Mother’s Day

Here it comes again!  The overwhelming sense of anxiety, physical aches and pains, sleeplessness!  These are the first signs that even in our busy lives, no matter what else is going on,  no matter how well we seem to be coping, our brain and bodies sense our grief.  Our internal heart knows and tries to protect us.  It is my third Mother’s Day with out my youngest son.  I would like to say it gets easier but I believe, for me it just is different.   Having been through many holidays, I KNOW that the days leading up to it are much more stressful than the holiday itself.  We tend to agonize over what we can not change, what we do not want to accept, but what we have no choice to deal with.

For some of us, our only child is no longer with us.  Others may not know what to say to you.  Let them know you are still a mother, you always will be.  Just because your child is not here physically, does not make your love for your child any less.  Remember, it is our duty to educate others about our grief.

For others, there will be one less “Happy Mother’s Day”.  It will not lessen the love for our children still with us, I believe we treasure them even more.   The hole in our heart becomes just a bit more visible, a bit more jagged.

Some of us will have memories to hold close to our hearts while other have lost our child shortly after birth and long to know what life would have been like with our child.

Tears will be shed on Mother’s Day.  It is okay to cry!  It is all part of our healing.  Hopefully, along with the tears, there will be laughter, joy, peace and love.  Find something good in your life and hold onto it!  Do something positive for yourself.  Be gentle with yourself.  Treat others with kindness and speak of your child freely.  Let them know you are a mother!  Let them know your child’s name!

Here are ways you can help a grieving Mother on Mother’s Day:

  • Recognize that they are a parent: Send a simple card to let them know you remember that they are a parent even though their child is not with them physically.
  • Acknowledge that they have had a loss: Express the message, “I know this might be a difficult day for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you today.”
  • Use their child’s name in conversation: Saying the name of a child who has died is important to a grieving parent.
  • Plant a living memorial: This is a wonderful day to plant a tree or flower bulbs in memory of the child. This is something that will live on as a beautiful reminder in the years to come.
  • Visit the gravesite: Many parents felt that it was “extremely thoughtful” when others visited their child’s gravesite and left flowers or a small item near the headstone.
  • Light a candle: Let the parents know you will light a candle in memory of their child.
  • Send a gift of remembrance: maybe an angel statue, a memory box, a memorial candle, a picture frame, a library book donation, an ornament, anything personalized with the child’s name or a date, books on grief, a garden stone or a toy donation in the child’s name. 
  • Don’t try to minimize their loss: Avoid using clichés that attempt to explain the death of a child. (“God needed another angel.”) Don’t try to find anything positive about the loss- (“You still have two healthy children” or “She’s in a better place”).
  • Encourage Self-Care: Self-care is an important aspect of the “healing the mind and spirit effort” according to several mothers. Encourage a grieving mother to take care of herself. Give her gift certificates to a day spa or any place where she can be pampered and take her mind off of her grief for an hour or two.

These suggestions are also Good for birthdays and anniversaries.

May Mother’s Day be gentle on you and may you find a memory that makes you smile!


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