A few weeks ago, I finalized plans for a “Girls Only” weekend to visit my friend in Florida for her wedding. No kids, no husbands along. Just the girls, getting a chance to reunite and catch up over a long weekend. You cannot imagine the anticipation that has been building for this trip.
But a few days ago, I came to the realization that the trip falls over Mother’s Day. This made me pause for a moment to think. Would my kids be upset that I won’t be with them to celebrate? More so, how will I feel being apart from my kids on Mother’s Day?
As I was thinking about this, I realized that there are mothers who go through this every year, except that they don’t get the option of seeing their children the next day. Mothers who are mourning the loss of a child, whether it is because of miscarriage or stillbirth, or due to accident or illness. To these mothers, Mother’s Day is just another reminder of their loss and pain. Oftentimes this goes unrecognized. It got me thinking - “How can we remember and honor those mothers that have suffered the loss of a child?”
Here are just a few ways that we can reach out to those mothers on this difficult holiday:
- Recognize that they are a mother, even though they have had a loss and their child may not be with them physically. Reach out to them, send them a card, make a phone call - let them know that you are thinking of them.
- Talk about their child - use their name in conversation, recall memories, share stories. Let them know that their child is still important and remembered.
- Don’t try to minimize their loss. It is so easy to fall into the trap of trying to comfort the person by saying things such as, “At least they are in a better place,” or “Be glad you still have your (other) son/daughter.” Nothing can replace the loss of their child.
- Encourage self-care for the mother. Treat her to a gift certificate to a place she can be pampered. Remind her that she is important and loved.
This Mother’s Day, take time to remember those mothers who are mourning the loss of a child.
“A mother’s love is instinctual, unconditional and forever.”