and the last is a senior in high school looking for guidance during this unsettling time in her life. The film shows the subtle and detrimental ways that the loss of a mother can affect a woman’s life forever. We watch these women move through heavy and complicated issues like suicide and cancer. 

The documentary also provides insight from Rosie O’Donnell, Molly Shannon, and Jane Fonda, all women who also lost their mothers at a young age. 

Watching the film, you can’t help but think about your own relationship with your mother. Whether it is strained or close-knit, a woman’s relationship with her mother is vital to the way she forms relationships with everyone around her. This film is a small insight into the terrifying thing you never want to think about: A life without a mom. But sometimes looking into the thing you’re most scared of can bring light into your life and teach you to value the important things in life.

The (Dead Mothers) Club premieres exclusively on HBO tonight, May 12 at 9pm. 

Mary Rockcastle is a florist, illustrator, and craftswoman living in Rochester, New York. She’s the sole founder of Little Lamb Studios, and #1 biggest fan of all dogs.

Support Feminist Media! During these troubling political times, independent feminist media is more vital than ever. If our bold, uncensored reporting on women’s issues is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $25, $50, or whatever you can afford, to protect and sustain BUST.com. Thanks so much—we can’t spell BUST without U.