As I sit here contemplating another Mother’s Day to endure, I cannot help but think about the many thousands of other grieving mothers who are experiencing this Mother’s Day from the perspective of loss.
I remember the first Mother’s Day after my mother’s death in late 1988. I had just given birth to my daughter and it was my first Mother’s Day – but the absence of my mother clouded that day for me. I struggled to celebrate for myself. This was a critical milestone in my life having just had my daughter just two months after my mom passed away at the age of 48. I felt the loss of my mom like no other. I needed her during this time in my life more than any other.
As the years waned on, I began to enjoy Mother’s Day because I had this beautiful girl who loved making me gifts each year to celebrate Mother’s Day. She was God’s gift to me. Once she became ill and diagnosed with a chronic illness, I struggled to understand why her. Why me. In a more global perspective – just why?
As many of you know, in October 2006, my daughter, and only child, passed away at the age of 17. She was one month shy of her 18thbirthday and a senior in high school. So again, I found myself struggling to breathe and especially on holidays. The first holidays were the worst.
Mother’s Day will forever be the worst day of them all. Some of you who read this will, unfortunately, understand this. Some of you never will. If you have not experienced this much loss, you cannot know nor could you understand. This is the time we need to have our greatest support from family and friends. The struggle is so profound. No matter how many years pass, the pain is still there. It always will be.
What I’ve learned over the years is that grief makes people uncomfortable. Especially those not directly impacted. It’s so important to stand with your friend or family member to support them. If you are the griever reading this – please reach out to someone who understands and can validate your sorrow. It’s real. If you are a friend or family member – go be with that person. Understand they are hurting no matter how many years have passed since their loss.
The world stands still on this day for so many mothers. The memories of their babies, children, adult children – all flashing back to the day when they were still alive. At the end of each Mother’s Day they are reminded of their absence in their life and we must be there to support, hug, love on them. Even those of us who are walking the same journey.
To all you mothers out there – Happy Mother’s Day. We celebrate you and your gifts to the world. I know this is hard for you, but take in the great joy of giving life to this world and spend time remembering the good memories with your child. Say their name, write in your journal, tell their story here in the comments below. Celebrate them.
Until next time,