Grieving and Mother’s Day

Editor: this was posted on past Mother’s Days. Although written eight years ago, I thought it was worth repeating.

This Sunday will be the first Mother’s Day since my mom passed away eight weeks ago. It’s given me pause for reflection.  I had the good fortune to know two great-grandmothers, two grandmothers, two mothers-in-law and, of course, my own mother. I will celebrate my wife on Mother’s Day because she brought two wonderful children into my life who have enriched it immeasurably. Together, we will honor her mother on that day; but there is a hole in my heart when it comes to my own mother. Reminders from Amazon, Harry and David,  and ProFlowers are killing me.

Grandmother and Great -Grandmother
Grandmother and Great-Grandmother

I googled around before sitting down to write this, and realized how multidimensional the issue of grieving and Mother’s Day is . I had forgotten that Mother’s Day cuts both ways; there are too many mothers out there who have lost children, and this particular holiday goes right to the core of their grieving. To me it’s about not having a mother to send a card and flowers to; for those mothers it is the absence of a card received, or a box of chocolate, or a loving phone call. I was blessed to have my mother in my life for 66 years. I can’t imagine the pain of a mother who loses a child at any age.

One suggestion I have for those grieving the loss of a mother is to use AfterTalk’s Private Conversations to write to her this and every future Mother’s Day. It’s free to join by clicking this link. If you are already signed up, go to the AfterTalk homepage and click Private Conversations. Once you have written to your mother, you can opt to keep this communication private, or share it with selected family members.

Mother and Grandmother
Mother and Grandmother

In earlier posts I’ve talked about holiday seasons, especially the December and April holidays, and how painful they are for someone experiencing them for the first time. I will ask the same thing of you again. IF you know a mother who has lost a child or a child who has lost a mother in the past year, think about what you can do to make Mother’s Day easier for them. It’s a good day for siblings to call each other. If you have a tradition of gathering at your mother’s home on that day, change the venue if you have to, but continue the tradition. A mother who has lost a child should not be alone on Mother’s Day. Be with her and comfort her if there’s a chance she might be alone. I don’t think it’s wise to invite a mother who’s lost a child to someone else’s Mother’s Day festivities, but perhaps grief counselors who read this might weigh in on the subject.

It’s one of the greatest gifts you can give a person, recognizing and acknowledging their pain, and offering your time and comfort. Think about who and how you can do something wonderful for this Mother’s Day.

Be well

I’ll never see her grow up. I’ll never go to her wedding or watch my grandchildren grow up. I can’t visit her grave because I believe with all my heart that she shouldn’t be there.  A Mother’s Lament for a child lost during Hurricane Sandy

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