There are no words that I could write to a Mother who lost their child that would alleviate any pain. Grief is the shadow of love. The greater the love, the greater the shadow cast.
My Mother lost her daughter (my sister) May 9, 2013, a few days before Mother’s Day that year… Since then we’ve just learned to live in the shade- not overcome by darkness, but still affected. The hardest days are holidays and the ordinary ones that come out of nowhere without warning. Grief is a tricky beast, and enjoys the element of surprise. But Mother’s Day- that is a day you can count on to never be the same.
Here are some ideas for the Grieving Mom on Mother’s Day.
1. Go to the water. The beach, a pond, a lake, a waterfall, a pool, hot tub- whatever you can find. Water is incredibly healing- looking at it, drinking it, diving in, and just listening to it move. You won’t even realize your own tears till you see the ripples trickling around you.
2. Write to them. What would you say to them if they were here? What would you laugh about? Argue about? What would they think of your new hair or the book you’re reading? Imagine them as they were the last time you saw them. Imagine them wishing you a Happy Mother’s Day.
3. Prepare a meal that they loved.
4. Go outside and walk for at least 30 minutes. Even if it’s raining (remember, water is good!). The fresh air and physical movement of walking will help your brain process the deep emotions within you.
5. Look up Events in your community. Often times there are gatherings organized so that moms don’t have to face the day alone. (For those in Central Florida there is a gathering at Ormond Beach & another in Glenn Haven Memorial Park).
6. Be around family & friends and tell them (or tell your husband to tell them) exactly what you need. Do you want to talk about it? Do you need to cry and not feel weird? Do you need a distraction and not have anyone mention it? Be honest and share how they can support you. Because grief is so different for each person they will only know what you communicate to them.
7. Wear waterproof makeup and carry sunglasses in your bag just in case.
8. Listen to music you like. People often underestimate and overlook the power of music. It is the only thing that stimulates both sides of the brain at once.
9. Pet a dog or cat. If you don’t have one, ask your friend if you can borrow theirs or hold one at a pet shop. It is scientifically proven to help calm and comfort people. Animals are wonderful companions because they don’t talk but still interact. There is no stress or expectation for you to behave a certain way. You can just be together, and it is enough.
10. Write a list of 10 things you’re thankful for about the time you had with your child. If you want to write more than 10, just keep going. Focus on the love rather than the shadow of grief. It’s absolutely heartbreaking for a Mother’s time to be cut off with their child, but you can still look back on the time you had together and feel that warmth of great love shared.
I hope those tips are helpful for you to process on such a difficult day.
If you are mourning the loss of a miscarriage, you may need to adjust these tips- but still take time to think of your angel baby and grieve the time you did not have together.
Perhaps one final idea for both would be to babysit someone else’s child for the day while Mommy & Daddy go on a date. It won’t be the same at all as mothering your own child, but perhaps it will stir up some fun memories while creating some new ones. It may be healing to invest some of that Motherly love into another child’s life.
Is there something special that you do to honor the life of a child who passed? What other tips would you give to moms who had a miscarriage or mourning child loss?