Many people don’t realize how different holidays can be once you have gone through a loss. People always say the first year is the hardest when adjusting to a new normal. The first birthday, the first Christmas, an anniversary; we are told that grief is supposed to get easier with time. And as much as holidays can be a wonderful celebration with loved ones to carry on traditions and spend quality time together – they are also a painful reminder of who is missing. Mother’s Day is a yearly celebration for the incredible women in our lives: mothers, grandmothers, stepmothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, cousins – the list goes on and on. We take a day to recognize an honor all the moms for their dedication and sacrifice.
However, what if you are a mom and your baby isn’t here? Maybe you got to meet your baby and maybe you didn’t. Maybe you named your baby and maybe you didn’t. Maybe you knew if it was a boy or a girl – and maybe you just knew them as a heartbeat. Maybe you have other children, and your loss
seems to fade to others even though it leaves you with a constant void. Or maybe this loss has been your only pregnancy and it feels unbelievably unfair and cruel to have empty arms on Mother’s Day.
But, you are that baby’s mom. You always have been, and you always will be. The first Sunday in May is International Bereaved Mother’s Day to honor mothers who have lost a child and recognize women who have had infertility issues. Many women who experience miscarriage and pregnancy loss have suffered alone and in silence. By shining a light on this cause and opening up the conversation, we can find community and realize that we are absolutely not alone in the struggles that come with losing a child.
So, what can you do this Mother’s Day to honor your child?
- Talk to them – go for a solo walk or write a letter, whatever way you want to connect.
- Think about them – take intentional time to reflect, light a candle or meditate.
- Create a memorial – plant a garden or a tree, order jewelry with their name or initial.
- Make art – use pictures, keepsakes, quotes, or their name to make a scrapbook or shadowbox.
- Read – look for books or blogs that can help you find peace and purpose.
There is no right way to do this. Find what works for you and know there is a community of support here
for you when you are ready.
And for those that are supporting a friend or family member that has lost a child? A simple
acknowledgement can go a long way by saying, “I realize this day is hard for you and I am thinking of you. Happy Mother’s Day.”
It is so important to celebrate the mom who carried her baby, no matter how long.